The University of Newcastle, Australia

Students challenged to enhance Central Coast wellbeing

Friday, 18 November 2016

Almost two hundred business-minded secondary students have been competing to see who can create the best business model to enhance the health and wellbeing of the Central Coast this week.

Students develop their business ideas at Illuminate:nextgen, Ourimbah campus

The illuminate:nextgen Challenge gives students the opportunity to put their knowledge of business skills to the test by looking at real-world problems in a local context.

The 2016 Challenge is for the Central Coast students to devise a brand new health and wellbeing business that could encourage regular exercise, help with stress and anxiety, or support the benefits of a healthy community, including building stronger families and social connections for their community.

Participants will have to consider their business idea from the ground up, including creating a business plan and concept, as well as ways to market their idea and encourage the community to get involved.

The participants are guided by the challenge creator and 2015 Tasmanian Young Australian of the Year Adam Mostogl, with experts from the University of Newcastle (UON) along with others from the Central Coast business community.

The challenge begins at UON’s Ourimbah Campus on November 14 and runs to November 18, ending with an awards ceremony that evening on campus.

Students attend a series of business information sessions and challenges, including pitches, market research and financial planning. Students will have to create an entire business model and at the end of the week they will make their own trade display.

The students will be judged on how well they display and market their created product, as well as the planning and reasoning behind it. The displays will then stay open for the public, who will be able to vote on the best displays.

Professor Andrew Parfitt, UON’s Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic) said the hands-on nature of the Challenge was an excellent opportunity for students to get a taste of the skills and attributes they will need to build successful futures.

“Providing students with the knowledge and tools they will need to think innovatively and be entrepreneurial in their approach to building the success of their careers.

“With integrated health and small business two of the largest growth employment areas on the Central Coast, the Nextgen Business Team Challenge will give Central Coast students a real, practical insight into what it takes to build a successful business of the future.

“It is an intensive, but highly worthy process. Rather than simply reading about this process, they are going through it step by step themselves, with the students working through the research and processes to create and marketing a successful product or idea.

“We look forward to seeing the ideas the Central Coast Nextgen participants come up with.”

Adam Mostogl of Illuminate Education & Consulting, while being the facilitator and creator of the challenge, is constantly amazed at what the students come up with during the challenge.

“We’ve had over 2,500 students’ across Australia complete challenges like this, so you would think that we are used to the creativity and entrepreneurial capacity of our young people – but every single time they raise the bar even further and impress everyone involved in the challenge – and we cannot wait to see what students from the Central Coast present.

“The way we deliver the program is focused around the vital entrepreneurial skillset that young people need to thrive in the modern world. This will help all students recognise their strengths and develop the skills employers are looking for, that increase engagement in learning and excitingly inspires them to create their own businesses too.”

Students in Year 9 and 10 from schools across the Central Coast are participating in the Challenge.

Principal of Tuggerah Lakes Secondary College, Tumbi Umbi Campus, and representative of the Central Coast Secondary Principals’ Council, Shayne Player, said this was an exciting opportunity for Central Coast students.

“Our students are sure to shine in applying the great collaboration and problem solving skills they are learning through our existing partnership with the University of Newcastle and AVID Australia. Be prepared for some wonderful ‘out of the box’ solutions that will excite your enthusiasm for the world our young people will create.”

The illuminate:nextgen Challenge is supported by the University of Newcastle.

To find out more about Nextgen, visit:

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