22 Nov Shining a Light on Gold Coast’s Entrepreneurial Scene
The other night I attended Gold Coast Demo Day, which highlights the wonderful achievements in entrepreneurship in the South-East Queensland region. Entrepreneurship education has become a national priority and Gold Coast Demo Day is a great showcase of the avenues and resources that are there to support entrepreneurs of tomorrow grow their skills and knowledge through various training and mentor platforms available in the region.
Bond University’s Business School hosted an exceptional event that brought together some of Queensland’s brightest young minds with investors and industry leaders. The evening showcased how entrepreneurship education is being advanced across South East Queensland through a number of accelerator & educator Programs. The following programs were represented on the evening.
Club Kidpreneur is a not-for-profit social enterprise fostering entrepreneurial skills in primary-aged children through teaching them to build and launch their own micro-enterprises. The foundation’s programs aim to grow children’s confidence, resilience, creativity and business acumen to enable them to pursue an entrepreneurial career and harness the power of business for good.
In the foundation’s core program, the CK Challenge, students use design thinking to build a real-world enterprise and sell products in their local community, paying back their startup costs then donating all profit to a charity of their choice. The program runs through Australian primary schools and is mapped to the national curriculum across multiple subject areas. To date, over 8,000 kidpreneurs from 500 schools have raised more than $350,000 for charity. Club Kidpreneur also runs introductory workshops through local community groups and a network of volunteer entrepreneurs, designed to spark an entrepreneurial spirit in 10-12 year old kids.
Startup Apprentice (SUA) delivers award winning, action based entrepreneurial education programs that teach the ‘Silicon Valley’ lean approach to starting a business to high school students and encourage students to think differently about their approach to working life. Startup Apprentice has designed the program to help bridge the gap between book-smarts and street-smarts, the hands-on, experience-based sessions see students launch new businesses using new and emerging technologies while learning the soft skills that employers are looking for — resilience, adaptability and problem solving. They also provide access to role models and business leaders that students wouldn’t otherwise have access to.
The SUA eight week program has been successfully delivered in Gold Coast schools to 120 young apprentices who have graduated with 30 validated business ideas. With expressions of national and international interest and strong parent and teacher support, the SUA program provides the perfect platform to drive 21st Century learning while sparking interest in developing an entrepreneurial mindset.
Beach City Group supports entrepreneurs and innovators to create and scale great innovative companies through access to networks of capital, talent and expertise. With deep connections into a global network of mentors, venture capitalists, corporates and world class accelerator programs, the Beach City Group supports companies to build traction locally and scale globally
RiverPitch is biannual event that brings pre-screened investors and entrepreneurs together in a social environment where ideas can be pitched. This invite only event brings together investment-ready ideas (and teams) with actual investors in order to help get the ideas funded. RiverPitch is supported by a community of investors formed to help the early stage and startup sector access funding. RiverPitch aims to provide a different approach to capital funding and de-formalise the search for the next investment
The River City Labs Accelerator is powered by the muru-D program. The muru-D program runs throughout Australia and Singapore, with the aim to take great digital ideas to a global market. As part of a six-month program, companies gain access to a purpose built co-working space; muru-D’s global network of mentors, alumni, investors and partners, international trade trips, and many more perks. In addition, all companies receive the benefits from building lifetime connections with their fellow entrepreneurs, whilst working to create an acceleration path that is tailored to fit their business needs.
The Bond Business Accelerator (BBA) combines leading-edge entrepreneurship education with an intense 12-week commercialisation bootcamp, transforming fledgling ideas into commercial realities. Focused on building the entrepreneurs of tomorrow, the primary desired outcome of BBA is the increased entrepreneurial capabilities of its participants. A diverse pool of industry mentors complement academic staff in providing a rich blend of academic rigour and practical relevance. The program is run by the Bond Business School and can count towards the completion of a Bond University degree. It is open to all students, regardless of discipline, as well as members of the community.
With an office in the Gold Coast, we’re proud and hugely supportive of the growth and talent coming out of South East Queensland. Here’s a piece on the rise and rise of the Startup State. If you want to get in touch to talk about your ideas, startup or growth, contact us now.