Teenage entrepreneurs looking for their first big break into startups have the chance to impress Sir Richard Branson, with global fintech Wise bringing its Eurovision-style pitching competition, Wise’s 20 Under 20, to Australia for the first time, up against contestants from the UK and EU.
Now in its fourth year, Wise’s 20 Under 20 competition looks to kickstart the startup journey for young entrepreneurs by helping with financing and mentoring, as well as free international transfers up to A$1.8m.
There’s also a $45,500 (£25,000) prize pool, including a $9,000 self-development prize for an outstanding edtech, greentech, social enterprise or sustainability company.
The 20 winners, chosen from across Australia, Europe and the UK, will also receive mentoring from some of the world’s best entrepreneurs, including Wise co-founder Taavet Hinrikus, Virgin’s Sir Richard Branson and Station F director Roxanne Varza, among others.
Hinrikus said Wise is hoping to find the next up-and-coming business with the potential to become a unicorn.
“A platform such as 20 Under 20 is an excellent way to gather funding, mentoring experience and exposure for small businesses with big futures ahead of them,” he said.
“Young people want to contribute more and more to the future of society as a whole by creating companies. Climate and education issues are being actively addressed and ways are being found to alleviate social bottlenecks.
"It is not easy to start your own business when you are under 20, and we are delighted to be able to make all of us talented and enterprising young people better tomorrow.”
To enter the 20 Under 20 competition, entrepreneurs must be aged between 16 and 19, complete a short questionnaire and record a 45-second video by Monday, 14 June. Details on the competition are available here.