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$10k grant for high school entrepreneurs to turn their ideas into real businesses


The City of Sydney has awarded not-for-profit organisation Generation Entrepreneur a $10,000 grant to deliver a series of four workshops to support up to 800 high school students in pursuing their own ventures.

In each workshop around 200 young entrepreneurs in the making will have 48 hours to create a startup, present their projects to a judging panel and be mentored on how to turn their ideas into real ventures.

“Our economy continues to go through big changes but we know Australia’s future lies in innovation, not digging up and exporting minerals,” Lord Mayor Clover Moore said.

“We’re proud to support the next generation of entrepreneurs and their ambitious ventures, which are building Sydney’s reputation as a centre for start-ups.

“Generation Entrepreneur’s workshops will help Sydney high school students to gain specialist knowledge that they may not be able to learn in a traditional school classroom.”

For teens, by teens

Generation Entrepreneur was founded by two high school students to encourage an entrepreneurial spirit among peers. The organisation continues to be led by high school students for high school students, under the guidance of director Garry Visontay, an entrepreneur and investor with over 30 years of business experience.

The workshops will also be attended by up to 60 mentors from the Sydney startup community, who will help students turn their ideas into a real business model.

Since its creation in 2014, Generation Entrepreneur has supported 600 high school students through the Initiate 48 workshops.

The $10,000 in funding is provided through the City’s knowledge exchange sponsorship program, which supports and showcases local expertise and the exchange of ideas.

“Sydney is home to Australia’s highest concentration of tech startups, over 64 per cent, and we are developing a global reputation, especially in financial services and media production,” the Lord Mayor said.

“There is fierce international competition for the jobs and economic benefits that the startup sector is creating. We must ensure that Sydney is a supportive location for such development so that our most talented companies and the entrepreneurs behind them grow their business in Sydney.”

What is Generation Entrepreneur out to achieve?

Jack Leung from Generation Entrepreneur’s Partnerships team said the aim of the organisation is to open the minds of high school students to the world of entrepreneurship, something which is not necessarily being taught in classrooms.

“We want our students to really understand what it takes to succeed in the real world through a completely hands on experience,” Mr Leung said.

“It’s about thinking creatively and thinking ambitiously, traits critical to an ecosystem of innovation.

“These programs would not be possible without the support from the City of Sydney, and we will be working hard together to ensure that the city remains a technological hub for innovation and creativity for our young people.”

The City is a longtime supporter of a range of industry events and initiatives, including Spark Festival Sydney, CeBIT business technology conference, REMIX summit and the Global Coworking Conference Unconference.

The City has provided grants and sponsorship to a number of Sydney startups, including WattBlock and Good360, and continues to deliver the popular City Business seminar series featuring tech startup industry leaders such as Airtasker and Canva.