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Skilling for Business Success

Building Geelong’s culture of innovation and entrepreneurship

Three initiatives under the banner of Skilling for Business Success aim to ignite innovation in Geelong, raise awareness of entrepreneurship as a viable career pathway for young people in schools and promote innovation with local small and medium enterprises.  The program is delivered by three local business entities: Upstart Challenge, ICT Geelong and G2 Innovation.


  • Inspire the next generation of entrepreneurs from schools
  • Build entrepreneurial capability in Geelong region small and medium enterprises

1. Upstart Entrepreneurial Challenge: 

The Upstart Challenge was launched in 2015 to raise awareness of entrepreneurship as a viable career option for Geelong’s secondary school students. For the first time, workshop sessions were delivered in schools across the region allowing 130 young people to participate in the program, far exceeding original program expectations. The Skilling the Bay funded program runs from May – August with events taking place outside of school hours and culminating in a business industry dinner. It is open to students in Years 7-12 as well as school staff to form teams and enter their big business ideas. For more information please visit the Upstart website.


  • Over 280 participants from Years 7 - 10 over 2 years from the Geelong region
  • Highly professional pitching event for finalists’ big idea at the annual business and industry dinner
  • Finalists mentored by local business leaders to support students’ entrepreneurial aspirations

2. Innovation Forums and Masterclasses (completed in December 2017)

Delivery partner ICT Geelong is working in collaboration with Skilling the Bay to create a culture that motivates and supports entrepreneurship and innovation.  Since 2015, it has done so by presenting a series of high profile Forums and Masterclasses.  These were included as part of the Pivot Summit in 2015 and 2016, along with a single event held in April 2016.


  • The Pivot Summit in 2015 attracted nearly 300 delegates annually with 400 live streams worldwide
  • The Pivot Summit in 2016 attracted 500 delegates and had nearly 4000 unique live streams worldwide.  It trended No. 1 on Twitter for most of the day
  • The April 2016 Forum and Masterclass was attended by 128 people. It featured a speed networking session linking students with local businesses resulting in several internships

3. Destination Entrepreneur Training Program (completed in December 2017)

A formal training program delivered in partnership with G2 Innovation  supports budding entrepreneurs and existing small and medium enterprises to develop the skills needed to grow their businesses. The program offers a series of monthly workshops with high profile guest speakers and extensive on-line resources.


  • 35 small and medium enterprises registered with the program
  • 78 registered participants with 100% retention
  • High quality on-line resources supporting program delivery
  • Over 50 expressions of interest supporting extension of the program

To register your interest or stay informed about the Skilling for Business Success programs and events, please enter your details here:

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Preparing Geelong for the jobs of the future through education, employment and innovation

Our training is delivered with Victorian and Commonwealth Government funding. | Authorised by the Victorian Government, Melbourne.

ABN: 27 241 053 246. | TOID: 3044 | CRICOS Provider No. 00011G | © Gordon Institute of TAFE 2014