It has been a busy few weeks for our judges as they review all of the fantastic applications that were submitted by our various alumni for the #LaureateAUAlumniGrant 2016.
From raising awareness of the plight of refugees, through to a studio space dedicated to helping small businesses bring their creative and marketing material to life, we’ve been amazed by the diversity of the projects. And, put simply, we’re thrilled to witness the continued drive of our alumni and their passion for innovation, social good and making the world a better place.
The following four finalists will each be awarded $2,000 and also have the opportunity to travel to Sydney and pitch for a further $8,000 on 23 November. The recipient of the $8,000 will be named the overall, 2016 Laureate Australia Alumni Grant Entrepreneur.
A big thank you to everyone who took the time to apply. It was always going to be a tough decision, but we are excited to announce that the four finalists are…
1. BUSINESS FINALIST
Peter Olds graduated with an MBA from Chifley Business School at Torrens University Australia. Peter has set up a local community verge rejuvenation project that encourages people to take back neglected urban spaces, namely verges, and plant local endemic native species. Already popular in Western Australia, he’d like to raise awareness of the project nationwide.
Our business vertical committee thinks he’s on the verge of something wonderful! “His project is really something quite unique that goes beyond the bounds of products. His community initiative could really create an environmentally-focused society and work well in many different locations around the country”.
2. BUSINESS FINALIST
Amber Boyers is a graduate of APM College of Business and Communication at Torrens University. Amber is passionate about connecting people, who don’t usually consider the sustainability of their purchases, with her own sustainable business, BAIIA, offering fashion and lifestyle items with a transparent supply chain. From recycled to regenerated fabrics and fair-wage seamstresses, Amber would like to put the grant towards start-up costs for the business.
When the vertical committee considered Amber’s idea, they said: “this project looks like a scalable relationship, with a very keen eye on future issues such as sustainability and waste.”
3. HEALTH FINALIST
Trent Wrightson is a naturopathy graduate from the Southern School of Natural Therapies. Trent and five other SSNT graduates have recently partnered with Hands on Health Australia and the Minajalku Aboriginal Healing Centre and are in the process of launching a naturopathic clinic that would service marginalised and disadvantaged communities.
“There was clearly one winner that met all of our criteria” explained the health vertical committee, “and that was the application submitted by Trent Wrightson and his team. We look forward to seeing how the grant is put to good use and how they go with the final judging process”.
4. DESIGN FINALIST
Tristan Klein graduated from Billy Blue College of Design. He intends to put the grant money towards the development of an animation called ‘The Wall’, a story about the plight of refugees that he hopes will ‘inspire change and challenge limiting beliefs’.
The design vertical committee felt that Tristan’s application “tackles an important and contemporary issue that is possibly one of the most important issues of our time: Here for good”.
When Tristan discovered that he was a finalist, he said: ”I’m so excited and humbled to be one of the finalists. With $2000 to begin taking my project to the next level, i feel incredibly lucky. I’m a little bit nervous about the big pitch, but should be a lot of fun and a great learning experience!”
Unfortunately, we didn’t receive any grant applications from our hospitality alumni this year. So, get your thinking caps on for next year, because we’d love to support our hospitality alumni in their social-good ventures and projects.
In the absence of a hospitality application, a fourth finalist was chosen from the other verticals and the outcome was a second finalist from the business vertical.
The four finalists will receive mentoring support to help prepare them for their pitch to our executive judging panel in Sydney on Thursday 23 November.
The overall, 2016 Laureate Australia Alumni Grant Entrepreneur, will be announced at a Finalists’ Dinner at William Blue Dining on Friday 25 November.
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