Students Pitch Solutions Shark Tank Style at Bright Tank 18

You may have heard of Australian Business Week, where year 10 students aim to rescue a corporation and improve the share price, as this activity has been run for a number of years.  With an increasing focus on entrepreneurial education, Hayley Reid, Coordinator, Career Development and Personalised Learning, from Brighton Secondary School wanted to take a different approach by teaming up with Career BluePrint edupreneurs.

Co MC’d by 20 year old Mathew D’onofrio, on the Forbes 30 Under 30 list for Asia – Social Entrepreneurs 2018, founder of Nightlife First Aid, and Wendy Perry, Managing Director, Workforce BluePrint, the week saw many entrepreneurs share their stories, expertise and networks as validation of solutions was an important part of students outputs.

On Monday morning, 10 business problems were pitched to students and educators, students formed teams via a hustle, and then set to work on ‘growth hacking’ the problem.  In person or via video problems were pitched by:

  • Jim Whalley, South Australian Chief Entrepreneur
  • Danielle Seymour, Global Shapers Hub
  • Allison Nikula, Care App
  • Ben Flink, RAA
  • Rosemary Killip, Business Industry Leader, NZ & Australia
  • Sarah Davies, Foodbank South Australia
  • Mike Ewer, TAFE SA
  • Scott Perry, ROK Solid and JAWS Innovations

Examples of problems were how can we get more young people involved in the local entrepreneurial/innovation ecosystem?  How can/should/could the RAA engage with younger members?  How can more young people afford housing?  How can theft and vandalism on building sites be reduced or eliminated?  How can you let your parents know you’re safe without them having to ring you or text you?  What are the best ways to promote TAFESA and Vocational Education and Training (VET) options to young people and their parents?

Teams created their own branding and marketing with their names covering:

  • Youth Roof Advantage
  • Beyond the Basics
  • Fighting Famine
  • RAA Youth Advantage
  • Security Geezers
  • Guardian Angels
  • Entrepreneur Amateur

After deciding a team name and team leader, each group developed a logo, set up social media channels, built a website and recorded a video/ad that was judged alongside their final pitches on Friday afternoon.  The 5 minute pitches were in front of experienced judges including:

  • Allison Nikula, Care App
  • Greg Pattinson, Foodbank SA
  • Jill Brindley, Brighton Secondary School
  • Mike Ewer, TAFESA
  • Stuart Snyder
  • Robyn Verrall, Bully’s Meat

Judges awarded the top 3 pitches as well as Best video, Best branding and marketing, Most developed solution, Best industry networking, Best team leader and Best product design.

Prizes were an amazing array of experiences and products, for example a Qendy Galaxy tab S2, proteck cover, glass protector and sim value $1300 by Bullys Meats for beat team leader.

Award winners highlighted different team’s strengths and progression over the week:

  • Top pitch – Fighting Famine – Lunch with investor/mentor Robyn Verrall, Bullys Meat – 1 hour with the Executive chef and the general manager of Hilton Adelaide, tour of kitchen and lunch
  • Second place – Security Geezers – Panda & Friends Adelaide Zoo experience
  • Third place – CESIL – Lunch or dinner with Global Shapers Hub – Daniel Conley, Danielle Seymour & members
  • Most developed solution – Beyond the Basics – Meet n greet with Jim Whalley, South Australia’s Chief Entrepreneur
  • Best branding and marketing – Entrepreneur Amateur – Talent dynamics profile (valued at $AU95) for each of the winning team members – a profiling tool that helps them understand where their innate talents lay – strengths /weaknesses and where they will be a best fit in a team or in biz from Rosemary Killip.
  • Best industry networking – RAA Youth Advantage – 1 hour mentoring session with Danielle Seymour and tickets to Southstart 2019
  • Best product design – Guardian Angels – Coffee chat with The Aussie Innovator, Scott Boocock
  • Best video – Youth Roof Foundation – itunes vouchers

Students learnt about the power of social media with a hustle that saw their team’s channels post on Thursday morning over a period of 5-10 minutes gaining the attention of Ministers, MP’s and South Australia’s Chief Entrepreneur.  Social media handles saw local members get in touch and other reply online:

  • Facebook – @johngardnermp @davidpisoniMP @StevenMarshallMP @coreywingardmp @PaulaLuethenKing
  • Instagram – johngardnermp, davidpisonimp, steven_marshallmp, corey_wingard_mp, paulaluethenmp, bossanova1999
  • Twitter – @JohnGardnerMP @DavidPisoniMP @marshall_steven @Corey_Wingard @Member4King @sa_chiefentrep

Speakers touched on different topics over the week including finding problems to solve (Allison Nikula), how to pitch (Scott Perry), Unique Value Proposition, Marketing and Promotion including Social Media (Mike Ewer), Business Models and Revenue; Knowing your Numbers and Metrics – Investor perspective (Stuart Snyder), and Taking your business or idea to the next level and global (Tania Jolley).

And what did the students think of this entrepreneurial education experience?

Been a great experience, we developed people and teamwork skills, met a lot of new people, learned more about what you’d need to do to run a business, and presenters were cool, chill, #relatable18.  Learning about manufacturing from Donald Kay was great and a bit scary for some with the big numbers – it was interesting to know that we could form a business worth a lot of money.

If you’d like to run an immersive real world experience like Bright Tank 18 at your school or organisation please contact Wendy Perry via, thank you.