Media releases

Start-up bootcamp for teenage entrepreneurs

Published 3 December 2018

Rather than spending their days at the beach this summer holiday, a group of would-be teenage tycoons will be at Start-up Bootcamp developing their entrepreneurial business ideas and creating digital solutions for everyday problems.

Backed by the City of Sydney, Start-up Bootcamp will teach teenage students how to build a real business, connecting them with industry leaders, investors and fellow young entrepreneurs.

As an extension of the flagship Initiate 48 program run by Generation Entrepreneur, the bootcamp will run in January and February. It aims to inspire, nurture and ultimately build high school students into successful entrepreneurs with plans for functioning businesses.

Participants who pitch a successful start-up concept at the end of bootcamp will be invited to take part in a three-month business incubator program. They will work with industry experts from companies such as Westpac, Deloitte and IAG to understand how to build momentum for their start-up business and ensure the frameworks are in place for success.

Lord Mayor Clover Moore said the program gives Sydney’s brightest teenagers the opportunity to develop their business ideas.

“Sydney has developed a global reputation for supporting innovation and we are excited to back a program that will teach these important skills to young people,” the Lord Mayor said.

“We’ve already seen some worthwhile ideas come out of early Initiate 48 programs – everything from teaching teenagers about financial management, to helping high school graduates connect with jobs and career mentors.

“The ideas and opportunities for young entrepreneurs are limitless.”

Generation Entrepreneur is a not-for-profit organisation founded by two high school students in 2014 who wanted to encourage an entrepreneurial spirit among their peers.

For two groups of Sydney Girls High School students, the incubator program has enabled them to bring their business ideas – Common Cents and Munchline – to life. They now have plans to expand their businesses to other schools.

Common Cents, the brainchild of Cherise Hoang, Gillian Cheng, Christina Li and Joyce Wang, came from the group’s realisation that while their first generation immigrant parents had been entrepreneurial and worked hard to provide for their families, the next generation didn’t truly understand the value of money or how to manage it. Common Cents offers a series of immersive workshops and tools that gives high school students financial literacy and skills to set themselves up for moving out of home, buying a house and preparing for their financial future.

Their school colleagues Anna Liang, Brooke Liu, Isabel Fan and Michelle Zhou set up Munchline, an online lunch ordering system that reduces congestion and wait times at the school canteen by enabling students to order food in advance.

The efficiency of the app now means canteen staff can better manage orders and students have more time during lunch hour for other activities.

“Both our businesses address real-life issues for high school students, and it’s been exciting to see them develop from concept to actual businesses,” Isabel Fan said.

“We initially participated in Generation Entrepreneur’s Initiate 48 program, which gave us a taste for entrepreneurial thinking and refining our business models.

“The program gave us all the confidence that you can take an idea and make it a reality if you have the knowledge about how to get a start-up off the ground.”

Jack Leung is a 20-year-old university student and the managing director of Generation Entrepreneur. He says the launch of Start-up Bootcamp will ensure more teenagers are supported and empowered to become entrepreneurs.

“We’re incredibly excited to announce the launch of the Start-up Bootcamp, which will provide an opportunity for students who have business ideas to learn all the entrepreneurial skills necessary to launch their business,” Jack said.

“There is a new generation adapting to technologies that are emerging in the business landscape. We need to empower high school students to do it for themselves and define their own destiny by creating and launching their own businesses.

“We’ve been amazed by the breadth of ideas that our participants have generated, and we feel really proud to see so many of our participants inspired to make their businesses a success.”

To register for the Start-up Bootcamp program, visit

For media inquiries or images, contact the City of Sydney media team.
Phone 0400 331 027 or email

For interviews with Lord Mayor Clover Moore, contact Anusha Muller.
Phone 0408 494 545 or email