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A student presenting at Genesis

Disruptors dominate premier entrepreneurship competition final

9 May 2019
Genesis pitch fest to select first semester winners
"Disruptors" in fields ranging from architecture to education have made it through to the finals of the first University of Sydney’s Genesis Innovation Competition for 2019.

Just days out from the crucial 2019 Federal Election a Sydney based enterprise is offering politicians and lobbyists a comprehensive database and politically oriented mapping services that could mean the difference between winning and losing.

The software firm, called Advoc8, is one of eight finalists in the Genesis competition. 

Advoc8 will be competing against promising startups such as Stickstone, an online provider of customised home designs; LegalQuest, which narrows the gap between the legal profession and the general public; and Paper Pens Co., which is creating eco-sustainable alternatives to everyday office products.

With the sector "ripe for disruption," education-related innovations - from virtual reality Japanese lessons to online maths coaching and a program that assist students with selective school enrolment - are also amongst the finalists. 

Virtual Nihongo is a virtual reality platform which teaches Japanese using a "task-based learning experiences that introduce, explore and evaluate" aspects of the language while providing insights into the Japanese culture and social conventions.

Treena is an online platform which helps high school teachers to teach math in an engaging and interactive way, while 300 Selective provides "a brand new way of tackling Selective School preparation."

"300 Selective is based on an online quizzing engine that takes the user's responses, analyses them instantly, allows unlimited revision and provides expert coaching," said Alex Carpenter, who manages the Genesis program.

The current focus on education reflects the rapid growth in the sector which is ripe for technological disruption. These startups are leading that disruption and will ultimately benefit people's lives.
Professor Leanne Cutcher

Now in its 11th year, Genesis exists to provide students, University staff and alumni with the skills to be "innovative and creative problem solvers with an ability to launch successful enterprise," says Professor Cutcher. 

Since 2008, Genesis has given more than a thousand participants access to masterclasses, mentoring and networking opportunities with established entrepreneurs and industry experts.

Genesis holds two entrepreneurship competition each year. 

"Teams are guided through their own bespoke entrepreneurial journey, receiving support at every step," said Alex Carpenter. "Select teams present their ideas at our Final Pitch Night, where judges award $25,000 cash."

Genesis is a part of the University of Sydney Business School's Discipline of Strategy, Innovation and Entrepreneurship, headed by Professor Leanne Cutcher.

"Innovation and entrepreneurship are critical to the economic life of Australia, particularly since the end of the resources boom," said Professor Cutcher. "Programs like Genesis prepare students, staff and alumni for success in a dynamic economic environment."

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