Success stories: What drives talented teenagers to achieve

Photo: Chris Hillary

Photo: Chris Hillary

Morgan Hipworth is living proof of the fierce entrepreneurial spirit of Generation Z.

For Hipworth, the humble doughnut represents the life’s endless possibilities. The 17-year-old has created more than 2000 Instagram-friendly varieties of the sweet treat for his Windsor cafe, Bistro Morgan.

Currently, his favourite is a doughnut called The Cookie Monster. “It’s filled with cake batter, then it’s got white chocolate, Oreo chunks, some colourful sprinkles and confetti, and cookies and cream chocolate,” he says.

This week, the year 12 student fronted five of Australia’s savviest investors when he appeared on the new season premiere of Channel Ten’s Shark Tank (Tuesdays, 8.30pm). He asked them to make a $200,000 investment in return for a 20 per cent stake in his burgeoning business.

“Wanting to go sort of full time into the business and not necessarily having a full-on plan of where I wanted to go, I thought it’d be cool to get that expertise,” he says.

“It wasn’t, for me, necessarily about the money. It’s never been. It’s just about doing what you love.

“I thought being able to get that experience and expertise with someone who’s done it all before would be really, really valuable.”

Hipworth received four offers, three of them from Boost Juice founder Janine Allis, but declined them all. At the end of the negotiations, Allis agreed to mentor Hipworth without payment.

“It was an awesome outcome and I’ve had a couple of meetings with Janine since,” he says. “I didn’t really want to give away more than 20 per cent of my business because I’ve worked so hard for it.

“She’s a really great businesswoman, so it was awesome to make that connection. Who knows what could happen down the track?”

Hipworth was just 13 he began wholesaling doughnuts to a local cafe and at 15, opened his very own cafe in Windsor.

“I went into business at a young age because I was really passionate about food and cooking,” he says. “Bistro Morgan is going great, as expected from our forecast of where we should be. It definitely keeps me busy in between school and life.”

And if at times the demands of running a business and completing VCE are stressful, Hipworth says he uses it as a source of motivation. “There’s so many things that motivate me, but I think one of the main things is the constant challenges that come along with running your own business. It motivates me every day to do better than the previous.”

Inspiring. Overachievers. Future stars. Call them what you like, but promising up-and-comers like Hipworth have the world at their feet. Talented and driven, these teens juggle the demands of their studies with the push of their ambition.

It could be said that Matthew Sutton has been kicking goals all his life. But these days, he spends a lot of time stopping them. The 17-year-old goalkeeper is one of the newest and youngest recruits at A-League soccer club Melbourne Victory.

Photo: Anita Milas

Photo: Anita Milas

His sporting prowess was spotted at 15 when he won a scholarship at the Australian Institute of Sport in Canberra, which meant moving from his family home in Sydney. “I really wanted to make something out of football since I was about 14 and that included many training sessions, games, lots of sacrifices,” he says.

“It’s a big commitment and one of the biggest was having to move away from home and all my family and friends. But it’s something that’s not really a massive thing for me because I’m lucky enough to do something I really want to do.”

Mykelti Kotzur, 16, has loved art ever since she was old enough to grasp a pencil, but she never dreamt her works would be on display at a national gallery.

Photo: supplied

Photo: supplied

The Wodonga Senior Secondary College student admits there were tears of joy when her work Me, Myself, and Matryoshka was selected for the Top Arts 2018 Exhibition at the Ian Potter Centre: NGV Australia.

She spent 250 hours constructing the five babushka dolls that make up her artwork. Kotzur has her sights set on a career in medicine, but says art, like her determination, will always be in her life. “I’m always looking towards a goal … even if it’s just something really small,” she says.

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