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Photo by Sandra Pooch

Burnside Students go to the Ministry of Awesome

Mrs S Pooch —

Forty Year 10 students participated in the Awesome Lab at Bizdojo in town. There will be a second Lab for another forty students in Term 4.

What a fast and fun two days we had at the Burnside Awesome Lab experience!

The experience was hosted at BizDojo, a co-working space in the CBD. We kicked off the workshop with some entrepreneurial mindset and ideation exercises. We talked about the social issues both locally and globally that  students are seeing and learning about. Out of that discussion and brainstorm came several key topics including homelessness, poverty, plastic pollution, high rates of youth depression, mental health issues, and more.

Team creation followed with each team targeting an area they were keen to research and develop a social enterprise around. A highlight was our Spotlight Entrepreneur guest speaker, Margaret Pickering from Stickmen Media, whose company develops video games, apps and websites right there at Biz Dojo. She was a particularly relevant speaker as several of the teams created app-based and website based enterprises.

The students were able to take in Coffee & Jam, the Ministry of Awesome’s weekly networking and inspirational event. They were immersed in the crowd 80 startup and innovation minded ecosystem members, and got to see the Epic Innovation building, also housing much of the innovative and successful tech companies of Christchurch.

In the Awesome Lab experience Burnside students covered:

● Entrepreneurial mindset

● Social enterprise

● Ideation and innovation

● Networking

● The value of mentorship

● Validation and market research

● Pitching

The experience culminated with pitch presentations in front of a panel of experts and entrepreneurs from the ecosystem.

Each team had four minutes to describe the problem they wanted to solve, their innovative solution for it and to back it up with research and validation. It was an amazing finale with all the teams pitching their ideas with professionalism. Recognition for outstanding individual participation was given as well as a prize for the best overall pitch and idea.