Have you ever thought what it would be like to develop your own innovative solution to a real-world problem, and expose your idea to feedback from a group of experts, academics, business owners and the general public – all within two months of starting the process?

On Friday 15 September, 11 Year 10 and 11 students did just that, introducing their business ideas to the public at the Adelaide Convention Centre as part of the University of Adelaide’s eChallenge.

The student-developed business ideas addressed relevant issues experienced by millions of people on a daily basis, and include creative lighting solutions for students in third world countries, the next generation of home batteries and utilising machine learning and neural networks to improve the quality and efficiency of news consumption. Throughout the night, the students discussed their ideas with the general public, experts in various fields, and other business owners. The prospect of holding a conversation about their idea with various strangers created a lot of nerves before the event, but to their credit, the boys involved held their own throughout the night, impressing potential customers with the level of thought behind the business ideas and their friendly and confident demeanor.

Votes were cast by attendees on the evening for a $500 people’s choice award, “ShowNow”, the innovative news consumption featuring Tom G, David Q, Edward E and James D came runners-up by only one vote. Their marketing ideas on the night were outstanding, with Tom G putting in a huge effort in setting up a snapchat geo-filter, laser-cutting an amazing sign and creating what were some incredibly innovative business cards.

The Australian eChallenge continues into October, and will wind up with a final presentation and pitch to a panel of judges. This panel will decide on the final standings, which could result in our teams claiming a share in a $19,000 prize pool.

These enterprising students have dedicated a lot of time to their participation in the eChallenge, demonstrating plenty of drive and enthusiasm. They are to be congratulated for the way in which they have conducted themselves throughout the program, which was the subject of many conversations on the night. It will be exciting to see how these young men and their exciting business ideas continue to grow and improve over the coming months.

Jeremy Borgas
Teacher – Senior School