The competition, which attracted over 300 expressions of interest from teams of local and international high school students, challenged students to address real-world problems under the categories of community and for-profit entrepreneurship, with 11 teams selected to pitch their ideas to a panel of judges in the final round.
“I am excited to see how the gen[in] participants will continue to grow over the coming months and years and become our future leaders”
The as yet unnamed app to rate homestays, created by international student Jack from St Peter’s Lutheran College, took out the unicorn entrepreneur prize, which recognises an innovative concept that fits outside the community and for-profit categories.
“gen[in] helped provide me with valuable suggestions, build my network and supported my idea to make it evolve,” said Jack.
“I can’t wait to start up my idea to improve the homestay industry.”
Other winners were Indooroopilly State High School’s Maxim and Nitai, who took out the community prize for their app idea, MUSO, to promote local musicians, while Flynn from Brisbane Boys College received the for-profit award, with his kit to help aspiring cricketers develop their skills.
Co-funded under the Queensland government’s International Education and Training Partnership Fund, the challenge aims to develop students’ entrepreneurial mindset and increase collaboration between local and international high school students.
Winners received $4,000 each to develop their concepts further, with three runner-up prizes of $1,000 given as well.
The judging panel said it was difficult to pick the winners.
“Over the many years I have worked with young people on developing innovative ideas,” said Nimrod Klayman, director of UQ Idea Hub.
“I was impressed by the calibre of pitches we saw today and by such young teams. I am excited to see how the gen[in] participants will continue to grow over the coming months and years and become our future leaders.”