Cracking the Technology Code
  • Thursday 31 March 2016

Student finalists in the inaugural Mayor’s Telstra Technology Awards are about to have their innovative skills tested once more as they embark on an entrepreneurial mentoring program run at Spark Bureau from mid-April.

The four-week program will enable youngsters to refine their ideas with the help of some of our region’s sharpest minds with technology start-up business experience.

There’s $20,000 in prizes up for grabs for participants and their schools.

Hackfest 2015 winner Sean Bannister said the council-supported competition was a fantastic gateway to the technology industry for local youngsters.

“The Mayor’s Telstra Technology Awards are a terrific starting point for students in years 10-12 on the Sunshine Coast, many of whom are a stage in their lives where they might be still trying to decide what they’re good at and where their passions are for a future career,” Mr Bannister said.

“Even for youngsters who aren’t lucky enough to be among the winners this year, there are plenty of other great programs and initiatives that can encourage and enable them to open the doorway to the technology industry on the Sunshine Coast.”

CoderDojo Sunshine Coast is one such collaboration that provides free and open learning to young people on how to code, develop websites, apps, programs, games and much more.

The council-supported program will hold the first of nine free coding workshops on Saturday, April 23 at Spark Bureau for youngsters aged seven to 17. Those with minimal coding experience are also encouraged to sign up and support this program by volunteering a couple of hours to help mentor the youth participants.  

Sunshine Coast Council CEO Michael Whittaker said initiative like CoderDojo exemplified the essence of innovative thinking about the future of the Coast economy, as identified in the Regional Economic Development Strategy (REDS).

“Council is very proud to be a supporter of the Mayor’s Telstra Technology Awards, CoderDojo and the upcoming Startup Weekend and Startup Weekend Youth because the future of the region depends on our ability to nurture, create and support the next generation of entrepreneurs,” Mr Whittaker said.

Popular gateway initiatives and programs to the technology industry on the Sunshine Coast include: