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School Entrepreneur of the Year: Finder and Gen E recognise business leaders of tomorrow


Finder and youth-led not-for-profit, Generation Entrepreneur, have crowned the next wave of business leaders, in the second annual School Entrepreneur of the Year tournament.

This year's tournament saw more than 700 students from 15 schools across Australia, stretching from as far as Sydney to Christmas Island, participate in intensive entrepreneurship workshops in a bid to give high schoolers the tools they need to start their own businesses and compete for the title of School Entrepreneur of the Year.

Over the weekend, 10 teams moved into the final round of the tournament to participate in a weekend-long camp at the Michael Crouch Innovation Centre at UNSW, working with the Gen E team and mentors from Finder and HireUp to refine their ideas.

This hard work culminated in a 6-minute pitch presentation to senior members of Finder's leadership team including Finder's co-founder and CEO, Frank Restuccia; CEO of Finder Australia, Chris Ellis; and Finder's chief of staff, Shirley Liu.

The winning team, "Safety Shadow" from Northholm Grammar School in Sydney's northwest, proposed a small attachable safety device designed for those undertaking extreme sports to detect high-impact falls by alerting emergency contacts of the wearer's location.

Frank Restuccia, co-founder and CEO of Finder encouraged the students to continue on their journey as young entrepreneurs.

"When judging so many high-calibre pitches, the viability of each idea is so key. Safety Shadow demonstrated their ability to identify a problem for a potential customer base and provide them with a practical and marketable solution – they should be very proud."

"In my own journey, I've learned the value of an entrepreneurial mindset. Bringing School Entrepreneur of the Year to life with the Gen E team means we can extend the opportunity of developing important business-building skills to students across Australia," Restuccia said.

Currently, business studies is not compulsory in the mainstream Australian high school curriculum. School Entrepreneur of the Year encourages students to open their minds to the world of business building to provide skills that they can carry beyond high school and into their careers.

Esmond Ye, CEO of Generation Entrepreneur highlighted the need to empower high school students to tackle problems they care about through entrepreneurship.

"School Entrepreneur of the Year allows us to introduce enterprise skills into our classrooms and become the method by which we nurture and develop Australia's next Melanie Perkins or Fred Schebesta."

"I'm grateful for the incredible crew at Finder for coming on this journey with us. The impact we make, together, will go on to change this world, for the better," Ye said.

Do you know the next School Entrepreneur of the Year? Register your interest for next year.

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