Young Innovators - Northern Rivers
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Join the Young Innovators Challenge for your chance to bring a big idea to life

and compete for your share of $10,500 in prize money.

Attend the YIC Bootcamp

9am-4pm, Saturday. 7 September 2019
Enterprise Lab, Southern Cross University Lismore

We believe that young people have bright ideas and innovate solutions that can tackle challenges, shape the future, and be the leaders and founders of tomorrow.


There are more than 31,000 young people in the Northern Rivers region. That’s a lot of good ideas.


Young Innovators Challenge is a launch pad for young people in the Northern Rivers, aged 15 to 25, to take their ideas from dream to a reality. Throughout the challenge, Young Innovators will be supported with the tools, resources and advice they need to start on their innovation journey.


If you’re an innovator, thinker, maker, dreamer, or doer, we want you to register to be part of this exciting new challenge.


So, what are you waiting for?

Don’t have an idea? Don’t worry.

Simply register your interest, you can join a team, or and start dreaming up your big, bold idea today!

Step 2. Check out the Entrepreneurial Toolkit

Step 3. Attend a Bootcamp in your local area

Step 4. Upload your Pitch submission

Due Midnight Sunday 27 Oct. 2019

Step 5. Celebration event and Winner announcement

November 2019


Young Innovators Challenge is open to NSW Northern Rivers youth aged between 15-25 years of age from the following seven Local Government Areas: Tweed Shire,  Richmond Valley, Clarence Valley, Ballina Shire, Lismore Shire, Byron Shire, Kyogle Shire.


There are no barriers to entering the Young Innovators Challenge Northern Rivers. Simply check your eligibility, register your interest and start dreaming up your big, bold idea!


You can enter as an individual or in a team of up to four people. If you’re under 18 years of age, we just need a parent or guardians’ consent. You can register their details via the form.


By registering, you’ll receive ongoing updates and exclusive resources. You can get started now, by having a look through our Young Innovators Entrepreneurial Toolkit. It’s designed to help you learn the fundamentals of entrepreneurship and accelerate your success.

You’re not alone on this journey.

We’ll be hosting a one-day Startup Bootcamp in each region to provide all our Young Innovators with hands-on learning and support to develop your idea. During the Bootcamp our expert facilitators will guide you through the process of mapping your business model, mentors will give feedback and provide real-world insights, and you’ll learn how to pitch your idea in a way that inspires and motivate others to share your vision.


As part of your final submission, you’ll be required to produce a three-minute (max. length) video Pitch Submission that will be submitted via our online portal. The Pitch Submission will need to be captivating and convincing to get the judges attention, so make sure you don’t miss the Bootcamp.


Welcome to the Young Innovators Entrepreneurial Toolkit! You can get started by accessing the toolkit to help you learn the fundamentals of entrepreneurship and accelerate your success.

A business model is a plan that illustrates how your business will operate – it will cover things like your customers, your revenue streams, your key partners, and how you’ll get your product or service in front of people....

What is an entrepreneur? There are many types of entrepreneurs – some work in tech, others work in environment, and others work on making the world a better place – but what connects them is their drive to solve a problem through developing an entrepreneurial solution. ...

Simon Sinek is a British-American author and organisational consultant, and he reckons that “People don’t buy what you do – they buy why you do it!” We think he’s pretty spot on! You have to care about what you’re doing and why you’re doing it....

The Lean Startup Methodology, developed by entrepreneur Eric Ries, a pattern of learning where you rapidly develop a product or service, measure its success, and learn for the next round of iterations or development. ...

Personas Imagine you have your product or service ready to go, but you discover that no one wants to pay for it. Crazy, you say? Unfortunately, this happens to lots......

Have you ever heard of an elevator pitch? It’s the term people use when they’re talking about communicating their idea to someone in a short amount of time – about the same amount of time that it takes to ride an elevator. When you think about it, that’s not a lot!...


Young Innovators Northern Rivers is an initiative developed by a Northern Rivers regional collaboration of partners (a collective of government, industry, education and community leaders) who are dedicated to supporting youth in the region to reach their entrepreneurial and employment potential through transformational learning experiences.


We all know the future is going to look very different, and the world of work is rapidly changing. Young people are ambitious, creative and capable. But are we doing enough in the region to empower young people to fully utilise their time, talent and ideas into new and improved approaches to problems and opportunities?


Young Innovators Northern Rivers is all about backing the next generation of young people who are going to rethink, reimagine and reshape the future of our backyard. We’re co-designing initiatives that put young people at the centre and provide opportunities for them to build their enterprise and leadership skills, develop networks, foster purpose, and equip them for the future.


The basis for Young Innovators Northern Rivers came from the Northern Rivers Thinking Differently Summit held in November 2018.  The Summit brought together over 140 business leaders from across the region to address one of our greatest challenges – creating a 21stCentury workforce that will deliver productivity and innovation for businesses to thrive and create opportunities for stronger youth employment.  As one of the key Summit outcomes participating business leaders and program partners contributed towards the development of a Northern Rivers Young Entrepreneurs Fund which is the fund underpinning the Young Innovators Challenge.


Young Innovators Northern Rivers is a collaborative project between various stakeholders across the Northern Rivers region. For more information on the project or to get involved, please use the contact form.