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School Entrepreneur of the Year: Finder and Gen E crown young entrepreneurs for 2023


Finder and youth-led not-for-profit, Generation Entrepreneur, have announced the winners of School Entrepreneur of the Year 2023.

The third School Entrepreneur of the Year competition saw more than 120 students throughout Australia, participate in intensive entrepreneurship workshops. These high school students gained real-world exposure to what's involved in starting their own businesses and competed for the title of School Entrepreneur of the Year.

This past weekend saw the top 4 teams move into the tournament's final round to participate in a weekend-long hackathon at the Finder office in Sydney, working with the Gen E team and Finder mentors to grow and perfect their ideas.

This dedicated weekend preparation led to a pitch presentation to members of Finder's executive leadership team including Finder's co-founder and CEO, Frank Restuccia; CEO of Finder Australia, Chris Ellis; and Finder's Chief People Officer, Alex Hattingh to judge a winner.

The winning team, "All Eats" from Northholm Grammar School in Sydney's northwest, pitched a subscription-based service dedicated to assisting individuals with food allergies by helping users quickly and easily decipher ingredient lists and avoid allergens.

Finalists included teams from Northholm Grammar School, Ravenswood School for Girls and Wesley College Melbourne.

Frank Restuccia, co-founder and CEO of Finder was blown away by the calibre of this year's pitches.

"All Eats hit that sweet spot between positive impact and impressive potential for profitability that tipped them over the edge.

"Just like many of these kids, I met my co-founder, Fred Schebesta, in the classroom at high school – we were 12 years old – so there's no telling where these ideas could take them.

"The camaraderie, tenacity and entrepreneurial spirit of School Entrepreneur of the Year reminded me a lot of what it was like in the early days of Finder. That energy is electric," Restuccia said.

"We're really proud to deliver this program in partnership with Generation Entrepreneur and to see the final results from these kids fills you with hope for the next generation of business leaders."

Currently, business building is not included as part of the compulsory high school curriculum. School Entrepreneur of the Year exists to fill this gap by delivering skills that take kids beyond the classroom into the world of a startup.

Esmond Ye, CEO of Generation Entrepreneur praised this year's tournament participants for their innovative ideas and understanding of customer needs.

"Reflecting on this year's tournament, I'm inspired by the innovation and resilience displayed by our participants. Their ideas addressed pressing issues and showcased a deep understanding of customer needs.

The progress since last year's tournament is commendable, demonstrating the impact of the entire team at Generation Entrepreneur. I'd also like to express my gratitude to our partners at Finder. Their support has been instrumental in making this impact possible. As we look forward to the next tournament, let's continue to innovate and inspire," Ye said.

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

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