A new program to support early-stage startup ventures, founded or co-founded by UTS students or alumni, has been launched by Vice-Chancellor Professor Attila Brungs.
Launching the program Professor Brungs said a recent survey found that more than 40 per cent of UTS students and alumni have either started up their own business or are considering a startup or entrepreneurial career path.
"Many of today's students will be creating their own jobs," he said. "We need to help them get the skills they need."
Entrepreneur and mentor on the Hatchery+ program Vicky Lay, who spoke at the launch, agreed, "While not everyone will become an entrepreneur, everyone can benefit from gaining entrepreneurial skills."
Having an education in entrepreneurship is enormously important for students today, she said. "Companies now, more than ever, need intrapreneurs to challenge the status quo."
Currently Director of Artesian Venture Partners, Lay decided to become a mentor on the Hatchery+ program because she believes that universities have an important role to play in supporting budding entrepreneurs.
Having started her BRW-listed Silicon Valley-backed online textbook marketplace Zookal while studying for a Bachelor of Business at UTS, she welcomed the Hatchery+ program.
"I somewhat ironically met my co-founder in a business strategy 101 subject. We conducted meetings and negotiated contracts in Nandos and the UTS food court.
Things are a little different with Hatchery+, not only do participants have access to a co-working space, they have the support of mentors and can stand on the shoulders of giants."
Seven UTS-founded startup ventures – ranging from an on-demand education services hub to allow students to see the simplicity and beauty of mathematics to Psykinetic, which is creating inclusive and empowering technologies for people with disabilities – are taking part in the inaugural program.
Half of the participants are current undergraduate students, 11 per cent are postgraduate, 16 per cent are alumni and the remaining are non-UTS co-founders including students and graduates from UNSW and Macquarie University. Professor Brungs said that the cross-faculty collaboration that is so central to innovation is something that UTS does well.
Hatchery+ participant and co-founder of MyInterview Guy Abelsohn said after just a few weeks into the program the room is buzzing. "Whether we all succeed on our first venture, our second, or our tenth, being in a high-energy environment where you are giving one hundred and ten per cent for twelve weeks and having access to such a high calibre of mentors and speakers is an amazing experience."