UWA's entrepreneurial boost

The University of Western Australia is offering a new program to encourage and foster entrepreneurship among researchers and post-graduate research students. 

The Start Something initiative involves a series of speaking events and workshops which will culminate next month with selected participants using newly acquired skills to develop their ideas into potential business opportunities, from solving social problems to developing the next world-wide app.

UWA Office of Research Enterprise deputy director Anthony Fortina said the university wanted to promote an entrepreneurial culture, provide researchers with an opportunity to develop new skills and tools and provide links to the Perth entrepreneur ecosystem.

“We want to help our researchers develop their ideas and research outcomes into something that might have a commercial or social value. Literally, we want to help get something started,” Mr Fortina said.

Start Something was developed by a group of industry experts known as Innovation Cluster, with content provided by Perth start-up studio Atomic Sky.

The first session was on ideas with a social impact and included a talk by former marketing manager turned UWA doctoral student Jo Hawkins, who was part of a team to develop an app on Perth history. 

Other events to be held through July will focus on sciences, engineering and technology featuring different speakers and mentors.

The university said the program was part of its IQ initiative which supports UWA’s mission to drive social and economic development by getting research out from behind closed lab doors and into the broader community.

“We’re excited to be working with Atomic Sky and Innovation Cluster to deliver this program which we hope will engage the many entrepreneurs that we have across all disciplines at UWA in building skills to translate their research and create community impact,” said deputy vice-chancellor (research) Robyn Owens.


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