Gunkies app finalist for WA Innovation Awards

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Gunkies app finalist for WA Innovation Awards

Bunbury Cathedral Grammar School students Joanna Otter and Lily Roberts drew inspiration from their classmates’ interest in op shopping to develop the “Gunkies App” – an app for garage sale junkies. 

Two Year 10 students learnt first-hand the amount of hard work and planning that goes into starting a business when they developed an app as part of their business studies, but it has paid off after being named finalists in the WA Innovation Awards.

The pair said the app makes it easier for people to find garage sales by creating a map with the fastest route, which even includes coffee vans along the way.

“The app shows you what garage sales are happening in a certain area. It connects buyers and sellers by allowing the buyer to ask the seller questions,” Miss Otter said.

This was part of the students’ involvement in Just Start It, an 18-week programme teaching students how to create a technology start up, similar to the popular television show Shark Tank. The girls pitched their “Gunkies App” at the state finals on Saturday, 29 July.

Miss Roberts said there were a lot of good ideas from other students at the state finals and some apps were quite advanced, but noted the pair’s public speaking skills was definitely an advantage.

“We had presentations every week in class to prepare us for the finals, which made us less nervous,” Miss Roberts said.

“[At the state finals], so many other students come up to us saying our app was a great idea and they would use it, especially the girls.”

“It really opened our eyes to the amount of work that goes into business planning. It’s not all about having a passionate idea or doing the creative stuff, but the numbers and research you do is also really important.”

The pair received mentorship from David Byatt, marketing director of Moshi Moshi Marketing, to provide guidance on the business aspects as well as the pitch.

Despite not progressing to the finals in Melbourne, the girls want to the app to “keep going”.

“We will continue doing market research… We would like to get more people onboard and try to get some investment for the app,” Miss Roberts said.

The WA Innovation Awards will be held in November and “Gunkies” will be in the running to win $5000.