For the fourth consecutive year, the Brilliant Business Kids Festival captured the true essence of innovation and entrepreneurship from students and teachers around the nation on October 15. 


The Brilliant Business Kids Festival 2021

Founder of the festival, serial entrepreneur Jo Burston, founded alongside the late Dr Richard Seymour to deliver entrepreneurial learning in action programs to school students. Disrupting education seemed like the obvious way to deal with a world of work that is full of disruption. Students attending the festival had taken part in the program in 2021 – the Entrepeneur Course teaching our students how to give presentations with weekly modules and case studies!

By learning to see, think, be, and do like an entrepreneur, the students had all created a new business idea and pitched it in a competition locally with their peers. This festival offered the winning students an opportunity to compete with other national finalists in a pitch competition and to meet other young entrepreneurs. The day was also full of engaging and insightful masterclasses, workshops, mini talks and activities to inspire students on their entrepreneurial journeys.

Source: Guildford Grammar School & Great Lakes College

The day began with an Acknowledgement of Country by our MC Leigh Morgan. The Honourable Dr. Geoff Lee MP, Minister for Skills and Tertiary Education then presented an official address to all the students, wishing them good luck for their pitches. Jo Burston kick-started the event with an official welcoming of the attendees, schools, and partners and an insight into the program’s historical impacts. 

Despite a resurging COVID crisis back in July causing schools, businesses and office closures and the disruption of workflow and overall well being, it is amazing to see such resilience and growth in these students. With such tenacity and commitment in creation, hard-work and dedication to their pitches and innovations, shows how far they have come throughout the year all the way to the Brilliant Business Kids Festival 2021 in October. 

117 attendees participated in the 2021 festival thanks to delivery in hybrid mode which allowed easy access for students all over Australia, with attendees logging in from every state in the nation.

“The quality of the pitches and the engagement from the students was awesome.” ​
Lali Wiratunga
National Manager at Westpac Davidson Institute

Event Schedule

1.1 Masterclass: “Startups, Tech and the Future of Learning”

Speaker – Jane Qiu, Co-Founder of Kintell

1.2 Masterclass: “Starting a Business”

Speaker – Lali Wiratunga, National Manager at Westpac Davidson Institute

1.3 Masterclass: “Strategizing for Startups”

Speaker – Steven Maguire, Professor of Strategy, Innovation and Entrepreneurship & Fellow of Multidisciplinary Innovation – The University of Sydney Business School. 


 2.1 Mini-Presentation: “My Experience as a Social Entrepreneur”

Speaker – Catalina Gonzales, Founder of Vivacious

2.2 Mini-Presentation: “Gaining the Confidence to Float your Idea”

Speaker – Marilyn Kearney, Founder of Inspired Advisory

2.3 Mini-Presentation: “3 Tips on Improving Confidence”

Speaker – Connie Heaney, Director at PwC


Our jam-packed festival was filled with speakers on:

> Strategies on businesses and startups
> Combining passion in your work
> Building confidence as a speaker
> Creating prototypes for apps that WOW investors

Speaker Spotlight

National Pitch Competition

Finally ending the day off, we hosted the Brilliant Business Kids’ National Pitch Competition. Schools elected their top 1 or 2 teams to represent their school for the competition. With 10 participating teams from 7 different schools around the country, pitches were nothing short of practical, creative and unique. Our judges listened and evaluated each teams’ pitch to finally determine the best 3 pitches of the competition.

From agricultural apps that are able to help farmers network (farmer’s LinkedIn!) and targeting and killing weeds, to recycling wasted used car tyres, to reducing CO2 emissions and decreasing plastic sea waste, our young entrepreneurs have got all their creative ideas ready to tackle today’s world problems.

The team are grateful for all the support and participation from the schools who have so generously given their time to be a part of this wonderful festival.

    Source: Sea a Clear Future - Milly Walsh, Abbey Briggs, Alira Knight from Great Lakes College

    School Finalists

    The school finalists included:

    • St Philip’s College, NT
    • Katherine High School, NT
    • Guildford Grammar School, WA
    • Great Lakes College, NSW
    • Karoonda Area School, SA
    • St Brendan’s College, QLD
    • Jessie Borg – Mackay

    Pitch Competition Winners!

    Our 1st Prize Winner is Guildford Grammar School with E+G Ag Solutions, followed by St Brendan’s College (Crate Mate) and Great Lakes College (Sea a Clear Future).

    E+G Ag Solutions surprised our judges with a “heartfelt personal story” that showed “real applications for Agriculture business”. Griffin and Elizabeth from Guildford Grammar showed us how struggling farmers can permanently get rid of weeds using their app – the ‘Poisonous Plant Plotter’ which targets weeds using camera and drone technology, helping to pinpoint exactly where weeds are located to be sprayed and removed.

    We would like to thank all the schools for participating and especially the winners of this year’s pitch competition, an amazing effort from all our wonderful pitching teams.

    Thank you to all the attendees for coming to this year’s Brilliant Business Kids Festival 2021.

    Hope to see you in-person next year!