Daily Telegraph: Roy makes innovation policy from lemons
See original article at dailytelegraph.com.au Roy Makes Innovation Policy from Lemons
THE humble, after-school lemonade stand could foster the next generation of Australian entrepreneurs.
THAT is the winning idea from the government's weekend "hackathon", which brought together more than 150 people on Saturday from the tech, business and government fields to workshop future innovation policy.
The simple pitch was offered up by some of the country's brightest minds: Start a national Lemonade Day to create "DICE" kids - digital, innovative, creative and entrepreneurial children. Future footpath proprietors.
At a projected cost of $2 a head, an estimated 180,000 primary school-aged children across the country could experience running their own business through a program supported by government and backed by the corporate sector.
"They need to come up with a marketing strategy, they need to conceptualise the idea," said team leader and G20 youth leader Erin Lynn.
"This is about implanting the seed for them to grow as entrepreneurs.
"It's all there in the (school) curriculum ... we just need to draw it out."
Ms Lynn's idea was one of 10 pitches drummed up in seven hours of policy brainstorming at Sydney start-up incubator BlueChilli.
The lemonade stand concept drew rave responses from the dozens of investors and business leaders in the room as well as the government judging panel.
CSIRO boss Larry Marshall offered to give the idea a platform within the national science body's school program.
"The impact you have when you inspire a child resonates through 40, 50 years when you do it right," Mr Marshall said of the idea.
Assistant Minister for Innovation Wyatt Roy, who dreamt up the idea of a roomful of geeks cranking out policy shortly after coming into the role in September, said changing culture was the hardest challenge to crack for governments.
"I think what we saw was a really practical idea put forward, something that doesn't require the heavy hand of government to make it a reality," Mr Roy told AAP.
"I have no doubt that in the future that the national lemonade stand day will be a big success."
The 10 key policy ideas for improving the country's innovation ecosystem raised at the one-day hackathon ranged from bringing in capital gains tax exemptions for start-up investors to setting up "landing pads" for Australian innovators heading overseas to capital hotspots like San Francisco and Beijing.
The hackathon was Mr Roy's first major initiative to help drive the government's future innovation agenda, expected before the end of the year.