Just Start It 2015 Finale

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The Just Start It program of 2015 ended last night with a gala pitch event at Sacred Heart College.

The Just Start It program goes into schools to teach them entrepreneurial skills, inspired by Startup Weekend, aiming to give real skills to schoolkids by mentoring them through setting up a real startup.Judges

I’ve been a mentor for the program since it started, so my viewpoint is biased, but the engagement with the kids really has been amazing and I’ve really seen the program do some good. Seeing that light go on for a group of kids and the realisation that “hey we can actually DO this!” is awesome. This is so important because of the understanding they gain, that they have the option of not just “getting a job” and instead striking out on their own. As a bonus they gain some of the skills they’ll need to do exactly that later in life. Being part of that education has been incredible, and the program has done some incredible education. I fully expect to see some serial entrepreneurs in ten years’ time who credit Just Start It for their inspiration.

Bring on the clownsThe finale was entertaining. Apparently MC’d by actual clowns (I didn’t get this at all), the pitches were great but marred by persistent technical problems. One of the pitches got so messed up by technical problems that they had to repeat it entirely. The ideas were interesting and entertaining, the usual gamut of “let’s help the needy” apps mixed in with some fun ideas and a couple with real potential, and some of the pitches were really well executed. Apparently all ten finalists are going to be taken to market by the Just Start It team, powered by their crowd funding appeals, so we’ll be watching to see how this approach works, and of course wishing everyone involved a great result.

The winner was Getcha, a social app that allows people to take photos of gifts they’d like to receive and share them with their friends and family

graeme speaksSpecial Prize winners were:

Bit Transaction, an escrow transaction provider for bitcoin transactions, reducing transaction risk in bitcoin transactions.

Dear Dad, a service that provides the solution to those awkward conversations between father and daughter.

The Just Start It team will be announcing the crowdfunding appeals as they open, so no doubt you’ll be hearing more from them soon.

For more information on the Just Start IT program, head to their website at http://juststartit.co/