Budding Rockstars, “Setting the Stage”
Written by Sam Barthet, Kurt Pace Debono and Mark Anthony Borg.
On the 19th November 2015, we were invited by our Head of School to attend “Budding Rockstars” - a conference organised as part of the Global Entrepreneurship Week. This was a unique event exclusively targeted at Malta’s brightest young minds. Through panels of discussions, presentations and group activities, we were introduced to the exciting world of entrepreneurship and innovation. We were exposed to themes focusing upon what it entails to be an innovator, an inventor and your own boss.
As Ivan Bartolo, CEO, at 6PM holdings plc, Claudine Cassar, Executive Chairman at Alert Group, and Bernard Schembri, founder of Megaspin.com, explained in their discussion panel, “the world of entrepreneurship is a tough one, yet, if you are determined to succeed, it is a very rewarding one.”
We were also exposed to the opportunities available to youths in order to enter the world of entrepreneurship, as surprisingly, “there is no starting age and no former background is necessary, just an innovative idea, and a lot of perseverance." We were told to dream big, and that becoming an entrepeneur is not as easy as it may seem to be. We were told of the many sacrifices and hardships that these incredibly successful entrepeneurs had to face to be where they are today and they encouraged us to do the same since we are the bright future of Malta's economy. Presentations by organisations which provide foundations for entry, namely, The Junior Achievement Young Enterprise and the Malta Information Technology Agency Innovation Hub, were eye opening. An inspiring presentation about how to facilitate these opportunities was also given to us by a panel of students only a few years older than us, two of which were ex-St. Michael Foundation students, and who managed to make an entrepreneurial breakthrough themselves.
In addition, we also participated in group activities with students from all over Malta and Gozo. The most interesting one was facilitated by the Edward Debono Institute and focused upon laying the foundations of lateral thinking, a process of thinking innovatively and ‘outside the box’. A note definitely worth mentioning is that in this group work, the group that Mark Borg formed part of had one of the three highest voted business ideas that was presented to the rest of the students. "Basically, our idea consisted of a hardware device that is made to fit into one's ear that can translate the speakers language to the wearers language in real time, which we reasoned to be very possible to produce considering that the software to make such a product already exists, yet we joined up these components together to make this whole new item," Mark explained.
Our key takeaway from this extraordinary event is one we will cherish; follow your aspirations and persevere even when it seems as though you’ve hit a dead end; stand up after a fall, and you will stand even stronger. No matter what life throws at you, you can still be a “Budding Rockstar”!