News and events

26 July 2019

University campuses are fertile ground for ambitious startup founders. Students bring new ways of thinking and uninhibited ambitions to create an environment ripe for ideas to flourish.

QUT is no different with over a third of our alumni engaged in entrepreneurial thinking and practice.

Increasingly students are embracing entrepreneurship and incubating successful startups while studying. There’s a groundswell of programs and activities on offer for QUT students, staff and alumni looking to start their own business. Hackathons, startup weekends, accelerators and bootcamps are frequently held on campus and are popular ways to help students start their entrepreneurial journey. 

Acknowledging the important role universities play in the startup ecosystem, QUT Vice-Chancellor and President, Professor Margaret Sheil AO last year announced the appointment of an Executive Director of Entrepreneurship to steer the significant growth in QUT’s entrepreneurship activities. In this role, Professor Rowena Barrett oversees development of an entrepreneurial program under the banner of QUT Entrepreneurship hosted by the QUT Business School. 

QUT Entrepreneurship seeks to inspire students, give them the means to be entrepreneurial and provides space for students to practice entrepreneurship. All of this complements a swathe of subjects, from individual units to university-wide minor and postgraduate courses. Moreover, there is a focus on helping students from underrepresented groups develop their entrepreneurial skills.

The first initiative for QUT Entrepreneurship was re-launching the foundry. The QUT foundry is where students, staff and alumni devise and develop ideas. More than just a co-working space, foundry members attend events and workshops and have access to advice from alumni mentors and in-house ‘Entrepreneurs-in-Residence’ - themselves successful founders. The re-launched foundry inhabits a refurbished space in B Block at Gardens Point with significantly more desks and the flexibility for co-working, meetings and running events while harnessing the intangible, yet essential ingredient in any startup ecosystem - collective knowledge. The foundry is the space for people to meet, collaborate and creatively thrive. 

Creative collisions help unlock potential new ideas that can solve problems and lead to new business models or innovative new products and services. A recent survey of US college graduates found 71% wished creativity was taught in their course and 85% said creativity was critical for problem solving in their career. The ability to solve problems and come up with new ideas and solutions is an essential skill employers look for in graduates.

QUT Entrepreneurship’s inaugural Waste MAKER DAY is all about stimulating creativity. Away from the textbooks and classes, students, staff and alumni will have the opportunity to unlock their creativity and maker skills through inspirational workshops and demonstrations by QUT researchers and industry leaders. With the theme this year of ‘waste’, attendees will be inspired to creatively explore solutions to reduce pressure on our environment by unlocking entrepreneurial value in the circular economy.

Waste MAKER DAY on Thursday 29 August 2019 is free for staff, students and alumni. A light lunch is available for attendees who pre-register.

Staff and students can register here
Alumni can register via email at

Professor Rowena Barrett, Executive Director of QUT Entrepreneurship



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