A large banking corporation runs an ongoing competition to foster innovation, creativity and achievement for young Australians. Applicants aged 18 to 21 submit projects in the arts, sports, science, business and community fields. Each winner receives a $20,000 grant to make the dream project a reality. The series revolves around the trials and tribulations of the seven successful applicants.
A youth program offers $20,000 to the most promising projects to get the successful applicants started. Kyle and Seth have developed an automatic gearing system for racing bikes, Loc has developed a website which attempts to reunite refugees separated from their families and Basia is an aspiring documentary maker. Then there are Clare and Patrick have driven all the way from Gunning with samples from their yabby breeding program and Katherine desperately wants the freedom to write and perform her own musical compositions. As the applicants go through the interview process, each with their own confidence or lack thereof, and the time to the final announcement of winners draws closer, they deal with the pressure in their own ways.
It's the first meeting at the Foundry and Garrett drills the new team on the rules and regulations of life at Head Start. There aren't many and they're pretty basic. The winners pick out their individual rooms and set about getting to know each other. Of course, there are a few teething problems.Loc wants to rectify the situation with the computer shop. Tran continues to hassle him for money and Loc tries to avoid him but is followed back to the Foundry.Kyle is stunned to learn that Terry and Posy want nothing more to do with him. Meanwhile, he gives Seth a peace offering, with a bit of help from Basia.An impromptu celebration might have consequences for Katherine when she gets drunk for the first time. Moira turns up and is unimpressed, giving not only Katherine, but an earful to Garrett as well.
Loc apologises to Clare for the damage to the yabby tanks, but Patrick isn't pleased and attempts to enforce his racist views. Loc makes extra cash to pay Tran back with by building a web site for Sacha. Patrick follows Loc to a meeting with Tran to see what Loc is up to but finds himself in too deep when Tran turns on him.Seth confides in Kyle about missing Katherine, who convinces him to go to her house to ask her out. When he gets there he meets Katherine's mother and finds out that she's leaving Head Start to pursue a performance career. And Basia is having difficulty getting Amanda to open up to her.
Garrett stirs up Kyle and Seth about their project at the breakfast meeting because he hasn't seen much activity on it. While at the velodrome for another series of bike trials, the boys encounter Terry who has developed a conspiracy theory as to why they were selected for the program instead of him.
Kyle naively welcomes Felice's advances and an affair ensues. Weaving her web, Felice convinces Allot to give the boys a chance. Allot goes to the Warehouse to have a look around and impressed, offers the boys a deal. Garret gives his approval and Kyle and Seth are ecstatic. Amanda receives her validated pilots licence and is enthusiastic about getting back in the air. Just as things settle down between Loc and Clare, Patrick delivers Loc an ultimatum. Break up with Clare or he will tell Garrett everything about his connection with Tran. A devastated Loc has to make a choice: his project or his relationship.
Katherine hits the clubbing scene, and after playing some of her music for Basia she decides it's time to get her own music into some dance clubs while Clare is swamped with orders for yabbies since her TV appearance with Rod, and Seth's so preoccupied about Skye leaving that he forgets to fix a fault in the bike's gearing system. The resulting accident leaves Kyle unable to work and Seth has to take over as courier.
Pushing yourself to the limit takes on new meaning when a friend of Patrick's arrives from the country. Meanwhile, Kyle has to curb his jealousy when confronted with a short film Basia acted in - completely naked!
Basia is nominated for an award for her doco, she invites everyone especially Kyle. He says he would not miss it for the world. Basia wins but she is not in the mood to celebrate her trip to Canada because Kyle failed to turn up because his partner in the bar said, it's busy, it's your decision the bar or your ex girlfriend. He chose the bar. Basia is in bed when Kyle walks in and apologizes. She tells him to go away and leave her alone. She falls asleep crying.
Aaron after clinching the tender of landscaping for a big company sees that he will be working with his father, decides that he is not going to be controlled by his father. He says he will not be forced into doing it. After a lot of thinking he comes clean to Jade saying, he blamed his father for not doing his but it was actually fear. Jade tells him that it took courage to apply at Headstart and he was accepted. So why not to do this. He then accepts and signs the contract for the landscaping and decides he can get along with