Building the Future: Insights from the Future Founders Youth Entrepreneurship Program

The Future Founders program commenced at the start of February with an introductory session led by the program’s facilitator, Natasha Teakle, in which the 10 chosen individuals aged 16-25 initially met one another. During this meeting, the cohort discussed their business ideas, focussing on refining their ‘why’ statement and identifying their ideal customer.


“I loved the community it gives, we’re all in the same boat. I am so grateful”.

 – Future Founder, Skye Gendall.

The group was then joined by Carmel Breman from Frog Jump who presented the Entrepreneurial Mindset Profile (EMP), a survey that examines the skills and capabilities to drive innovation & growth. Each Future Founder received an EMP result at the start and at the end of the program. The personalised outcomes identified the cohorts increase of entrepreneurial skills over the 3-month course.

“When I joined future founders, I was excited to meet like-minded people and learn entrepreneurial skills together. From day one, we began to look into entrepreneurial profiling with Carmel. This was a great tool to understand our own mindsets and how we could improve to benefit our business.”

– Future Founder, Jodi Van Niekerk.

To further foster their entrepreneurial understandings, the cohort attended multiple meetings run by speakers in the innovation industry. The group joined ‘Meet the Entrepreneur’ sessions with Scott Robinson from thebox, Steve Knight from The Art of Comms, and Isabelle Goldfarb and Maria Luque from Drip Investing.

The Future Founders also joined an informative financial talk by Lacey Filipich, business entrepreneur and author of Money School. Various Managers and Leaders of Rio Tinto ran a private Q&A session with a few members of the program, talking about their occupational pathways and offering business advice to the group.

“I thoroughly enjoyed learning about the other member’s ideas, whilst also listening to the speakers who helped us gain valued business insights and knowledge. The talk on Money School by Lacey, the Drip Investing talk by Maria and Isabelle, and the Q&A with Rio Tinto were my favourite learning experiences.”

 – Future Founder, Calista Shreeve.

The program not only helped the Future Founders establish a clear vision of their idea but also provide networking and funding opportunities. The program enabled the connections between young start-up entrepreneurs and long-term industry leaders.

“I received the Zonta Dunsborough-Geographe Dianne Lawrence Youth Entrepreneurship Scholarship. My name was put forward by Tash [Natasha Teakle] from Future Founders.”

– Future Founder, Coralie Sandor.

Following the initial strategy session, each member sat two 1-on-1 meetings with Natasha Teakle, focusing directly on developing an effective pitch and the reality of their business models. Multiple opportunities were also presented for the cohort to engage in 1-on-1 sessions with industry professional who were mentors to their business ideas.

“I really loved learning how to make my business unique through Scott Robinson’s presentation and being put in touch with such an incredible mentor [Tracie Clark]. The process of mentor selection was absolutely spot on and allowed me to create a structurally sound business plan and have the opportunity to be put in touch with possible business partners.”

– Future Founder, Coralie Sandor.

Showcase Event:

The conclusion of the inaugural program was the presentation showcase. Each Future Founder was given the opportunity to present their business pitch to a room full of executives, councillors, and leaders in the community.

Future Founder – Marshall Grosse

Future Founder – Bridie Thompson

Roughly 50 people attended on the evening with VIP’s including the City of Bunbury Mayor, Jaysen Miguel, the City of Busselton Mayor, Phill Cronin, who gave a speech about the City’s involvement and sponsorship, and City of Busselton Councillors, Jarrod Kennedy and Mikayla Love.

We thank the sponsors who were able to attend the showcase, Jimmy Batt (Plico), Tony Fletcher, Pip Kirby, Allison Christou, and Teneille Watson (SWDC), Rob Davis and Stephanie Kirchfofer (South West Angels), and the multiple attendees from the City of Busselton.

“I want to say a massive thank you for everything you [Natasha Teakle], Innovation Cluster and the sponsors have provided through the Future Founder’s program. Without the business-minded conversations and learning, I would’ve missed a lot of different opportunities for my business and for myself to learn and grow”.

– Future Founder, Rohan Stokes.

“This program was so incredible and really pushed me to turn my idea into reality. By the end of the program my core business idea had stayed consistent, however, I was able to re-structure it in a way that would enable growth.”

 – Future Founder, Coralie Sandor.

If you are a young entrepreneur interested in joining the 2025 program, or an organisation who would like to support our regional Future Founders, please register you interest by emailing [email protected].

Future Founders is proudly supported by the Department of Jobs, Tourism, Science and Innovation, City of Busselton, South West Angels, Plico, Rio Tinto, and South West Development Commission.

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