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Challenge is on for young innovators


Challenge is on for young innovators

This year’s Generation Innovation Challenge features a diverse range of business concepts from young entrepreneurs.

The region’s youngest and brightest minds are coming together for the annual Generation Innovation Challenge.

Each year, the program empowers young entrepreneurs aged between 15 and 25 with the skills, training and business connections required to begin building their dream business concept.

Founder and chair of Generation Innovation, Ted O’Brien, began the program in 2015 and is looking forward to another successful year.

“One of the things I love most about the program is that it’s real,” Mr O’Brien says. “It’s not an academic exercise but a real-world opportunity for young people to unleash their innovative genius and take it to market.

“Now in its seventh year, the GI Challenge is proven to work and that’s why we keep on doing it.

“The Sunshine Coast is the most entrepreneurial region in Australia and it’s inspiring to see the next generation step up.”

This year features 15 young minds across 10 business ventures, which include a range of initiatives, from fashion to media and light-up learner plates.

“This year’s cohort is first class,” Mr O’Brien says.

“Their ventures are probably the most diverse in range that we’ve ever had, and I can’t wait to witness the development of these budding young entrepreneurs as the GI Challenge unfolds.”

GI participant Millie Gallacher hopes to address excessive plastic waste in the gardening industry with her initiative Growbags.

“My idea is to reduce plastic pollution and improve garden health by providing an alternative to single-use plastic plant pots,” Millie says.

Meanwhile, George Carpenter is hoping he can improve the health and wellbeing of horses through equine electromagnetic therapy with his venture Sunshine Coast Pulse Therapy.

In a bid to tackle to worsening housing crisis, Shelene Bailey is hoping to make a difference with Plastic Purpose Homes.

“My idea is to supply affordable and sustainable tiny homes to the homeless,” she says. These transportable, low-cost, tiny homes will be made from recycled plastic for those needing temporary accommodation.

The young entrepreneurs will progress through six stages, including signing up, a one-day summit, a polish phase, business panel, pitch development, and a pitch night. The overall winner will take home a $10,000 package to help launch their dream business.

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