New award helps Australia boost youth innovation

by Amber Dermoudy

We all know that the role of innovation in Australia is becoming more and more important as traditional industries slow down. Part of helping foster the digital ecosystem is to encourage our bright young minds and provide opportunities for them to get innovative ideas off the ground.

Unfortunately, however, there is very little available to actually support young innovators bring life to these ideas. Not just in terms of funding, but most importantly, mentorship.

Melbourne seems to be one city, though, which is focusing on growing its support for the start-up scene, particularly for young people. The investment is seeing new incubator programs, mentor groups as well as a new award which is providing young people with the chance to access funding and mentorship from leading entrepreneurs.

Part of the iAwards, the inaugural Hills Young Innovator of the Year Award is providing under 25 years olds with up to $15k in funding and support from entrepreneurs Danielle Fletcher (co-founder of online mentoring service PropellHer), Priyanka Rao (Head of Luxmy Furniture) and Antony Gaddie (CEO of Green Ant Marketing). Most importantly, the award program gives finalists the opportunity to get in front of sought after employers and investors during the pitch contest.

Opportunities like this award and other support programs not only encourage innovation amongst young people wanting to start their own business, but it’s also fostering innovation amongst youth within established companies.

We need better ways of working and learning to help our economy grow and to do that we must encourage our youth to look at how to do things smarter, but also identify and recognise this next generation of innovators. By fostering Australian creativity, talent and ingenuity for our best, brightest and youngest ICT innovators, we can help grow the technology sector and drive Australia’s digital future.

Submissions for the Hills Young Innovator of the Year Award close on Friday, 1 August 2014. To enter click here

by Amber Dermoudy

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