Primary schools battle it out in inaugural Pitch-A-Thon event

Primary schools battle it out in inaugural Pitch-A-Thon event

As part of Startup Gladstone’s EarlyPreneur Program (EPP) students from four local state schools competed in last month’s inaugural Pitch-A-Thon event, with Ambrose State School taking out the Mayor’s Innovation Award.

Competing against teams from Kin Kora State School, Gladstone Central State School and Builyan State School, Ambrose won with their product, The North Keppel Mugga Mugga Drone, designed and coded to remove rubbish from the National Park on North Keppel Island.

Startup Gladstone President Stephen Strachan said the winning team “accomplished their goal, and their presentation was very engaging”.

“The results were very close though, with Kin Kora State School’s The Top Secret Book and Gladstone Central State School’s The Positive Thinkers both receiving Highly Commended Awards,” he said.

Launched in 2018 the EPP, which is aligned with the Australian Curriculum Assessment and Reporting Authority, is Startup Gladstone’s flagship program.

2021 marked the program’s first time that multiple schools came together at a single event under the Pitch-A-Thon.

Each team presented a report based on the product they had made from the business aspects of the EPP, and Stephen said the judges were “very impressed by the efforts of all the students and the quality of their presentations”.

The EarlyPreneur Program, which is supported by ConocoPhillips Australia, as downstream operator of Australia Pacific LNG, Bank of Queensland and Advance Queensland, is designed to support the development of the next generation of techpreneurs.

ConocoPhillips Australia Acting General Manager Government and External Affairs Rob Gibb said innovation begins by thinking outside the box, and developing real world solutions, or needs, in a sustainable way.

“This is essentially what the students from Ambrose have achieved by tackling a global issue with a simple solution,” he said.

“By providing students with platforms to explore ideas, they learn early on what it is to work collaboratively, engineer, implement and market their product.

“That is the value of this program; it’s an opportunity for regional students to understand the global mechanisms of innovation and how one idea can lead to big impacts.”

For more information on the EarlyPreneur Program email projects@startupgladstone.org.au.