Teen entrepreneurs on stage at Startup Weekend Youth

Startup Weekend Youth Sunshine Coast is a hands-on, all-action event from 21-23 August where students will learn the skills needed to start real businesses in just one weekend.

The event will give students in Years 10 to 12 an introduction to the lean startup methodology of testing and launching businesses that promotes creative thinking and the fast turnover of ideas.

Students will have the opportunity to pitch ideas, form teams, identify customers and develop a business model with the support of mentors from the local business community.

SUW Youth SCWhile Startup Weekends are held around the world, the Sunshine Coast event is the first youth-focused Startup Weekend for the Oceania region.

Organising team member Graeme Breen says the event, which is open to senior students from schools across South East Queensland, is an opportunity for teenagers who are interested in technology and entrepreneurship to learn new skills and test their ideas in a fun, supportive environment.

“Technology is disrupting all industries, and tech skills are going to be needed in every workplace,” Mr Breen said.

“We know from a recent Deloitte report that Australia will need an additional 100,000 ICT workers by 2020 and we’re seeing a renewed focus on science, technology, engineering and mathematics in schools.

“But as future workers our students are going to need a broad set of skills, including critical thinking, problem solving and the ability to work collaboratively. Startup Weekend Youth is a natural extension to their studies in STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics): it’s designed to show young people how that knowledge can be applied in the workplace, and to raise awareness about the types of careers they might want to pursue.”

Student teams will participate in a range of workshops and activities, and will pitch for investment on the Sunday afternoon. While judging won’t be quite as fierce as it is on Shark Tank there are some valuable prizes up for grabs, including internships and mentoring with local tech businesses.

The community-driven event is being organised by a team of local entrepreneurs, teachers and businesspeople and follows on from the hugely successful Startup Weekend Sunshine Coast, which has attracted more than 150 participants over the past two years.

Startup Weekend Youth Sunshine Coast

Date: 21-23 August 2015

Venue: Institute of Professional Learning, University of the Sunshine Coast.

For more information or to book tickets go to www.StartupSCyouth.com.


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