Shark Tank kids rise to the eSchool challenge

Four school kids

Winners of the Digital prize, Munchbox team members (l-r) Jake Emmett, Gia Van Zyl, Alyssa Toomey, Robbie Brooks.

Five teams from the State’s secondary schools have been awarded prizes in the Shark Tank eSchool competition for their innovative entrepreneurial ideas.

  1. Santos (STEM) prize
    Aquacy (team name) eliminates the problem of toxic algae blooms in waterways with an ecofriendly, easy to use water tablet. 

    School: Eastern Fleurieu School. Team members: Emily Bouts, Willow Prusa, Colby Reed
    Prize: $1000 cash, $5000 worth of consulting from Moody Crab, and $100 worth of products from Switched on Kids.
  2. Ingenuity (Thinking outside the box) prize
    Skillbot is a free gamified app that equips students with basic life skills in, for example, cooking, finance and basic repairs.
    School: Wilderness College. Team member: Taylor Tran
    Prize: $1000 cash, $5000 worth of digital marketing consultancy from Spruik Digital, and $100 worth of products from Switched on Kids.
  3. Community prize
    Skillsbased provides high school students with practical skills that will help them secure part-time work, through short courses in, for example, barista skills and first aid.
    School: Woodcroft College. Team members: Emily Cronk, Hamish Kerr, Vanessa Mercurio, Scott Rhiannon.
    Prize: $1000 cash, $2500 worth of marketing consultancy with Black Sheep, and $100 worth of products from Switched on Kids.

  4. Environmental prize
    Drop have created new, non-plastic packaging for water bottles which can be recycled into office paper.
    School: Wilderness School. Team members: Summer Bakopanos, George Havana, Sabrina Petrucco, Tayah Wright.
    Prize: $1000 cash, $3000 worth of pitch coaching with Bellr, and $100 worth of products from Switched on Kids

  5. Digital prize
    Munchbox is an app that allows parents to pick healthy, fuss-free packs, ready to go, for their children’s school lunches. The packs get delivered to their door each Sunday for the week ahead. The app tracks what they eat and their calorie intake.
    School: Henley High School. Team members: Robbie Brooks, Jake Emmett, Alyssa Toomey, Gia Van Zyl.
    Prize: $1000 cash, plus $5000 worth of digital consulting with Enabled Solutions, and $100 worth of products from Switched on Kids.

The Shark Tank eSchool, created through a partnership between the University of Adelaide, Sony Pictures Television’s Shark Tank Australia and MIE Lab and supported by the South Australian Department for Education and Santos, is a program that develops entrepreneurial skills in young people.

“The Shark Tank eSchool program will arm secondary students with the ability to create and build their own futures.”Professor Noel Lindsay

Participants in the program developed an innovative solution to a real-world problem, either personal, school, community, industry, or a social issue that they defined and identified needs to be solved. Today they pitched their innovations to a panel of judges and industry specialists.

After completing one semester of tailored entrepreneurial skills training, over 535 Year 10 and 11 students (136 teams) across South Australia competed for a slew of awards at today’s Shark Tank eSchool Venture Showcase.

Professor Noel Lindsay, Pro Vice Chancellor Entrepreneurship and Dean of Business, the University of Adelaide’s Adelaide Business School, highlights the need for the Shark Tank eSchool program: “The importance of entrepreneurship in education is being recognised in building foundational skills for the 21st century and the Shark Tank eSchool program will arm secondary students with the ability to create and build their own futures.”

Managing Director of MIE Lab, Andrew Bensley states: “Traditional jobs are disappearing, paving the way for opportunities in new and different sectors for individuals who need to be highly employable. That is, have skills that allows them to work in a rapidly changing environment. The Shark Tank eSchool program equips students with the right skills to be creative problem solvers so that they are able to adapt to a forever changing employment landscape.”

The program is a train-the-trainer model whereby teachers are taken through a two-day workshop delivered at the University of Adelaide which equips them with the skills, knowledge and confidence to deliver the Shark Tank eSchool program within their own schools. In the process these teachers are also building their own understanding of entrepreneurship and creative and critical problem-solving capacity.

Shark Tank eSchool is one of the projects selected to support five specialist schools which have been established to champion, model and deliver entrepreneurial learning and to build capacity in other schools across the state.

“By supporting our young people to develop an entrepreneurial mindset, we are helping to prepare them for success in whichever career they choose,” says Minister for Education John Gardner.

“Students who successfully develop an entrepreneurial mindset will be well placed to start their own businesses, but importantly they will also be well positioned to contribute value in organisations that employ them, by creatively solving problems and working innovatively to develop new ideas.

“The State Government is delighted to be working with the university sector to promote entrepreneurial education, and I congratulate all the partners involved in making the Shark Tank eSchool project such a success.”

Professor Noel Lindsay says: “The Shark Tank eSchool program will arm secondary students with the ability to create and build their own futures.”

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