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Mentoring Queensland's student entrepreneurs

Budding entrepreneurs at schools in Queensland were recently given the opportunity to compete for the titles at the Inaugural Student Entrepreneur awards. The winning team secured a valuable mentoring session with entrepreneur, investor and Shark Tank star, Steve Baxter.


The Student Entrepreneur Program is an initiative by technology startup hub River City Labs in partnership with Brisbane Grammar School and Brisbane Girls' Grammar School.



The 12-week program was open to thirty students from Years 9 and 10 who were introduced to the disruptive world of innovation and technological advances, facing communities in Queensland and beyond. The goal was to identify budding entrepreneurs amongst this cohort of teenagers.


Students participated in brainstorming business ideas, evaluating risks and opportunities, learning how to interact with customers, how to create a brand, and developing a minimum viable product. They were supported by River City Labs’ mentors and teachers from both schools.

(L-R) Jacinda Euler, BGGS Principal and Steve Baxter (front row) with the winning team, SMAT.



Demo Day

The program culminated in a ‘Demo Day’ and pitch competition in early June where students presented their ideas to the judges, Bruce Stubbs, R&R Strategic CEO, Anthony Micallef BGS Headmaster, Jacinda Euler BGGS Principal and Steve Baxter.


Winning Ideas


The winning idea was a smart desk charging mat that reduces desk chord clutter from the Team SMAT.


Runners-up SneakerVille received a business support package from Pitcher Partners for its online market place where users purchase or trade new and pre-owned sneakers.


A special mention and a mentoring session with QUT Creative Enterprise Australia (CEA)  was awarded to Team Noted  for overcoming the niche problem of members of large orchestras missing specific guidance to certain string sets within an orchestra.


Thomas Bizzel from Team SMAT said the Student Entrepreneur Program was “fun and challenging and proved that anyone could be a successful entrepreneur”.


“The program showed us that people who start great companies are just like you and me, and being an entrepreneur and running your own startup is a viable option for the future instead of getting a mainstream job,” Bizzel said.


Steve Baxter, River City Labs founder, welcomed the opportunity to mentor the winning team, and said “it was an honour to help nurture the next-generation of successful Queensland entrepreneurs”.


Pitcher Partners partner Cole Wilkinson said the company was pleased to be a part of the ground-breaking Student Entrepreneur program. “It is fantastic to see programs such as this being run to encourage entrepreneurship for Queensland students. “We’re looking forward to conducting our financial literacy and business startup session for the runner-up, SneakerVille. “I’ve already been very impressed by Vinesh’s ideas and can’t wait to help him grow as an entrepreneur,” Mr Wilkinson said.


Well done to all that competed in the Inaugural Student Entrepreneur awards.

If you know of other competitions like this one, please let us know


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Publishing positive education information for parents and teachers since 2000