Written on the 18 November 2015 by Karen Rickert


THE city's next generation of entrepreneurs is in good hands if Bond University's Gold Coast Demo Day is any indication.

The event showcases how organisations from primary school through to government are mentoring budding business owners to turn their ideas into commercially-viable enterprises.

Bond assistant professor of entrepreneurship Dr Baden U'Ren says Demo Day is a great way to develop the startup culture in the region.

He says entrepreneurship education isn't instantaneous and requires a 'whole-of-community' approach to deliver that type of capability.

"If south-east Queensland is going to become a leader in the global race to deliver entrepreneurs of tomorrow, we need to start thinking about it that way," U'Ren says.

"Demo Day has been a wonderful display of the things that are happening and we need to celebrate and showcase these initiatives, so they can gain momentum and spread through high school, primary school and who knows, maybe even kindergartens.

"There's a real call to action for universities to take the lead and it's up to us to promote that."

Not-for-profit organisation Club Kidpreneur delivers programs to primary schools to teach students how to build their own micro-enterprise and donate the profits to a good cause.

Founded by entrepreneur and educator Creel Price in 2009, the program has fostered 8000 'kidpreneurs' from 500 schools across Australia and raised more than $350,000 for charity.

Former Bond Pathways and Partnerships manager Gemma Alker was recently appointed a general manager at Club Kidpreneur and showcased young students selling coffee plants to raise money for the Animal Welfare League.

Bridging the gap between book-smarts and street-smarts, Startup Apprentice teaches high school students how to start a business with a Silicon Valley edge.

The Mayor's Telstra Technology Awards was also on show, with the second place students from Varsity College sharing their idea to automate the pager system for restaurants using an app called QueueMi.

Kaylene Langford, of StartUp Creative, shared how her dissatisfaction commuting to her corporate job in Brisbane led her to launch her own business incubator and mentoring program.

U'Ren shared an update into the third edition of the Bond Business Accelerator, with program winner Navdeep Pasricha (pictured above right) discussing plans to grow his teen mental health initiative iYouth.

Meanwhile, the River City Labs Accelerator highlighted one of its program participants, Puntaa a social betting app.

Business News Australia's Gold Coast Young Entrepreneur of the Year Jason Ganis (pictured left) capped off the session by sharing an insight into operating a successful business.

The founder of SmartPrint Fleet Management, iFish Finance and Print Security encouraged students to take advantage of modern technology and have a go.

"It's very hard to define an entrepreneur, but I think it's about passion and drive," Ganis says.

"My favourite saying which I use all the time is 'if you do what you've always done, then you get what you've always got'.

"You've got to get outside your comfort zone and strive to achieve."

Bond University's Gold Coast Demo Day was an official event of Global Entrepreneurship Week.


Author: Karen Rickert Connect via: Twitter LinkedIn





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