Sunshine Coast young people showcase innovative genius

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Generation Innovation challengers from left to right - Te Peina Henare, Georgia Switala and Ray Steele.

Three Sunshine Coast budding entrepreneurs have progressed another step towards being our region’s next business gurus.

They’ve been selected from 10 competitors to move onto the next stage of the Generation Innovation challenge and will now seek vital crowdfunding to move their venture through to the final stage.

Open to young people on the Sunshine Coast between the ages of 15 and 25, Generation Innovation is a challenge comprising six stages from design through to business readiness.

Crowdfunding is stage five and follows on from signing up, designing the concept, making the pitch and promoting the venture.

The final three receive seed-funding up to $2500 with an opportunity to raise further funds with help from Generation Innovation.

Te Peina Henare’s venture Ziing is a simple to use, single use charging device compatible with all smartphones.

Georgia Switala is looking for assistance to develop Fashion Hunta, a platform where consumers can search the stock of local businesses with ease.

Ray Steele’s Driving Mate concept offers incentives for people to put their phone away behind the wheel.

Economic Development and Innovation Portfolio Cr Steve Robinson said the Sunshine Coast was the place to be for entrepreneurs.

“Sunshine Coast Council is proud to provide community grants for program such as the GI Challenge which support our next generation of entrepreneurs,” Cr Robinson said.

“To be a healthy, smart, creative region it’s critical we provide a platform for young people to develop their ideas, entrepreneurial skills and networks.

“Many of the jobs and careers of the future haven’t even been created yet and they will be shaped by our bright young minds.”

Division 10 Cr Greg Rogerson said the Sunshine Coast entrepreneur network was strong, with many opportunities provided for people young and old to learn from the best.

“I had the pleasure of talking with Ray Steele from Nambour State College just the other week as our guest at the Caloundra Better Business Breakfast featuring entrepreneur and Shark, Steve Baxter,” Cr Rogerson said.

“Ray is no stranger to the entrepreneurial space, having recently been a finalist in the 2018 Mayor’s Telstra Technology Awards program with Driving Mate.

“Ray has joined two other young entrepreneurs with their exciting new ventures, and I encourage the Sunshine Coast community to get behind all three of them.”

Ray’s team and teacher, Shane Cunningham from Nambour State College, reached the top 10 with Driving Mate in the Mayor’s Telstra Technology Awards and are looking forward to an even better result in Generation Innovation challenge.

“We’re pleased that Ray has the opportunity to progress Driving Mate further with the Generation Innovation challenge,” Mr Cunningham said.

“The Sunshine Coast has multiple extracurricular programs which support the young entrepreneurs and the fact that you can build on ideas into the various programs, is a real benefit for the kids.

“We look forward to seeing some of the business ventures come to life, thanks to programs like Generation Innovation.”

The crowdfunding stage of the Generation Innovation challenge closes at 5pm, Saturday September 1, 2018.

It is followed by final stage, Getting Started, where the competitors undergo business readiness training and start executing their business plans under the guidance of business mentors and with access to the capital raised for their venture.

To donate, visit

The winners and their videos from the recent 2018 Sunshine Coast Mayor’s Telstra Technology awards can be found here:

Sunshine Coast Regional Council :
Locked Bag 72 Sunshine Coast Mail Centre Q 4560, Sunshine Coast Wide
07 5475 7272
1300 007 272
Sunshine Coast Regional Council
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