Sapphire Coast students pitching above their weight

FRESH ideas thrive in active minds.

And where better to find a few active young minds than at school.

A handful of Sapphire Coast Anglican College students make up the first student team to ever take part in the Entrepreneurs Seachange Startup Camp in Merimbula, the third annual event hosted by IntoIT.

The camp, which runs this Friday and Saturday, takes the best and brightest entrepreneurial minds and has them brainstorm business ideas to be pitched to a Dragons’s Den-style panel.

The ideal outcome is that at least one of the ideas is picked up by the investment-focussed panel members for possible implementation.

The Year 10 SCAC students, led by Ryan Neyle, are hopeful their youthful exuberance shines through when pitching start-up business ideas on Saturday afternoon.

“We’ll be the youngest people there and I think we could confidently put forward ideas that put a dent in traditional thinking,” Ryan said.

“We will show them what we’re made of.”

Ryan studies computers and business at SCAC and is looking towards an IT business major at university.

His fellow team members are also studying high school business and are looking to the weekend for valuable insight and experience in the world of entrepreneurship, IT or otherwise.

On Monday they said they didn’t have one particular business idea in mind to pitch at the camp, but were keeping an open mind and keen to brainstorm on the day.

Ryan acknowledged the help of the Bega Valley’s own new IT initiative, CoWS Near the Coast, the recently opened co-working space (BDN, 4/3)

CoWS coordinator and IntoIT co-founder Liam O’Duibhir said he is “delighted” to have a student team take part in the entrepreneur camp for the first time.

"I've been trying to break through to students for the three years,” he said.

“This could be the watershed moment.

“This is significant in that one of the most highly valued outcomes in growing an entrepreneurial eco-system is offering young people the potential for new and fulfilling career options,” he said.

“And hopefully the chance to build digital economy businesses that will sustain the region. 

“Well done Ryan and crew, we are delighted to have you on board.

“Your fresh perspective on tech, business and ideas will be most welcome.”

Mr O’Duibhir expects around 50 budding entrepreneurs to take part in Friday’s brainstorming session, and he is hoping for around four key business pitches.

On the panel will be people including Anthony Osborne from Sapphire Coast Tourism, Merimbula Chamber of Commerce president Natalie Godward, and venture capitalists Christine Kaine and Mark Englaro. 

Camp-goers will also hear from some of the industry’s key people and success stories, providing insight and possibly inspiration for pursuing their business ideas.

* For more details on the Entrepreneurs Seachange Startup Camp and guest speakers visit

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