Teams of Northern Beaches’ young people are invited to generate ideas for inventions, apps, new businesses or community services and pitch their idea at Spark Tank!

Young Northern Beaches smarties aged between 8 – 23 who have a great idea can apply for this year’s Spark Tank, with a deadline of August 31. Finalists will then present their ‘pitches’ live at Spark Tank and could win thousands of dollars seed funding plus six weeks of business start-up advice provided by successful entrepreneurs and business consultants.

Running annually since 2019, the business pitch event, similar to the TV show Shark Tank®, is hosted by Share the Spark Inc., an ACNC approved charity based on the Northern Beaches that empowers young people to make life affirming choices. To participate in the event, each team must include at least one person they know who is going through a hard time.

The Spark Tank event will be held live at the Glen Street Theatre in Belrose on Thursday, October 13, to encourage young people to ignite their spark, follow their passion and look out for each other. Simple things like making a call, sharing a project or just being together can make all the difference.

Northern Beaches Council are once again supporting this initiative to develop the entrepreneurial skills of local young people by matching funds raised by the community dollar-for-dollar up to $5,000, with the expected cash prize pool to be over $15,000 this year.

Last year’s event gave away over $20,000 directly to the youth winners and saw the creation of a kids’ podcast, a sustainable upcycling clothing business, a network to bridge the gap between high school and adulthood, a mental health surf-focused program for young people, and an environmental education hub for schools. The winners had this to say:

“It’s made me more confident and a better person” says Luke (9), from Radio KBTO.

Joe and Beth, who founded the Wasted Potential clothing line, shared how they leveraged their win: “Our mentor helped us believe in ourselves, and with the prize money we made a business trip to Europe to source clothing. Thank you again for the amazing opportunity.”

“I recommend anyone with an idea to just jump on board and see what happens. You never know what doors are going to open, it’s important to grasp opportunities” says Nathan, author of Uncle Nathan’s blog.

“We are very grateful for Council’s continued support and for RELAX and The Officient who will bring their professional expertise to the teams, playing an integral part in their success,” said Kimberly Clouthier, Director of Share the Spark. “We are excited to be able to host the event live again this year and look forward to giving our Northern Beaches youth with entrepreneurial spirit a chance to shine.”

The Officient, a digital marketing agency, is a sponsor of the event and will help prepare the young teams to make professional pitches ahead of the event. They will also be running a special award workshop for the winning teams providing them with tips to start their own business.

RELAX, the creative agency helping brands grow by creating packaging, is offering professional branding packages to two Spark Tank finalist teams where the young people will be treated just like regular clients and be taken through the entire branding process, step by step to develop and create their own logo.

If you are a young person between the age of 8 – 23 and have a big idea you want to get off the ground, there is still time to gather your team and submit your entry to the Spark Tank Event on their website at https://sharethespark.org.au/spark-tank-event Deadline for submissions is August 31.

If you would like to show your support for and watch local young people pitch their ideas and cheer on your favourites at this live event at Glenn Street Theatre on October 13, reserve your ticket by clicking here.

 

Who Is Share the Spark Inc?

Spark Tank is a yearly event produced by Share the Spark Inc. that helps raise awareness for this Northern Beaches youth suicide prevention charity.

“There is no cure for suicide,” said Kimberly, “that is why we focus on prevention, and the earlier the better. The time to prevent diabetes or cancer is when you are still healthy; by exercising, eating well and keeping your stress levels low. The same holds true for suicide prevention. We want to help young people stay positive and inspired so they keep making life affirming choices and have the resilience and support they need when challenging times come.”

As part of Spark’s early prevention plan, Share the Spark provides free ongoing occupation based mentoring programs that match young people up with professionals, usually in their work environment. Any young person between the ages of 8 – 23, who feel they would benefit by spending time with someone who is passionate about what they do, can sign up anytime on the Spark website to participate.

Share the Spark is also always welcoming new mentors so young people can have a large variety of professions to explore. Mentors must be passionate about what they do and excited to share that spark with a young person. All mentors pass a working with children check and attend three training workshops, one on youth communication, one on suicide prevention and one on mentor tools, plus there are ongoing workshops on specific areas, all free of charge. “Simply by going through our mentor training you are doing a lot to help prevent suicide”, Kimberly said, “you will know what to look for, how to talk about suicide and what to do, not just for young people but for anyone in your life.”

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