Pitching to make a difference: Mini entrepreneurs idea to solve vaccine anxiety


2021 Inter-school entrepreneurial pitch winners: St Joseph's School, Corinda​​

St Agatha's Primary School hosted Brisbane's first inter-school pitch competition last week, where budding entrepreneurs from five local Catholic schools presented their business ideas to a panel of judges, with the winners tackling the 'hot' issue of children and vaccines.

Grade 4/5/6 students from the five participating primary schools – St Agatha's, St Joseph's School - Corinda, St Joseph's School - Kangaroo Point, St Peter Chanel School, and Holy Spirit School – presented their ideas with the winners inventing a medical doll for young kids that would help teach them about vaccines and health related topics.

The winning team was from St Joseph's Corinda. The 'Happy Healers' pitched their medical doll concept designed to combat the fear of needles in young children, especially due to the COVID-19 vaccine roll out.

All participating students first took part in a workshop on how to create the perfect pitch. The workshops were run by external coaches from First Pivot, which provides entrepreneurial education programs and pitching competitions for budding little entrepreneurs.

The ideas pitched had to fit a 'social impact' theme. Each group had three minutes to present their idea to the judging panel made up of Dr Doug Ashleigh, Deputy Executive Director for Brisbane Catholic Education; Tony Ryan, Education Futurist; and Dan Argent, local entrepreneur and representative for the Office of the Chief Entrepreneur for the State of Queensland.

First Pivot CEO Jim Schuman said entrepreneurship involves a range of skills that can be used throughout a person's life and should be incorporated in primary education programs.

"Students learn that successful entrepreneurship isn't just about starting companies; it is a set of skills and a way of thinking. They learn about ideation, opportunity analysis, effective presentation skills and much more," said Jim.

"Schools offer a range of performing arts, sports and instrumental music lessons at school. Why not offer an opportunity for students to develop their entrepreneurial skills too? With over 40% of young Australians saying they want to be an entrepreneur when they grow up, this is the sort of content that needs to become the norm in Aussie schools.

"Queensland's entrepreneurship culture has powered the state's economy and will be needed to help us through the economic and social challenges that the global pandemic has introduced. Planting the seeds and nurturing this next generation of entrepreneurs supports both their future and ours."

Deputy Executive Director of Brisbane Catholic Education, Dr Doug Ashleigh, said he was impressed with the quality of the pitches by all school teams.

"The students gave us equal measures of enthusiasm and logic to implement their business idea, all driven by a desire to make a positive social impact in their community," he said.

"I am sure there were many budding entrepreneurs who got a real boost out of this experience."

Here is the complete list of pitches that were presented by participating students:

  • Lego For Less – A proposal on how students could donate and repurpose used Lego blocks.
  • Hospital Buddy - A digital teddy bear used in children's hospitals to help with boredom and anxiousness.
  • Homelessness Becomes Happiness - An app that lets people locate where homeless people are in the city and donate to them through the app depending on what they need.
  • Sweet and Sour Catering - Catering for kid's parties and a donation element added that gives a certain percentage to the Leukaemia foundation and Cancer Council.
  • Green Health - Turning community parks into areas that grow produce + free to the public. Homeless people will be employed to work at the garden and encouraged to eat the fruit and vegetables available.
  • Support-bot - A robot that helps young kids with mental health and encouragement.
  • Travelling Trees - Collecting used plastic and plastic pollution found in oceans and repurposing the materials to help grow more trees around Australia.
  • Happy Products - A cosmetic product range (shampoo + conditioner) that does not test on animals and donates to organisations to promote cruelty free production.
  • Idea Bakery - A website for members of the public to post ideas about things that they would like to see happen in the community.

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