After successfully piloting Entrepreneurs Unearthed with member companies EY and CBA in 2017, the program got underway again this term with two talented groups in Sydney and Melbourne.
Entrepreneurs Unearthed is an exciting competition and mentoring program that aims to discover untapped entrepreneurial talent and build enterprise skills amongst students in public secondary schools.
The competition is open to students in Years 10, 11 or 12 who have an innovative idea for a business or product. Over a series of workshops with mentors from CBA and EY, they learn how to bring their business idea to life and how to pitch their idea to a “Shark Tank” style panel in the final session.
Peta Magick, Program Development Manager at ABCN, is facilitating the program. “The students all brought fantastic, innovative ideas, and the quality of their concepts has been so impressive. Their mentors have been working with them on their communication and presentation skills, and helping them to put together their storyboards, so that they’ll be ready to pitch to the panel in the final stage of the competition. The mentors are from EY and the CBA, both innovators in business, so they have been a great match for this program.”
We were thrilled to learn recently that ABCN is to be awarded a Gold Global Best Award from The International Partnership Network (IPN) for the Entrepreneurs Unearthed program, which recognises the program as a world-class business-education partnership. Peta Magick will soon be flying to Houston, Texas, to accept the award on ABCN’s behalf, at a ceremony at the NASA Space Centre on October 19.
In Melbourne, competition amongst the students was strong, but in the end three Year 11 girls from Fountain Gate Secondary College shone through.
Their winning idea was a wonderful invention called the Track Mat, a smart shower mat device which tracks water usage in the shower, to help people be more conscious of their water consumption. Congratulations to Hamda Abbas, Kyezanne Holtzhausen, and Ebony Mudie (pictured here with the judging panel, Sarah Nally of The Wonder Tribe, Rebecca O’Reilly of CBA and David Gilmour of EY).
Peta Magick noted that the panel had a tough time choosing a winner. “The judges were all impressed with the quality of the pitches. However the girls with the Track Mat idea made a big impact, particularly with the way they articulated how they applied the design thinking process to find a solution to the problem of wasting water.”
The judges applauded all the students’ efforts, and encouraged them to continue to pursue their dreams. The Sydney group will come together for their final session and pitch competition next week.
But it’s not only the students who are the winners at the end of the program. Mentor Vanessa Pignatelli, from CBA, found the experience of mentoring the young students extremely valuable. “For me it’s a good way to give back in terms of my own work experience and skills, and it’s been rewarding to be able to see these students grow. They are really listening and taking on the feedback as they refine their ideas. They show a great deal of courage as they grow and learn. I loved it.”
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