We’re bringing together innovators who span generations to solve real-world problems.


Update: After the great success of the In Cahoots one-day pilot workshop, we have created stage 2 of In Cahoots set to launch early 2019. Proud to be an Australian first, In Cahoots calls on QUT students, alumni, the community and corporate partners across generations to solve some of the world’s biggest problems. If you have that entrepreneurial spirit and drive then we want you! Get in early and apply now to stay up to date.


Australia’s first cross-generational entrepreneurship challenge, In Cahoots, connected nine teams to work on some of the planet’s biggest problems at QUT on Monday 11 June.

In Cahoots is the pilot event for QUT’s new Intergeneration Powerhouse initiative, a collaboration between Professor Laurie Buys from QUT’s Institute for Future Environments (IFE) and David Fagan, director of the QUT Foundry. Everald Compton, a long-term advocate for Australian seniors and head of the Longevity Innovation Hub helped steer the project, then participated in one of the winning teams.

See photos from the event

Watch the summary video on QUTube

In Cahoots is a mischievous reference to the collaboration across the generations. Multi-generational teams developed innovative solutions for an issue in one of the following categories; energy and sustainability, food, waste, transport, housing and liveability.

Innovators and entrepreneurs aged from 20 to 87 competed for prizes to the value of $10,000 in cash and business mentoring support. The teams pitched to a judging panel of business experts who represented the three generations at the event:

Some of the business ideas that emerged included:

  • ElderYoung: Creating new housing opportunities by linking older home owners with younger people who contribute through an agreed mix of rent, payment of expenses and household jobs.
  • LoadShare: Transforming unused truck space into a source of revenue by selling it online for a fixed price to businesses requiring smaller loads transported.
  • Validus: Specialised food preparation and delivery for people suffering chronic conditions such as depression and diabetes, to help them improve their health and wellbeing.
  • Rentcompare: An online platform allowing people to compare and rate liveability in new areas.

“In Cahoots is the beginning of a journey, not an end point,” said Professor Laurie Buys from IFE.

“Our objective is to support the teams to develop their concept using QUT expertise and infrastructure and the support of our partners. By facilitating intergenerational teams over the coming months, we aim to build robust foundations for businesses that can last the distance.”

Judging criteria included:
  • Creativity – has the group come up with a fresh approach to finding an opportunity or has it stuck to tried and tested paths?
  • Technology innovation – does the group choose and propose to use appropriate technology that is meaningful to both the business developers and their consumers? Is it fitted for the future?
  • Customer need – has the group satisfied a customer need, have they identified that need and is it scaleable?
  • Execution – has the group dealt in the time available with how their idea could be executed and in what time frame?
  • Business model – is there evidence that there is a business model to support this idea and is it the appropriate business model?
  • Pitch – Has the group been able to engage the judges and other attendees with its idea and its prospects of success?

Proud supporters of In Cahoots:

The In Cahoots multi-generational judging panel