Finalist

Entrepreneurial University of the Year Award

University of Technology Sydney

Finalist of the Entrepreneurial University of the Year Award

"University of Technology Sydney – The home of student entrepreneurship"


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Summary

About two years ago, UTS set out an ambitious and transformative agenda to scale entrepreneurship across the university, envisioning UTS as a leading public university of technology, recognised for our global impact and to be Australia's leading university in entrepreneurship and innovation.

Since then, we have established a new portfolio with a focus on Innovation and Entrepreneurship, led by the Deputy Vice‐Chancellor, Innovation and Enterprise. Listening to our students who told us they want the skills and ability to create their own career pathways when they graduate, we have thought carefully how we could provide the desired high level of support, while ensuring excellence, sustainability and high social impact.

As a result, we have embedded entrepreneurship in our 10‐year strategy and have developed a fourpillar approach to reach this goal: Entrepreneurial experiences for students, ecosystem partnership cultivation, driving precinct development towards a tech and innovation hub and advancing transdisciplinary learning to teach students future‐industries‐skills.

Our Innovation & Entrepreneurship Unit led the implementation of this plan, in the process creating and inspiring a whole new community of entrepreneurs, UTS Startups.

Today, as a result of our entrepreneurial activity, we are much closer to reaching our vision: UTS has a reputation of being Australia's top university for student entrepreneurs. We currently have over 325 student‐launched startups, with over 700 team‐members. Newly created resources, e.g.
'Entrepreneurship‐Toolkit' have reached 1,210 staff, students and alumni. Overall, 3,000 students have had entrepreneurial experiences since August of 2018.

Key People


Professor Glenn Wightwick
DVC and VP Innovation & Enterprise
DVCI&E,  UTS



Professor Margaret Maile Petty
Executive Director, Innovation & Entrepreneurship
IEU/ DVCI&E,  UTS



Murray Hurps
Director, Entrepreneurship
IEU/ DVCI&E,  UTS



Associate Professor Jochen Schweitzer
Associate Professor of Innovation, Entrepreneurship and Strategy and Director Entrepreneurship at the UTS Business School
Business School,  UTS



Associate Professor Martin Bliemel
Acting Associate Dean Research and the Director of the Diploma in Innovation
Faculty of Transdisciplinary Innovation,  UTS


Images

UTS Startups Headquarters (outside shot)

UTS Startups Team

Community of Practice event

UTS Innovation and Entrepreneurship leadership team at StartupAus Gala event

UTS Startups Headquarters (inside shot)

UTS Startups Discover Entrepreneurship student event

UTS Startups Awards

Sydney Women's Startup Event 2019 hosted by UTS

StartupAUS-UTS - Bridge the Talent Gap event

UTS Startups team members

IMPACT STORY

Impacting lifes

Having experienced the frustration of not being able to get their hands on the tech they needed, UTS Startups founders and UTS Faculty of Engineering and IT alumni, Scott McKeon and Will Scuderi decided to venture into making their own solution.

Up late one night trying to finish a university assessment, they found themselves in need of an extra display screen, but without a product in market that ticked all the boxes - and Espresso Displays was born, with the pair crediting the UTS Startups community as the turning point for their business.

"That's one of the best things about a place like UTS Startups where you have such a community and access to support, networks and mentorship to help guide you," he said.
Through UTS Startups the pair became connected with their third co‐founder, Matthew Childs, and the team headed to China to begin manufacturing their product. Scott and Will were two of the first UTS alumni to join UTS Startups, and from the moment they began their journey, they felt part of a community.

"Now that UTS Startups has grown to one of the most significant co‐working spaces and entrepreneurial hubs in Sydney, there's a lot more startup maturity, there's more diversity in the projects people are working on and there's more people coming in to help because of that," he said.

Espresso Displays recently closed their first Kickstarter campaign at $432,454, far beyond their
$14,830 goal.

LEARNINGS

Lessons learned

When UTS two years ago stepped up its commitment to student entrepreneurship, setting out an ambitious and transformative agenda to scale entrepreneurship across the university, the team in the Innovation and Entrepreneurship Unit have led this charge, aiming to bring entrepreneurship opportunities to the more than 40% of our students who have told us they want the skills and ability to create their own career pathways when they graduate.

What has worked for us is to take student feedback on board and put a lot of thought into how to best provide the desired high level of support, while ensuring excellence and sustainability-much like a startup looking to scale to meet growing demand, without compromising the product or experience.

Another key component to scaling entrepreneurship university‐wide was our cross‐faculty approach.
The vehicle for supporting student entrepreneurship across the whole university is UTS Startups, which has at its foundation in core community values: recognition of the importance of inclusion, gender and cultural equity, and social impact in entrepreneurship.

Lastly, UTS is also taking the lead in shaping a new technology and innovation precinct, right here in the heart of Sydney and on UTS's doorstep. Our open, urban campus means we're in a great position to open up our state of the art facilities to our community and partners.

By focusing on walkability, transport, green spaces, cutting‐edge research, shared facilities and partner collaborations, we are demonstrating how an anchor institution can activate opportunities, and ensure our neighbourhood becomes a world‐class technology and innovation precinct which in turn will benefit our students.

FUTURE PLANS

What's coming?

Having achieved initial milestones in our vision to be a leading public university of technology recognised for our global impact and Australia's leading university in entrepreneurship and innovation, we are not sitting back. UTS is committed to continue delivering real world impact for our students, staff and community.

Specific areas of focus will include:

We will continue to engage with and provide entrepreneurial experiences to our students towards our ambitious plan to reach 50% of UTS students (over 20,000) with entrepreneurial experiences and support within the next five years.

We will deliver quality support and resources to our UTS Startups community, and explore opportunities to engage further with our Higher Degree Research student cohort. Across UTS we are constantly looking to identify further opportunities to embed entrepreneurial education.

We also see the opportunity to further anchor UTS as the key partner in the Sydney Technology and Innovation Precinct and to continue focussing on building our own Entrepreneurial and Innovation precinct with local community partners and industry.


KEY STATISTICS

45,930

Total number of Students (part and full time; bachelor and master)

1881

Number of academic staff (full time equivalent)

AUD$3.5 million

Financial commitment to the scaling of entrepreneurship (IEU budget)

715

Members of the UTS Startups Community (3rd December)

325

Number of Startups in UTS Startups Community (3rd December) since August 2018

More than 3000 students

Numbers who have had entrepreneurial experiences since August 2018

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