The technology revolution sweeping the business world has reached Australia’s university students, who are increasingly looking at starting their own businesses as an alternative to traditional career paths.
Student’s from Griffith University’s Logan campus have just completed an intense weekend long workshop with Texas-based startup educators, 3 Day Startup (3DS). Their enthusiasm underlined by the fact the students were only a week away from exams.
The startup is an exciting option for student’s ambitions, because of the low cost of entry and development. Startups are generally internet-based, capitalising on the digital economy and capable of growing quickly or changing focus through the customer experience.
Startups grew out of the United States in the nineties and boomed following the success of businesses like Amazon, Netflixs and more recently Airbnb. When these businesses find success they can sometime disrupt their entire industry, typified by Uber’s disruption the global taxi industry.
When Griffith wanted to expand the horizons of its students it went to the source of the disruption. Along with Silicon Valley, Austin, Texas is one of the US cities where the startup culture has flourished and is the home of the 3 Day Startup team.
The aim is to provide three months of business education in three days. Sweat was mandatory, sleep less so. The 25 students were pitching to the group in the first hour and after ideas were refined, teams were formed and businesses began to be sculptured. It was an opportunity to leverage the industry skills the students learn in their courses with entrepreneurial skills.
Some of the ideas included news ways to make clean water cheaper in poorer countries, local guides for tourists, water purity measurement, food choice apps and personalised shopping assistant.
The judging panel included members of the Brisbane startup community including Almnus, Aylar Souter.
Students came from the full spectrum of Griffith courses and formed teams to refine and pitch their ideas. The intensive course included idea validation and customer discovery, which had teams hitting the street and interviewing their potential target market.
Organised by Griffith Enterprise, the University’s innovation and commercialisation office. The course is part the spectrum of activities that form the Studio e program, designed to enhance a culture of entrepreneurship. Business Innovation Manager, Hunter Walkenhorst said the Logan course was one of the best he had attended.
“Some of the ideas people have worked on are seriously good. A key result, for the students, is the realisation that they can move their project toward an actual business very quickly,” he said.
“Another positive take-away for all students from 3DS is expert feedback, something that is often hard to access in the real world. Entrepreneurs and industry experts come in to the Uni to mentor the students through the weekend. It is an intense, high quality program with experts who have an intimate understanding of a business culture that is still developing here, but is massive in the US, Israel, the UK and Germany.”
“Every time you run a program you never know who will apply. The Logan course, had a diverse, very sharp group of people, with a wide range of ideas and skills, all excited to get access to the knowledge 3DS can provide.”
3DS are in Australia as part of the Advance Queensland regional innovation program to deliver courses exclusively to regional university students. A special postgraduate course will be delivered on Griffith’s Gold Coast campus in June.