The Pitch

Do you remember being 15 years old and being asked the question “what do you want to be when you grow up?” The answer was probably something like: a doctor, teacher, mechanic, hairdresser or lawyer . It would have been based on your interests at the time, or what your parents did‚Ķor something totally different to what they did! It was almost certainly based on a job that you knew of, that you thought would earn you enough money and give you respect in your community and from your peers.

 

Today’s teenagers are still being asked the same question, and they like us still have no real idea. Now though, it is not just because they haven’t had a chance to gain any experience yet, it is because in a few years when they will start joining the workforce, many of the jobs we know of will no longer exist.

 

Employees now spend an average of only 3 years in a job. The most common reason cited by those under 30 for moving on, is that they couldn’t see how what they were doing…they felt they were not making an impact.

 

So, what if we were to change the question, to “what problem do you see in the world, that needs solving…and how can I help you solve it?”

 

Founderfest provides an opportunity for young people to experience the challenge of finding a valid solution to a real problem that is commercially sustainable… it is about experiencing entrepreneurship, not just work.

 

By being immersed in a hands-on entrepreneurship experience the young people learn the value of relevant knowledge and skills. They also learn that they do not need to know everything, and they certainly don’t have to do it all on their own. They need to be able to find other people who share their passion for solving the problem and have the skills that they don’t. A great business has complimentary ¬†cofounders … that doesn’t mean they give each other compliments, it means they have skills that are different from each other.

 

To support the young people through the experience we engage mentors from the community to provide hints tips and guidance across the range of skills that are essential to the development of a new business. This provides a wonderful opportunity for both the participants and the mentors. It is an opportunity for the community to give back and witness the positivity and potential of the next generation.

 

Founderfest is a three day event designed to Inspire Young Entrepreneurs. The goal is to create an environment where inspired young people can come together to get things done; to learn, network, bridge the gap between generations, expose potential innovation and see actual results. The event incorporates workshops to build the capability and capacity of the young people, who will soon be the leaders in our community, driving industry, innovation and commerce. With the help of local supporters and the Advance Queensland Young Starters Initiative this opportunity can come to your local community.

Starting with problem/solution pitches, teams form to validate popular problems, solution ideation, product design and development in conjunction with customer identification & engagement taking place throughout the event. Workshops designed to build the capability of each participant will take place throughout the event, focused on developing essential elements for startup entrepreneurs, based on their entrepreneurial character type of Hipster, Hacker or Hustler. The event will conclude with a final pitch from each team, to a panel of judges and an audience of family, friends and members of the broader community, with team and individual achievements recognised.

 

This type of innovative, collaborative learning event is new for many young people. Therefore, we also offer a one day concept event, to provide a taste of what Founderfest is about, create interest and answer questions upfront. This also helps young people to start to look out for problems that need to be solved, before participating in a longer event.

 

Do you believe the young people in your community would benefit from FounderFest?

To make the experience a success, Founderfest requires local support in the form of: time from local mentors; funds from sponsors (grant funding may be available); and as advocates, sharing this message with the educators and youth leaders throughout your community.

 

Contact us to discuss bringing Founderfest to your town or school.

 

Tastes of entrepreneurship is just the beginning. We have heard the feedback from the young people that they want to continue this type of learning after the initial event. To support this ongoing experience, we are designing a longer program that will allow them to continue developing their solution into a commercial reality with ongoing support. If you are interested in being part of the codesign of this program, we would love to hear from you.