first responders smlDuring the January school holidays (17, 18, 19 January 2017) Teen Start-up will once again introduce Canberra’s teens to the entrepreneurship process. School students (12-18 year olds) from across Canberra will form teams, work together to come up with an idea for a business or social enterprise and then pitch their concept to a panel of judges.

The theme for the January Teen Start-Up competition is “First Responders”.

Actions taken in the first minutes of an emergency are critical and first responders play a crucial role in everything from natural disasters like floods, fires, earthquakes and cyclones; to criminal acts; pandemic outbreaks; car accidents; chemical spills and even shipwrecks.

Teams will be looking at problems encountered by our first responders in managing emergency situations – the police, paramedics, State Emergency Services, fire brigade and more. They will be challenged to come up with innovative solutions to predicting, managing and avoiding emergency situations.

Teen Start-Up is a program run by Lighthouse Business Innovation Centre, an organisation that supports Canberra researchers, scientists and entrepreneurs to commercialise their ideas.

According to Lighthouse CEO Anna Pino, “Every year, Australian communities are subjected to the damaging impacts of disasters caused by bushfires, floods, and severe storms.

“These impact people, the economy, our infrastructure and the environment and remind us that we have to continue to innovate and improve our resilience to disasters”.

Teen Start-Up focuses on teaching skills that sit across the curriculum content areas such as creativity, critical thinking, communication and collaboration – skills crucial for developing innovators, thought leaders and entrepreneurs.

Close to 40% of today’s jobs won’t exist in the next decade and Teen Start-Up teaches the skills that will allow our young people to live and work successfully in 21st Century in a fun and engaging environment.

Some highlights of the program include:

  • Learning the DRSABCD Action Plan with the team from Aspen Medical - Knowing how to do CPR can and does save lives and each student will have a chance to practice with manikins available.
  • Simulated Emergency Operations Centre exercise with the ACT and NSW Emergency Management Officers to allow them to understand the complexities of Prevention, Preparation, Response and Recovery to a specific hazard.
  • Hands-on technology demonstrations and workshops by iSimulate, Poppin Code, Roslyn Clark photography and YWCA Canberra Clubhouse.
  • Guest speakers from the Canberra Airport, Royal Flying Doctor Service, Lifeline Canberra and the ACT Government.

For more information on Teen Start-Up and to register, please visit


About Lighthouse Business Innovation Centre
Lighthouse has a strong track record of supporting entrepreneurs, researchers and inventers on the path from concept to commercialisation. Since July 2008, Lighthouse has worked with over 990 distinct enterprises and provided group and peer based services to over 3400 enterprises and individuals. For over five years Lighthouse has successfully delivered business advice, education, mentorship and networking opportunities to help these businesses commercialise their ideas and grow their companies. Lighthouse also delivers programs such as the ACT Microcredit Program for the ACT Government. Visit for more information.