A month or so ago we wrote an article about One Can Grow, an organisation that aims to go into high schools and teach teenagers how to make money from what they are passionate about. Over the last 8 weeks, this pilot program took place across three schools in Sydney [Sydney Boys, Sydney Girls and Ascham] – The students went through a vigorous training and mentoring schedule, with some of Australia’s young thinkers and doers -all the while working towards the inter-school Dragon’s Den pitch which took place last Thursday evening at ATP Innovations.
Pitching in front of a panel of judges is daunting enough for an experienced business person, so I can not imagine the nerves this group of 15 and 16 years olds would have felt being grilled about the scalability of their idea and how much profit they would make in their first year.
If I had to use one word to describe the night “impressed” would be an understatement. The engagement level of the audience was amazing the kids were bright, solving real world problems with simple effective solutions and my gosh, some of them were absolutely hilarious. At the end of the night I walked away with a sore face from smiling so much throughout the 3 hour event.
The overall winner of the night came from Ascham, the groups company was called Women4Women and their idea was a subscription model business for sanitary pads for women. Two highly commended awards were given to TEJO [Also from Ascham] who have started a publication for Teen Girls by Teen Girls, educating them on how to prepare for the workforce -this is also married with a Job Board for Teenagers. The other HC was for a team that aims to revolutionise the way people are educated and are still developing their idea.
The crowd favourite for the night came from Sydney Boys with the group Memesanity taking out the gong – they are building a business based on the teenage popularity of memes online, bringing the best and funniest to T-Shirts and Apparel so that people can wear them.
Seeing the calibre of the pitches, I would definitely call this pilot program a huge success, and I am really looking forward to the next round and seeing One Can Grow – Grow!