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Laser-focused ambition plus QUT know-how drive student business venture

11 November 2016

For Emma Mulhern, the opportunity to test products in a simulated marketplace at QUT helped launch her small business start-up, creating unique laser cut products and gifts.

While Emma spent her childhood working in the family laser cutting business, it wasn’t until she participated in QUTopia that she saw the potential to create, market, and refine her business idea. 

QUTopia is a physical and simulated marketplace where QUT students form a business, plan and create an authentic product or service that is offered for sale to real customers, and monitor financial aspects of the business.

QUTopia provided Emma with the experience and evidence to create her business, Cut & Burn and design unique product offerings.

“The practical experience of QUTopia allowed me to determine which ideas were marketable and viable… it allowed me to understand my target audience and how to reach them in a saturated market,” Emma said.

“I can make models and parts to suit customer needs. Some of the 3D models also include an element of build-it-yourself, which I’ve integrated into branding as my point point-of-difference. Customers want something that is engaging and fun.”

To other QUTopian entrepreneurs who want to translate university experiences into real-world businesses, Emma identified two great qualities, persistence and lateral thinking.

“Think about what extra value you can add to your products. It really helps to have a point of difference…that’s what people will spread good news about.”

To learn more about the QUTopia experience visit: www.qutopia.qut.edu.au

Emma Mulhern used the QUTopia experience to market-test product ideas before launching her small business.

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