UTS has appointed former Fishburners CEO and Startup Muster co-founder Murray Hurps to the newly created role of Director of Entrepreneurship.
Hurps, who started at UTS yesterday, will be tasked with growing the number of student-founded startups coming out of UTS and in particular, helping shape and drive a strategy for a vibrant startup environment around the Ultimo precinct.
Hurps will play a key role in developing and sustaining pathways connecting UTS graduates and student founders to the startup ecosystem locally, regionally, and internationally, including commercial accelerators, venture capital and international destinations.
He will also lead initiatives to ensure Ultimo continues to expand its historical position as a significant contributor to Sydney's startup ecosystem.
Joining the leadership team of the UTS Innovation and Entrepreneurship Unit, led by Executive Director Professor Margaret Maile Petty, Hurps will contribute to the strategic direction of the unit, driven by a cross-faculty approach.
“I'm passionate about Australian startups, and see the biggest risk and opportunity for Australia to be the number of people launching scalable companies. Universities are uniquely positioned to move Australia's entrepreneurial needle in the right direction,” Hurps said.
“UTS has a clear focus on growing entrepreneurship, which I believe is something that Australia needs - and that I want to support. I'm excited to apply my experience to ensure UTS provides the best encouragement and support to the largest number of potential startup founders. Ensuring students are making the most of the broad startup ecosystem will be a priority for me.”
Professor Petty added, “UTS is committed to scaling entrepreneurship university-wide to support the more than 40 per cent of our students who want pathways and support to realise their own ventures. We’ve developed a new and ambitious UTS Innovation and Entrepreneurship strategy to build and strengthen these pathways, and the Director of Entrepreneurship will play a key part in achieving our goals.
“We’re also very active in the development and activation of the Ultimo precinct, with a strategic objective anchored in the rejuvenation of one of the neighbourhood’s best recognised centres for innovation and entrepreneurship - the former Fishburners building. Having Murray on board gives us a significant advantage, as he brings an exceptional level of expertise and national recognition for his leadership in helping forge Australia’s startup ecosystem.
“Through this appointment, we’re demonstrating why UTS is the leading Australian university for innovation and entrepreneurship, as well as our absolute commitment to ensuring all of our graduates have the skills and mindsets to create the jobs of the future.”
Hurps has a long list of credentials in the Australian startup ecosystem, with a 20-year career spanning an array of ventures and organisations. He is well-known for his role as CEO of Fishburners from 2014 to 2017, growing it into Australia’s largest startup community from 100 desks to 750 desks and supporting 845 startups in that time.
Prior to that, Hurps co-founded and led Startup Muster, the largest survey of the Australian startup ecosystem, alongside fellow co-founder and current CEO Monica Wulff, after 14 years of starting and building different Australian startups. Most recently he was Program Director for FUELD, Westpac's data-focused accelerator program.
Hurps remains a board member of Startup Muster, the Australian Information Industry Association, WorkVentures, Spark Festival, and an advisory board member for the Data Analytics Centre.
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