Generation Innovation! The 2017 GI Challenge

Local News

A challenge for 15 to 25 year olds to start their own businesses.

The first of its kind anywhere in the world, the GI Challenge connects budding young entrepreneurs with the marketplace in a way never seen before. By throwing together the old and the new, we’re uncovering the next breed of business gurus on the Sunshine Coast.

The 2017 GI Challenge concluded on 21 September 2017 with In The Air being awarded the winner of the 2017 GI Challenge! A huge congratulations to all our budding entrepreneurs and in particular our three finalists:



THREE Caloundra and Kawana mates are putting the “personal” back into personal training with a new fitness App that caters to the individual.

Bostyn Watling, 21, Whetu Austin 24, and Moses Noovao-McGreal, 21, are finalists in Generation Innovation, an initiative founded by Fairfax MP Ted O’Brien to nourish and create entrepreneurs on the Sunshine Coast.

Their App, Fitta X, will offer training and eating plans personalised to each user, helping them achieve their health and fitness goals. 

Unlike many other training programs purchased online which are generic, the boys are developing their App to respond to people’s specific food and exercise needs.

“We looked at all the other Apps out there and none of them are personalised,” said Bostyn. 

“But our App will show your calorie counts, it will tell you how to cook and when to eat, it will take you through your workouts and will also track your progress with workouts.

“We have a team of developers working with us on the prototype, and full development will take about six months.” 

Mr O’Brien, Generation Innovation founder and chairman, congratulated the boys on their idea which combined personal training with smart phone technology. 

“Everyone is on their phones these days and with Fitta X people will be able to have a personal trainer on their phones too,” said Mr O’Brien. 

Fitta X promises to be an affordable way for people to get fit and lose weight with a diet and training program that suits their goals, schedule and eating preferences.” 

Bostyn, who owns a furniture removal business, his cousin Moses, who works in retail and their friend Whetu, a qualified personal trainer, became mates through the Falcons Rugby League club. 

The health buffs, who train regularly at gyms, devised the idea for a personalised fitness App after Whetu bought an expensive online training program he wasn’t happy with.
The generic program cost Whetu $150 and he didn’t stick with it. 

“Our App will only be about $5 a month; that costs as much as a cup of coffee and you can’t put a price on health,” said Bostyn.


Fitta X and Ted O'Brien MP



















In The Air

He may be only 15 years old but Peregian Beach schoolboy Eamon Kriz is soaring above the business crowd with an innovation that combines his three passions. Eamon loves remote control drones, sport and photography and has found a way to bring all three together and make money.

His business, In the Air, uses lightweight drones to film adventure sports that normally necessitate hiring helicopters.

The student of St John’s College, Nambour, is one of three finalists in Generation Innovation, an initiative founded by Fairfax MP Ted O’Brien to nourish and create entrepreneurs on the Sunshine Coast.

Eamon flies the remote-operated machines to video sailing, surfing and mountain biking as well as festivals, weddings and major developments.

Mr O’Brien said Eamon was a prime example of a young entrepreneur using modern technology to pursue his passions and build a unique business.

“Most people can’t afford to hire a film crew and helicopter and film themselves surfing or when they get married but they would have a better chance affording a drone,” said Mr O’Brien.

“Eamon is offering people an affordable alternative and he also puts together a fantastic video that people can enjoy and cherish.”

Eamon, who is also a sailing instructor, said he came up with the idea after filming his brother surfing.

“I have always loved remote control toys and drones and I also like to surf. I started filming my brother surfing and then other people started asking me if I could film them,” said Eamon.

“I started to think, I could actually turn this into a business and do it commercially.

“Many people who do filming from drones are too expensive for pretty much everyone but I am more competitively priced,” he said.

Eamon said Generation Innovation had enabled him to secure a broader license to fly more areas of the Sunshine Coast, giving him another edge over drone competitors.

“I hope one day I can film national sporting events. I’ve already filmed the state sailing event and I’d love to do more like that,” he said.

The Noosa Shire Council, which covers Eamon’s home suburb of Peregian Beach, is a silver sponsor of Generation Innovation.

Noosa mayor Tony Wellington has viewed some of Eamon’s footage and described it as “spectacular”.

“A decade ago, when I was making documentaries on Noosa and Cooloola, the only way to get that sort of footage was by hiring a helicopter.

“How times have changed. I only wish drone technology was available when I was making films. Eamon is at the cutting edge of contemporary filmmaking.”

Cr Wellington said encouraging entrepreneurship was a key aim of Council’s Local Economic Plan.

“Generation Innovation is helping meet this objective by assisting young entrepreneurs launch new business projects. For this reason, Council is very happy to support the program,” said Cr Wellington.

“I congratulate founder and chairman of Generation Innovation, Ted O’Brien who is also the Federal Member for Fairfax.

“Young Peregian Beach entrepreneur Eamon Kriz is also to be commended on the success of his drone photography business, which has quite literally taken off with the help of Generation Innovation.”


In The Air and Ted O'Brien MP


Sunshine Coast Theatre Company

The Sunshine Coast could soon take a dramatic turn as three young theatre lovers pursue their dream of a local performance company and academy.

Marina de Jager, Lachlan Money and Blake Fritz have lifted the curtain on their plan to establish a professional theatre company on the Sunshine Coast.

The Sunshine Coast Theatre Company will provide a platform for local actors who want to pursue their stage and street talent beyond just a hobby.

Marina, Lachlan and Blake are one of three finalists in Generation Innovation, an initiative founded by Fairfax MP Ted O’Brien to nourish and create entrepreneurs on the Sunshine Coast.

Mr O’Brien said many local actors were unable to get mentoring or the chance to perform at a higher level on the Sunshine Coast.

“I commend Marina, Lachlan and Blake for taking on this huge project to ensure our budding performers have somewhere to blossom further,” said Mr O’Brien.

“The Sunshine Coast Theatre Company has a smart strategy to start fast and start small before scaling up over time and, with such talents driving the business, rest assured we’ll one day be enjoying the very highest class of shows here locally performed by Sunshine Coast locals.”

Marina, 25, who is from Coolum and has experience establishing and running performance festivals, said it was time for the dramatic arts to have its turn in the sun.

“A lot of people have expressed interest and are looking forward to seeing this happen,” said Marina.

“It might even happen quicker than we think. We have our first performance booked for November.

“Very much our ultimate goal is to one day have a performing arts academy with people in the industry who are trained and can provide master classes.”

Buderim’s Lachlan, who has a day job as a financial planner, said the trio wanted to inspire more involvement in theatre.

“For many people who want to pursue acting, there are not many opportunities on the Sunshine Coast other than community theatre,” he said.

“We would like Sunshine Coast talent to be able to stay here and get paid.”

Sunshine Coast Theatre Company and Ted O'Brien MP

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