Build Your Innovation-ready Future with Startup Year at Western... more

HomeBlogEducationLaunch PadSustainabilityVenture MakersWestern SydneyBe Bold and Accelerate to Net Zero – a Student’s Perspective

Be Bold and Accelerate to Net Zero – a Student’s Perspective

"How do we stop the climate crisis by accelerating to a net zero carbon economy?"

A puzzling question I and 68 other bright-eyed students were tasked with the goal of answering at the Launch Pad Venture Makers Innovation Challenge on 15 September 2022. At first, I had no idea where to start in answering such a mammoth question. I recall wondering what insight a third-year medical science student could contribute to a matter so outside my depth. However, much to my surprise, I did it!

We kicked off the day with a bubbly welcome by entrepreneur and host for the challenge, Brad Twynham. Following the introduction, we participated in an ice-breaker challenge. In a room full of unfamiliar faces, the ice-breaker helped to calm the nervous energy buzzing in the room. After we were all acquainted, we divided into interdisciplinary teams that comprised of domestic and overseas students from Vietnam. In our teams we explored innovative solutions to the climate crisis that could aid society in accelerating to a net zero carbon economy. We were encouraged to focus on driving acceleration in a ‘key’ theme area such as; the uptake of clean energy through innovations such as micro-grids, optimising electrification of mobility, and driving increased energy efficiency to reduce carbon emissions.

We were encouraged to be BOLD in our ideas. To think BIG and 'step into the unknown' because this is the impetus for innovation and consequently change.

Intense team brainstorming sessions were broken up with informative training sessions ran by leading experts in the startup area. One of particular interest to me was the ‘Conceptual Design’ session ran by venture capitalist and entrepreneur, Jamie Pride. From plan to prototype, and then to product, Jamie walked us through the fundamental steps required to build a valuable and viable product. His tips and tricks were useful in developing our team’s final product, ‘SmartCrate Sensors’.

Our ‘SmartCrate Sensors’ are retrofittable sensor devices that collect data regarding the condition of food products such as; spoilage, contaminants, temperature, location and more. From farm to the consumer, our ‘SmartCrate System’ will maximise the quality of food all while reducing food waste on a wholesale scale.

At the end of the day, all teams braced as we participated in a Pitch Competition to present our innovative solutions to the rest of the teams. The fear of public speaking is something shared among 92% of the Australian population and a fear that I felt immensely. As I mustered up the courage to go on stage and speak, I kept in mind an insightful quote I heard during the Non-Verbal Communication session.

It's not about the words we speak, rather the way we speak them. 

If you had asked at the beginning of the day what I expected from the challenge, it truthfully would not have been much. However, not only did I work in a multidisciplinary team to form an innovation solution to a complex question, but I also overcame my biggest fear - public speaking. In retrospect as I reflect on the day, I learnt invaluable lessons about how to think outside of the box and most importantly, how to be bold. 

Be bold and join the next Venture Maker's Innovation Challenge. 

Stay tuned for more information about the next challenge and other exciting events and programs at Launch Pad!

Check out the Venture Makers Innovation Challenge photo album to see more photos of the day!