The Gold Coast's best business minds and industry leaders gathered at Bond University for the 2016 Demo Day to support the City's growing start-up culture and learn how entrepreneurship education is being advanced across south-east Queensland.
Hosted by Bond University's Business School as an official event of Global Entrepreneurship Week, Demo Day brings together like-minded individuals to celebrate the innovative work of entrepreneurs and showcase the education programs and initiatives that are available to assist them.
This year's event featured exemplars from primary school, high school, university, community and corporate programs, commemorating entrepreneurs from Club Kidpreneur, Startup Apprentice, Bond Business Accelerator, Gold Coast Startup Weekend, Beach City and River City Labs Accelerator powered by muru-D.
Bond University's Head of Entrepreneurship, Dr Baden U'Ren, said it was important to nurture and support our future entrepreneurs for the benefit of the entire community.
"With so many great initiatives in south-east Queensland, Demo Day is about showcasing these ideas to industry leaders, investors and government representatives to gain support and funding, but also to spread the word about entrepreneurship and further grow the sector," he said.
"In addition, the event shines a spotlight on the need for entrepreneurship education at all levels and ages, and recognises programs that are already available in south-east Queensland, such as Bond Business Accelerator (BBA), Club Kidpreneur and River City Labs.
"There is an abundance of bright ideas out there, but unfortunately many people are lacking the skills needed to turn them into reality.
"For this reason, it is important to develop entrepreneurial and business skills in children from as young as primary school, through education programs, start-up initiatives, social enterprises and support groups.
"By investing in the bright minds of the future, we can ensure the Gold Coast thrives from an innovation-led economy, and Queensland solidifies itself as the 'Start-up State'."
One of the start-ups presented at Demo Day was SiteSee - a company founded by Bond Masters of Business Management student David Crane.
Bond Masters of Business Management student David Crane's company, SiteSee, was presented at Demo Day by brother and co-founder, Lachlan.
Lachlan, a BBA alumnus, said events like Gold Coast Demo Day were crucial to help 'spread the word' about the importance of entrepreneurship for our economy.
"For Australia, innovative entrepreneurs are vital in raising productivity and growing a sustainable and competitive economy by creating opportunities for themselves and others," he said.
"Australia must transition the economy from its reliance on natural resources to innovation, or we risk being left behind in the rapidly accelerating and global competitive digital economy.
"Business incubator and accelerator initiatives like the 'Bond Business Accelerator' program are pivotal in educating and supporting the entrepreneurs of tomorrow, and events like Gold Coast Demo Day serve as an effective means to network and showcase entrepreneurship to the community."
Mr Crane said he would like to see entrepreneurship education added to the school curriculum to ensure the next generation are equipped with the skills needed to thrive in an innovation-led economy.
"South-east Queensland has a number of fantastic programs, mostly at a grassroots level, to educate and support entrepreneurs, but extra government support is needed so more people feel encouraged to take the leap into the start-up space," he said.
"David and I have been lucky to be involved with RCL and BBA, which have been instrumental in developing our skills in the pursuit of an innovative and sustainable business model.
"Thanks to these programs, we have been able to turn our idea into a reality. SiteSee's immediate focus is to prepare for an upcoming presentation at a global tower owner conference in Singapore with 250 C-level executives.
"From this, SiteSee expects to expand our global presence and further validate our value proposition before scaling operations in 2017.
"The support of education programs like BBA assisted us in developing our skills as entrepreneurs and we hope more people will have access to these resources in the future."