The Kids Are More Than Alright
Investor Maurice Grasso from Melbourne Angels sees more than his fair share of pitches, and on Monday night he joined Startup Victoria CEO, Georgia Beattie, and Geelong's own serial entrepreneur, Nick Stanley, on the judging panel for a different kind of pitching challenge.
"Some of those presentations were better than some I and Melbourne Angels see from founders pitching for serious money." - Maurice Grasso
Yet these weren't seasoned business people looking to kickstart a new venture, they were local high school students looking to kickstart an entrepreneurial future in front of 230 guests from across the local business, education and community sectors at The Pier Geelong. Taking the honours at this year's Upstart Challenge Pitching Showdown were some of Upstart's youngest competitors, Scarlett Moroney and Ella Johns, Year 7 & 8 students at Sacred Heart College.
Scarlett and Ella have founded Flo - a positive mind-set and mental heath app that they are planning to roll out to schools. Georgia Beattie was so impressed with their pitch that she invited to young founders to pitch to the state's education sector professionals at a Startup Victoria event. With a prize package including business development mentoring and technical support, these young entrepreneurs are ones to watch in the very near future.
Other ideas on show included runners up Josh Walker and Josh Lepore, Year 12 students at Covenant College, for Vintage Apparel, a shopping platform that connects sellers and buyers of vintage clothing.
While the People's Choice Award went to Yasmin Tigani and Phoebe Campbell for Pockets on the Move, a storage solution for wheelchair users.
The event also launched one the program's success stories, with serial Upstarter and Smarter Tech Award winner, Zac Rushbrook, launching his startup Eyewitness. Zac worked with Enterprise Monkey to develop his app that facilitates easy communication within a community. Check out Eyewitness: www.eyewitnessnow.com
Photos by Pam Hutchinson, Pam Hutchinson Photography