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“Big Problems. Big Solutions” – Brad Twynham

If I were to summarise the Venture Makers Innovation Challenge (VMIC) in four words, it would definitely be this. In just one day, I witnessed over 60 students come together from all different disciplines to create innovative ideas from scratch.  

With a collective mission to revolutionise education, VMIC took place last week at the NEW Fairfield Connect Study Hub. As a mentor for the day, I had the privilege to help teams tackle one of the world’s most pressing problems – accessibility and inclusivity in education!  

Photo credit to Studio Eclectic. 

The Challenge Question: "How do we disrupt education to make it more accessible and engaging?"

Photo credit to Studio Eclectic. 

Throughout the intense one-day innovation challenge, Entrepreneur-in-Residence and lead challenge facilitator, Brad Twynham guided the 12 interdisciplinary teams to rapidly ideate solutions to make education more accessible and engaging for all learners. 

From disparities in access to education to the need for lifelong learning solutions, the challenge themes of equity, digital technology, and lifelong learning were at first daunting for many teams. Yet, with Brad’s quote setting the tone for the daywith big problems come big solutions, I was eager to see how these budding entrepreneurs would rise to the occasion. 

Throughout the day teams worked through various interactive-style sessions to go from a problem to a solution. During the defining a problem statement workshop, Brad highlighted the importance of clarity and specificity in addressing complex issues. It was inspiring to see teams working together to apply the teachings of the session to distil their ideas into concise statements, setting the stage for focused problem-solving.  

"It was a lot of fun especially working with new people and coming up with ideas you'd never think of"

In the sessions on developing a value proposition, us mentors went around providing tips and strategies to help teams articulate the unique value of their solutions. We worked collaboratively to refine their value propositions, ensuring they resonated with their target audience and addressed key pain points. A true highlight of the day was watching the face of the students light up with ideas as they understood the needs of their stakeholders and sharpened their ideas.  

 One team, in particular, caught my attention. “STUDY Bank” approached the challenge with a bold vision—a peer-reviewed crowdsourced education resource repository run in collaboration with employers to make education accessible and equitable. It was clear that they understood the magnitude of the problem and were ready to propose a solution of equal measure.  

Throughout the rest of the day, I witnessed the teams grapple with the complexities of the challenge, brainstorming, iterating, and translating their ideas into a pitch. From AI-driven career guidance to government-funded outreach programs, each solution presented addressed the challenge question with creativity and foresight. 

Innovative Solutions: Pioneering Change In Education

After a day of intense brainstorming and collaboration, the penultimate Pitch Showcase was fast approaching. All the students did incredibly well but three teams stood out for their ground-breaking solutions

1st Place


Team Members: Abd El Halim SObh, Cody Plumridge, Isaac Watkins, Levana Okba, Tyler Hawke

This team presented an AI technology called ACID, which analyses students’ characteristics from a young age and guides them towards career paths in which they would thrive. By leveraging artificial intelligence, ACID aims to personalise education and career guidance, ensuring that every student receives tailored support and opportunities.

Runner Up


Team Members: Chi Ly, Ishraq Alim, Monalisa Banda, Rravenaa Ruthra, Simran Prasad

The ACCESS-ED team proposed a government-funded program aimed at bridging the gap between traditional and non-traditional systems of education. By utilising resources to outreach and provide support, ACCESS-ED seeks to ensure equitable access to education for all individuals, regardless of their background or circumstances.

People's Choice Award


Team Members: Daniel Bonatti, Dhimahi Walendra, Michelle Cui, Raynesh Charan, Vidushi Sethi

EDY-BUDDY introduced a digital companion platform designed to personalise educational content for lifelong learners. With EDY-BUDDY, users can access tailored learning materials and resources, ensuring continuous engagement and growth throughout their educational journey.

Looking Ahead: Empowering Future Innovators

As we reflect on the success of the 6th Venture Makers Innovation Challenge, we are reminded of the pivotal role that entrepreneurship education plays in empowering future innovators. Events like these provide students with a platform to develop their entrepreneurial skills, tackle real-world problems, and make a positive impact on society. 

With bright minds and bold ideas from our winning teams and all the challenge participants, the future of learning shines brighter than ever before!  

Stay tuned for more updates and opportunities to foster innovation at Western Sydney University’s Launch Pad. 

A special thanks to Studio Eclectic for the photographs!