Young entrepreneurs gathered today at Darling Harbour to share success stories, ideas and tips with Macleay College business students.
“No other line of work favours the young like entrepreneurship … it’s all about potential,” said guest speaker Bridget Loudon, founder and CEO of the digital job matching service Expert 360.
“If you’re 21, 22 and conceiving ideas like this – can you imagine what you’ll be able to do in three or four years time?”
Each of the eight experts who presented at the Dockside forum became prominent leaders in their fields before the age of 30.
Whitney Komor, who founded the social mobile app The Best Day, labels herself an “accidental entrepreneur”, explaining how the idea for her multimillion dollar app idea started after she googled: “how to build a website”.
The keynote speaker, Sebastien Eckersley-Maslin, is CEO and founder of the upstart investor site BlueChilli. He relates his sparked entrepreneurial spirit to his 10 years of service as a weapons engineer in the Australian Navy.
“I’ve come from a rather different background from most entrepreneurs,” said Mr Eckersley-Maslin.
“In the Navy I formed a strong love affair for discipline, process, engineering and uniforms. They are some of the things that really characterised the way I built Blue Chilli.”
The motivational event welcomed not only students, but also ambitious Sydneysiders.
Forum attendee Tiana Canterbury is the founder of the children’s fitness program Mini Machines Bootcamp.
She told The Newsroom she had come for new inspiration.
“I’ve studied business but still, at the beginning of any venture you are just bombarded with all the things you have to do … but to come to something like this is just refreshing,” she said.
Ms Canterbury is also working towards a second business that will provide hip hop dance classes to urban Sydney.
“It feels good to relate to like-minded people and know that you are on the right track.”
In the competitive spirit of entrepreneurship, three Macleay students were awarded more than $2000 in prize money for pitching original business ideas to the guest speakers as well as the audience.
Charismatic business student Alex Lee led his group to victory with the idea of a portable charging device called UCharge. The trio were surprised to take home $1200 to invest in their venture when the original $600 prize money was doubled by judge and co-founder of Key Person of Influence Glen Carlson.
The event orchestrator and Head of Business at Macleay College, Dr Jane Hession, closed the forum with a relieved smile to follow a successful day.
“I’m really happy with how the day went, the line of speakers were truly inspirational,” she told The Newsroom.
“I think that everyone took something useful away today, some piece of advice for setting up their business,” she said. – Jessica Ankomah
Click here to read more on BlueChilli hot.
Click here to read more on the elevator debate.
Top photo of guest speakers taken by Rebecca Hopper.