Business School


15 December 2016

Take a peek through the glass walls of a terrarium and you will find yourself immersed in the tiny world of its maker.

These are the miniature worlds Ben Maxwell creates from anything that he can find – humble jars, old teacups to more modern pieces. 

Ben’s horticultural background working at a plant nursey gave him the inspiration and knowledge to create his business ‘Glass Gardens’ as part of the QUTopia experience.

“I’ve always been interested in plants. Succulents and cacti are on-trend and very easy to look after.  Realising their broad appeal at local markets, I decided it would be a great opportunity to market-test products for my own business.”

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 their business.

“The QUTopia marketplace simulation helped me to gain real insights on how I could respond to market demand and expand my product offering. Through market research I realised that my products had broader appeal and would be highly sought after in terrariums and other unique containers.”

The miniature urban green-maker was also awarded the highly coveted People’s Choice Award; given to the QUTopia business voted as most popular by the students enrolled in the subject.

Business is definitely growing in the right direction for this glass gardener, and you can now find Ben selling his creations at local garden expos and markets.

“Before QUTopia I had never sold succulents and cacti in terrariums, but have now started selling them as gifts and homewares at the markets and garden expos I attend.”

Ben’s top tip to other students wanting to expand their entrepreneurial enterprises after a QUTopia experience is to “believe and be interested in the business concept. Success won’t come easy; you need to maintain the interest through hard work.”

To learn more about the QUTopia experience visit:

A horticultural background and QUTopia marketday experience helped shape a real business opportunity for student, Ben Maxwell.


QUT Business School

  • Level 1, B Block
    Gardens Point
    2 George St
  • Postal address:
    QUT Business School
    GPO Box 2434
    Brisbane QLD 4001