Institute for Future


13 June 2018

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 the photos from the event

Watch a 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:

Jasmin Robertson is the Director of Roza’s Gourmet, an award-winning Brisbane-based business that creates an extensive range of gourmet sauces and dips available in more than 600 stockists Australia-wide, plus in selected international locations.

Noel Whittaker AM is one of the world’s foremost authorities on personal finance. The international best-selling author on finance and investment is also a radio broadcaster, columnist and public speaker.

Stephen Tait is the CEO of Commerce Queensland, a major representative body of Queensland small businesses.

In Cahoots judges

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.” 

Partner organisations supporting In Cahoots include Bank of Queensland, Australasian Interim Executive Association, River City Labs and Data61 from CSIRO.

For more information on Intergeneration Powerhouse and In Cahoots please visit:

Institute for Future Environments
Institute for Future Environments


Institute for Future Environments

  • Phone: 3138 9500
  • Int. phone: +61 7 3138 9500
  • Fax: +61 7 3138 4438
  • Level 6, P Block
    Gardens Point
    2 George St
    Brisbane QLD 4000
  • Postal address:
    Institute for Future Environments
    GPO Box 2434
    Brisbane QLD 4001