I am so excited to be here with all of you! The entrepreneurial spirit is truly alive and well in Perth.
I am here today because President Obama has made entrepreneurship a key priority for achieving global economic prosperity. He recently announced that the seventh annual Global Entrepreneurship Summit will take place this June in the epicenter of modern innovation: Silicon Valley. Entrepreneurs young and old from across the globe will join President Obama for this important event. It would be great if Perth could send some of their best along as well!
You are here because you represent the next wave in Australian innovation. I have heard all about the amazing ideas that you brought to the first part of the boot camp a few weeks ago. Thank you for your ingenuity and dedication over the last few weeks. And, thank you to our partners – Sam, Matt, and Marcus, and Curtin University – for making this important investment in you.
Never underestimate the power of an idea. Remember, Facebook started in a university dorm room. Now, Mark Zuckerberg is using his billion-dollar company not only to rack up “likes,” but to invest in new technologies, improve education, and build stronger communities. And, he is giving 99% of his Facebook shares (worth $45 billion) to charity.
That is the real power of the entrepreneur. It is not enough just to have an idea. You have to market the idea. You have to get other people excited enough about that idea to invest time and money to make it a reality – this is why learning “the art of the pitch” is so important. If you get it right, you can make your vision real, and when successful, pay it forward.
I want to give a special welcome to one of our guests today – 11-year old Hamish Finlayson, who traveled here from Townsville to compete as a finalist in the OzApp Awards student category. He’s with us as an observer. Hamish has developed a mobile phone app that promotes environmental conservation. Hamish lives with autism, and he also developed a set of online tools to show how autism spectrum disorder (ASD) affects him and his family and to teach people how to better understand ASD.
Every one of you, including Hamish, is using technology to change the world. I am so impressed by what I have heard so far about your ideas. Ideas that will enable people to run more secure elections. Ideas to make social media advertising less expensive and more effective. And, ideas that can lead a revolution in virtual reality platforms. Wow!
And now, I am excited to learn even more about what you have been up to and how you’ll carry out your great ideas. There is truly no limit to what you can achieve!
I’m ready. My fellow esteemed judges – Brad, Greg, Ian, and Remo – are ready.
Let’s get started! Pitch us!