Student entrepreneurs supporting Olympic dreams

Over the weekend of 21-22 October, 15 young entrepreneurs from Brisbane Girls Grammar School joined minds with their peers from Brisbane Grammar School on supporting Olympic dreams. Preparing for the 2032 Brisbane Olympic Games, the Student Entrepreneur Weekend (SEW) this year started off with a keynote presentation and provocation from Natalie Cook OLY OAM, a five-time Olympian and Gold-and-Bronze medallist.

With more than 20 years’ first-hand experience and observation, Natalie presented an often-untold story about the financial hardship that many Olympians experience. Contrary to common belief, many sports men and women are under paid and lack funding to support their training and competition. Many of them must work multiple jobs on top of their training and full-time study. Natalie called upon the student entrepreneurs to generate ideas to enlist more financial support for our Olympians. Passionate about solving this real-world problem, the student entrepreneurs formed five teams, and put forward five creative solutions:

  • ARC—a subscription-based website where sports fans and aspiring athletes support Olympians for high quality personalised content, e.g., videos, training tips and even one-on-one mentoring
  • ATH-ELITE—a subscription-based website where users receive access to streaming services, workouts, training schedules, nutritional plans, Q&A and personal messages from their favourite Olympians
  • Athlete Support Organisation (ASO)—a differentiated sport-betting company that uses the proceeds to support athletes financially
  • Sportify—an online market for all sports-related products and services
  • NATC (National Athletics Televised Competition)—supporting athletes through proposed competitions, charities, merchandise, and streaming services.

During the two-day program, students pivoted their business ideas under the guidance of two program leaders, Nicole Jordan from Aussie Founders Network and Marvin Fox from QUT. They also had opportunity to network and validate their ideas with industry guests including: Cedric Dubler OLY, Decathlete; Claire Colwill OLY, Hockey; and Riley Day OLY, Athletics sprinter. Ms Kate Stevenson, Head of Economics, and the program coordinator at Brisbane Grammar School, offered brilliant feedback on student pitch rehearsals.

The weekend culminated in a live stream to the combined Grammar Schools’ Community where parents, family and the wider School community could share in the student presentations. Mr David Carroll, Deputy Headmaster of Students, Brisbane Grammar School, and Natalie Cook judged the presentations.

Special congratulations must go to Kate Ireland (11O), Erin Appleyard (11W), Tiffany Chen (10W), Ellie Kendall (10G), Jasper Lindgren (BGS), Alistair Macintosh (BGS) from Team ATH-ELITE for winning the competition. Congratulations should also go to Team Sportify and Team ASO who won second and third places respectively. The ideas will be presented to the Green & Gold Athletes (G&GA) Board and may be adopted for further exploration.

The Student Entrepreneur Program is a Co-curricular program primarily offered to Year 10 and Year 11 Economics and Accounting students.  It provides students with opportunities to apply their knowledge to real-world issues and develop 21st century skills.

The Student Entrepreneur Weekend (SEW) was an insightful and eye-opening experience. It allowed us to apply our creativity and critical thinking in solving a real-world problem. Over the two days, we received incredible help and feedback from the SEW facilitators and industry guests. Their mentoring has helped us think like an entrepreneur and consider our solutions from different perspectives. We have also developed a variety of new skills working as a team. We are looking forward to next year’s SEW program, as it has broadened our horizons about future possibilities’—Tiffany Chen and Ellie Kendall.

Dr Sam Peng
Coordinator of Student Entrepreneur Program, Head of Economics