Calling all budding innovators
  • Thursday 04 February 2021

The Sunshine Coast Telstra Innovation Awards are back again in 2021 and are now open for entries.

High school students in Years 9 to 12 on the Sunshine Coast are encouraged to get together with their school mates, form a team and start thinking about a great invention, innovative business idea or new technology they’re interested in developing, and submit an entry before April 1, 2021.

The competition, which is delivered by Sunshine Coast Council in partnership with Telstra, brings creative ideas to life, while connecting students with industry mentors to develop their entrepreneurial thinking. 

Plus, there’s $10,000 in prizes on offer, to be shared among first, second and third placing teams.

Mayor Mark Jamieson said the Innovation Awards were a great incentive for young people to further develop their entrepreneurial skills and showcase their talents and ingenuity.

“The awards aim to nurture the knowledge base that exists among young people in our healthy, smart, creative region,” Mayor Jamieson said.

“We are incredibly pleased to be partnering again with Telstra to support schools and the young people in our region through these awards.

“As a community, we are continuing to see the benefits from these types of competitions, with an increase in programs like robotics, entrepreneurship and coding being offered in schools and through extra-curricular activities.

“We know that many of the jobs and careers of the future will be built around science, technology, engineering and mathematics – STEM subjects, so it’s incredibly important to foster these skills in our region.”

Telstra Regional General Manager May Boisen said Telstra was excited to see the awards back again this year and was once again proud to be working with the Sunshine Coast Council, after a year’s break, to bring these awards to life for the fifth time. 

“The past 12 months have brought us all many challenges and has also highlighted just how imperative innovative technology is in keeping us all connected - be it for business, education or personal reasons,” Ms Boisen said.  

“The Sunshine Coast has a strong history of innovation and fostering its talent, encouraging young people to explore new ways of thinking through technology.

“These awards are just one way to continue to encourage students and schools to embrace and be creative with technology.

“The awards offer a wonderful opportunity for students to network, explore and develop their passion for entrepreneurship and gain real life experience, skills and knowledge to prepare them for the next step in their journey in this ever changing world.

“After the hiatus last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we are excited to see what ideas the students of the Sunshine Coast have in store for us.”

One of the key features of the Sunshine Coast Telstra Innovation Awards is an industry-led mentoring program, delivered online via Zoom over four weeks.

The finalist teams will have access to a range of mentors who will help the participants further develop their idea. They will also gain skills in presentation and public speaking in preparation for the Live Pitch and Awards Ceremony.

In 2019, the all-girl team RoboGems from Chancellor State College took out the top prize with their entry of Parki-bit, a wearable device aimed at assisting sufferers of Parkinson’s disease.

For more information and to download entry forms visit:

Key dates:

Tuesday 2 February 2021 – Competition opens

Thursday 1 April 2021, 11:59pm – Competition entries close

Thursday 22 April 2021 – Finalist Teams announced and Phase 2 of the competition begins

Thursday 10 June 2021 11:59pm – Phase Two entries Close

Wednesday 23 June 2021 @ 6pm – Live Pitch and Awards Ceremony at Venue 114