The Mayor’s Telstra Innovation Awards are OPEN for 2024!

Sunshine Coast Council is proud to partner with Telstra and Study Sunshine Coast to deliver the Mayor’s Telstra Innovation Awards 2024.

Lock these dates in your diary! These awards are set to excite and ignite innovation from concept to creation.

Inviting all Year 9 to 12 Sunshine Coast students to participate in the 2024 Mayor’s Telstra Innovation Awards. Students will have the opportunity to create, innovate and collaborate by bringing their creative idea or business solution to life.  There will be over $10,000 in prizes to share in including a personal mentor start-up incubator experience! Plus finalist teams have the opportunity to work with industry mentors and experts to further develop their idea and critical thinking.

“For students with a new idea wishing to learn about business creation and innovation, the Mayor’s Telstra Innovation Awards is the perfect place to meet well-connected people willing to help you. The best part of the MTIA was learning about the processes of design and business while having mentors to guide and answer questions. The MTIA helped me confirm that I want to study in a field that allows me to help, think of, and design innovative solutions to problems.”

Charlie Bidgood, 2023 MTIA Runner Up | SOLBOT

Teams can put their innovation and creativity skills to work by developing a new app, design and engineering project, gaming technology or robotics. The ideas and business solutions are endless. It could be a new idea for transport, health, the environment, the underprivileged, agriculture, sport, events, tourism, cyber security, conservation, construction, manufacturing energy or recreation. It could be the use of existing technology in a new way to solve a community, environmental or business challenge.

Working in up to teams of three students, year 9 to 12 high school students within the Sunshine Coast Council local government area are encouraged to apply when entries open on Tuesday 23rd January 2024.

To learn more about the 2024 Mayor’s Telstra Innovation Awards, watch the videos below or download the Program collateral.

The aims of The Mayor’s Telstra Innovation Awards 2024 are:

  • Nurture the knowledge base that exists among young people in our region
  • Encourage students to be innovative & collaborative by:
    • encouraging teamwork between students;
    • giving students an opportunity to present their ideas and concepts to a wider community audience; and recognising the efforts and achievements of students.
  • Highlight the importance of study in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Maths) fields for the future of the Sunshine Coast – building a knowledge-based economy
  • To encourage innovation and/or solve a current problem
  • Foster a culture of entrepreneurship amongst young people in the region through:
    • connecting students with opportunities such as access to mentors in the business community and other support channels;
    • providing students with valuable experience and knowledge regarding entrepreneurship at a local level; and incentivising students to take risks by making their own decisions to explore different opportunities.

The key details for this year’s awards program are:

  • The competition for the 2024 Mayor’s Telstra Innovation Awards officially opens on 23rd January 2024.
  • The awards are open to students from Years 9 to 12 in teams of up to three. Teams must be from High Schools that are located within the Sunshine Coast Local Government Area.
  • There is no limit to the number of teams that can enter from each school.
  • Phase 1 of the awards commences 23rd January 2024. Teams will have 12 weeks to develop an original innovation, business or technological idea or concept.
  • Entries for Phase 1 of the competition close 11.59pm, 17th April 2024.
  • An evaluation panel will review all entries and shortlist finalist teams who will be announced 22nd April 2024.
  • During Phase 2, teams have a further 7 weeks to develop their original idea or concept. During this phase, students will attend two face to face mentoring sessions where they will have the opportunity to be coached by a range of Entrepreneurs and Industry Experts.
  • Entries for Phase 2 of the competition close at 11.59pm, 5th June 2024.
  • An evaluation panel will review the entries and allocate scores based on the award criteria set out in the terms and conditions.
  • Live pitch and awards ceremony to be held on 20th June 2024, the finalist teams will present their ideas or concepts in a live ‘pitch’ to the evaluation panel. Final scores for this presentation will be allocated and the winner of Mayor’s Telstra Innovation Awards 2024 announced.


The Mayor’s Telstra Innovation Awards are delighted to announce there is over $10,000 in prizes up for grabs for teams and the winning school. 
All of this year’s prizes are proudly sourced from Telstra stores on the Sunshine Coast.

First Prize

Ultimate Ears Megaboom 3 for each student, Apple AirPods with Charging Case for each student, Google Nest Mini each for students, DJI Zero-X ZXM-D200 Drone for use by the school, 3-hours of a personal mentor start-up incubator experience, Certificate for each student, and a School Perpetual Trophy

Second Prize

Ultimate Ears Megaboom 3 for each student, Google Nest Mini each for student, Certificate for each student and a Trophy for each student

Third Prize

Apple AirPods with Charging Case for each student, Google Nest Mini each for student, Certificate for each student and a Trophy for each student

Emerging Entrepreneur Award

3-hours of mentoring & a Trophy


Key Dates

Wednesday 23rd January 2024 (Day 1, Week 1) – Competition opens

Wednesday 17th April 2024, 11:59pm– Phase 1 competition entries close

Monday 22nd April 2024 – Finalist Teams announced and Phase 2 of the competition begins

Wednesday 1st May 2024 – Mentoring session 1

Wednesday 15th May 2024 – Mentoring session 2

Wednesday 5th June 2024, 11:59pm – Phase 2 competition entries close

Thursday 20th June 2024 – Live Pitch and Awards Ceremony (all finalists are required to attend the Live Awards and Pitch Night)


The Mayor’s Telstra Innovation Awards 2024 are proudly brought to you by:

Sunshine Coast Council’s Economic Development Branch is managing these Awards.  This project directly aligns with one of the five critical pathways identified in the Regional Economic Development Strategy (REDS) 2013-2033, namely; Investment in Talent and Skills. The Sunshine Coast Council is committed to achieving the economic, social and environmental goals detailed in the REDS, and this project will be another step towards achieving those goals.

In addition, the Knowledge and Professional Services Industry and Investment Plan further highlights the need for all encompassing digital education and connectivity, as well as focusing on collaboration as a key driver in creating the new knowledge-based economy.

Telstra are a world class technology company and Australia’s largest mobile network, providing users with mobile phones, internet plans and packages, home phones & more. The Sunshine Coast Telstra Innovation Awards builds on Council’s and Telstra’s ambitions for the future and encourages students in our region to start thinking today about the possibilities of tomorrow.

Study Sunshine Coast (SSC), established since 2016, is the official study cluster for the Sunshine Coast region and is supported and funded by Sunshine Coast Council and Trade & Investment Queensland through Study Queensland. SSC plays an important role in supporting the student journey including positioning the Sunshine Coast as a leading Australian study destination for both domestic and international students. SSC also works closely with industry and our education providers to attract, develop and retain talent to support the growth and vision for the region.

Key focus areas:

  • Destination promotion
  • Enhancing the student experience
  • Industry engagement and collaboration to support students

Questions? Get in Touch with Us

For all enquiries related to the Mayor’s Telstra Innovation Awards 2024, please submit via the form and we will respond to your enquiry within 48 hours:

Having trouble submitting?

Email for assistance.

"*" indicates required fields

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

The Latest News from the Mayor’s Telstra Innovation Awards

Be Inspired by Past Mayor’s Telstra Innovation Award Winners