Youth Innov8ors pitch tech solutions to real life problems before industry panel
It’s not often teenagers get the opportunity to pitch their tech ideas to companies like nbn, Oracle and the Gladstone Area Water Board, but thanks to the pilot Youth Innov8ors program run by StartUp Gladstone and funded by Here for Gladstone, nine teams from Gladstone State School got just that chance.
The teams from Grades 8-10 were set data gathering challenges by the industry panel and were asked to respond by building mobile apps as part of their solution. From analysing nbn adoption based on demographic data, to helping the Gladstone Area Water Board track its greenhouse gas emission commitments and implement an effective pest management solution, the students delivered their pitches to the panel this week via a video conference.
Startup Gladstone’s Luis Arroya said the pilot was a great way to encourage tech entrepreneurship in the region.
“This was a 10-week training and mentoring program culminating in this week’s pitch to nbn, Oracle and the Gladstone Area Water Board. Students were presented with real life problems, immersed themselves in design thinking processes and had some fantastic exposure to technical mentors and support by teachers through all the in-classroom and curriculum-based activities,” Luis said.
Gladstone State High School Principal Garry Goltz said he was delighted to take part in the pilot program.
“It’s been very rewarding to see how the students have been so motivated through this applied learning initiative. Their confidence and experience in responding to real-world problems with practical tech solutions has been impressive.”
Winners from this phase of the program will now move into a Shark Tank-inspired ‘Pitch-a-Thon’ event on
21 April to Gladstone’s Angel Loop company—a group of experienced Angel Investors who promote and support start-up entrepreneurs.
Special thanks to the judging panel involved in the pilot, including Maxine Brushe from Gladstone Area Water Board, Ashleigh Tabisher representing Here for Gladstone, Jason Lowe from Oracle and Karen Shipp from nbn.
The Youth Innov8ors pilot program is possible through a partnership between Start Up Gladstone, Here for Gladstone (a partnership between Rio Tinto Yarwun, Boyne Smelters Limited and Queensland Alumina Limited), Gladstone Area Waterboard, Queensland Government, nbn Australia and APLNG ConocoPhillips.
Gladstone schools keen on participating in future Youth Innov8or programs can contact Luis Arroya at Startup Gladstone.