Shark Tank is always a highlight of the DeLorean Project and this year was another to add to the success stories. Based on the Channel 10 concept, it’s an amazing opportunity for our students to face their fears and share their project ideas with a panel of industry representatives and entrepreneurs. This year we had 28 teams pitch their ideas across two separate weeks and three tanks. The outcomes are always incredible and for so many different reasons.
For some teams, they walked away with financial investment for items that will help the project move forward, other teams walked away with mentorship investment by one or more of the sharks, and for other teams, they were connected with business people who can help take the project to the next level. Two of the standout investments/connection were;
- linking a team of car photographers to the Chair of the Sunshine Coast Ferrari Club
- mentorship by a product and prototype designer, a medical product specialist who has direct access to hospitals and an app developer for a student’s medical device concept.
It is always difficult to describe exactly what sort of program the DeLorean Project is. Is it an entrepreneurship program? A skills program? Or a Design Thinking program? To be honest, for every student, the outcome can look different. The one thing we know for sure is that all of our DeLorean students from the past six years have benefited from the opportunity to develop their skills in communication through pitching to authentic audiences. The students are surprised by their own ability to talk to adults and pitch their ideas. And what’s more, these adults are actually interested in their ideas. It turns the tables and levels the playing field for our young adults.
Another interesting realisation for some of our students (especially those that declare early on that DeLorean is not for them because they are not interested in business or entrepreneurship), is that most solutions to problems usually end in a business venture. Even those students who have created works of art and are not explicitly solving a problem, end up exchanging value for value – usually in the common form of currency. When young people experience the moment that other people believe in them and their abilities and ideas, they become engaged and excited. Essentially they are led to feel valued and able to contribute to society. This is a deep need of humans and it encourages a very real sense of identity and belonging. The DeLorean facilitator team considers it an absolute privilege to witness this over and over again in our program and it affirms why we do what we do!
Our list of sharks was very impressive this year with lots of new sharks keen to volunteer their time. This is an indication that word of the program is spreading in the community that DeLorean is a worthwhile endeavour to invest time and energy into. What a huge bonus for our GCC students both now, and in the years to come!
Our sharks for 2021 include:
- Robyn Pulman – Founder of Speak for Impact
- Sonia Goodwin – Co-Founder of Sunny Street
- Neil Waldbaum – Founder of Deep Orange Design (Product Development)
- Leanne Layfield – Ex-manager of Caloundra Chamber of Commerce
- Lachie Smart – Director International Sales Smartline Medical + Keynote Speaker + Pilot
- Angus Warmbath – Career Coaching & Recruiting Specialist
- Sandra Brodie – Head of Business and Growth The Compass Institute
- Bruce Williams – Leadership and Communications coach
- Jennifer Swaine – Marketing, Communications and PR Specialist
- Karina Sharp – Creative Director and Founder at Image Up Club
- Tricia Fallows – Business & Marketing Strategist Shopify
What’s ahead for the teams and their projects you might ask. Well, this is where things get even more exciting. This year, we are encouraging each team/student to commit to a launch date and go live and public with their idea/product/service. Our annual showcase is scheduled for 10 November 2021 and the aim is to have all the projects sharing their concept prior to this date. Students will share either with podcasts or YouTube channels being live and engaging with users, or products being sold and revenue generated on the day. Stay tuned for more to come as we reveal projects and their founders. Save the date and encourage these young people to realise the impact of their ideas to our community and beyond.
You can follow the DeLorean Project on Facebook #thedeloreanproj or check out our website at deloreanproject.com.au to find out more about the program.
Tanya Cullen, DeLorean Project Coordinator