Entrepreneurship Educator of the Year Award

Martin Bliemel

Finalist of the Entrepreneurship Educator of the Year Award

"Seven distinct programs to develop entrepreneurial ambitions"

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This submission spans a decade in entrepreneurship education, including 7 distinct programs. All of them are designed from an experiential learning perspective. Most of these were developed in the last 3 years and includes almost every imaginable combination of attributes: physical location, duration, depth and intensity. These programs have authentically enabled thousands of students to develop their entrepreneurial ambitions, some of whom have gone on to be founders of venture-backed startups and received a personal letter of congratulations from the likes of Jeff Bezos.

What makes my approach distinct is how, I take a scholarly approach to developing programs. That means, I don’t just educate students, but also other educators and researchers. This is reflected in over 20 publications and several more international conference publication on entrepreneurship education. Two articles were picked up by a newsletter with over 10,000 recipients, one of which won a national conferences’ Best Paper Award, and the other of which is the most downloaded article (ever) at the Entrepreneurship Research Journal.

My approach is also inherently collaborative. For example, one program involved 20 collaborators across 5 universities, while another involved 9 collaborators across 4 universities. Similarly, our recent book on “Visual tools for developing student capacity for cross-disciplinary collaboration, innovation and entrepreneurship” involved 31 authors on 22 chapters, contributing to an award winning 8-book series on visual tools.

I am honoured to have worked with so many talented educators and to have taught such engaged students.


I would like to express my sincerest gratitude to all my collaborators and supporters, especially: - Associate Professor Jochen Schweitzer - Professor Glenn Wightwick - Professor Margaret Maile Petty - Murray Hurps - Emeritus Professor Roy Green - Professor Louise McWhinnie - Dr Selena Griffith - The Australian Technology Network ( - The Sydney School of Entrepreneurship (


Some of "The Navigators" at the Sydney School of Entrepreneurship

"The Navigators" at the Sydney School of Entrepreneurship discussing their ecosystems

One full cohort of "The Navigators" at the Sydney School of Entrepreneurship

Students of 94663 at UTS demonstrating the gamification of their ecosystem maps

Students of 94663 at UTS in a Futuring exercise for their entrepreneurial ecosystems

Students of 94663 at UTS engaging with a guest panel of student entrepreneurs

Students of 94663 at UTS in a typical workshop session

Students of 81516 at UTS preparing for the world's largest Playing Lean session

Sharing best practices in entrepreneurship education at the ACERE Educator's Forum

Presenting the modularised design of the Bachelor of Entrepreneurship (Honours) at the ACERE Educator's Forum

Associate Professor Martin Bliemel


Impacting lifes

I strive to support my students beyond the classroom and help them establish their careers. One early exchange student from Germany student easily comes to mind. He first took my course in 2009. Later that year, I gladly wrote a reference letter later that year so he could get into EMLYON’s Global Entrepreneurship program. Fast forward to 2015 and he was the founder of an Asia-based global startup (Lamudi) with $18M in venture funding, and still happy to help the next generation of students.

I am also deeply humbled when I receive unsolicited feedback from other educators, like Julienne Senyard, who was later high commended for the Group Excellence in Teaching Award from her Vice Chancellor:

Hi Martin, Just a small note of thanks. I'm doing some work on a teaching project - and I have a write a teaching philosophy which made me think about my course and how far it’s come. You had such an indelible impact by helping me right at the very beginning of the course. So thanks. I really appreciate you (and those early tips at the start of the course). (28 June 2018, Julienne Senyard)


Lessons learned

Do not operate in your own bubble. Stand on the shoulders of giants and take a scholarly approach to developing unique own programs by staying up to date on the literature on entrepreneurship education. Better yet, collect evidence of your designs and share them back with the international community by publishing in the same literature.

In simpler terms:

1. If you’re going to do it, do it right
2. Research what’s been done before & learn from what you find
3. Then innovate upon that and do it in a way that withstands peer review
4. Overall, do it in a way that you feel good about sharing it in public

Whether you call it “best practice”, or a “scholarly entrepreneurship education” doesn’t ultimately matter. What matters more than labels is that it improves the lives of the people you can reach, including students, teachers, researchers and policy makers.


What's coming?

The next big thing I’m working on is authentic and accurate assessment of #FutureOfWork capabilities. There are many frameworks out there, with one of the best known ones being the EntreComp. But, most of them are based on self-assessment, which research is demonstrating is unreliable (including our research). Meanwhile peer-assessment is only somewhat reliable but can be gamed, and teacher-based assessment is too laborious for frameworks with 90 or more capabilities. Being able to accurately assess distinct capabilities is critical to developing personalised and modularised learning journeys. The combination of capability measurement and modularisation is often labelled as “life-long learning”, and is increasingly important to students and universities, alike. If we can get this ‘right’ then we can make much better recommendations to students about which modules, subjects or courses to take, and how they stack together to provide them the capabilities they want to base their careers on.



Completely different programs developed to support entrepreneurship


Students taught in 12-week flipped classrooms


Learners in Coursera MOOC


Dollars it costs to take Coursera MOOC or new funded modules


Students taught in 3-week intensive classes


The most downloaded article at Entrepreneurship Research Journal on entrepreneurship education


Contributors to 22-chapter book on “Visual tools for developing student capacity for cross-disciplinary collaboration, innovation and entrepreneurship”


National ranking of support for entrepreneurship education

20 across 5

20 collaborators across 5 universities for free (cc-by-sa) online modules, funded by $150,000 grant

9 across 4

9 collaborators across 4 universities on a single subject for $25m Sydney School of Entrepreneurship

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