Thursday, October 29, 2015

Fostering Entrepreneurship and innovation in Australian universities

Last week I was privileged to be invited to speak at the Canberra Startup Showcase, run by the UC Advertising and Marketing Society and EntrepreneurshipUC Society at the University of Canberra.

Together with three other entrepreneurs, Mitchell Harmer of Sign On Site, Dawn Hayter of Urban Providore and Joe Mammolita of iCognition, we discussed our journeys and experience in entrepreneurship and answered the questions of the gathered students.

It was an awesome experience. Each of the entrepreneurs had a very different background, and were at different stages in their company development, providing a broad cross-sectional view of what it's like to found and build a business in Australia.

Fostering entrepreneurship at Australian universities is critical for Australia to build future businesses and grow the economic opportunities for all Australians. The level of interest from attendees, including several who were already seasoned entrepreneurs while still in their early twenties, demonstrated that passion for entrepreneurship was alive among young Australians.

All they needed was the knowledge and tools to realise their passions, avenues to learn from more experienced business owners and access systems that can leapfrog their learning and avoid at least some of the pitfalls.

While I was expecting some interest from the students in Social Media Planner as a tool to support an aspect of business planning, I didn't anticipate how popular it would be - several students bought decks on the spot and more have followed up after the event.

This suggests to me that tools like Social Media Planner have a valuable place in helping our future entrepreneurs to define, refine and test their ideas, preparing them for the business landscape of the future.

I'm glad I could provide some knowledge and support to the students of the University of Canberra, and hope I can continue to support younger people in their journey towards entrepreneurship for years to come.

I hope governments, corporations and universities also recognise where and when our education system needs to be supported by relevant business experience and appropriate business tools.

Without appropriate support many potential Australian enterprises will fail, or not achieve their potential success, restricting Australia's economic development and success.

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