New entrepreneurial top talent flying ahead at MIT to boost business skills

7th January 2020

Clever creators from QUT’s entrepreneurial ecosystem are being given a flying start to the new year with a two-week educational trip to MIT, the world’s leading university in creating founders of businesses.

The trip builds on the collaborative links already established between QUT Entrepreneurship and entrepreneurship programs based at the Martin Trust Centre for MIT Entrepreneurship.

Three students are attending MIT fuse, an accelerator program suitable for new ventures, while another five are at StartMIT, an introduction to the mindset, skill and spirit of an entrepreneur.

Mechanical engineering student James Fewre, who is participating in StartMIT, says his path to entrepreneurship is a new one.

“Initial ideas involve developing tech such as a facial recognition self-servicing kiosk,” Mr Fewre said.

“I need to be brazen and nit-pick the brains of entrepreneurs and mentors to gain confidence and guidance which I’ve done at QUT’s Foundry but MIT is the next level.”

Dual law and business student Vivi Tran said being a self-starter began at a young age.

“My parents ran a successful charter company and since I was a kid, I set up my own self-styled shops,” Ms Tran said.

New ways to shop for old products are concepts Ms Tran’s keen to pursue, with ideas on how to reduce fashion waste.

She’ll be joined by other QUT students Alex Holm, Mathew Stein and Candice Wyatt.

Pizza Roulette co-founder Greyden Scott


Pizza Roulette co-founder and QUT student Greyden Scott is attending the MIT fuse program with PhD student Tamara Pearce, who is a co-founder of social ideas platform Better Beliefs, and Amy Sutton who runs Gaia Glitter, a distributor of eco-conscious decorative glitter.

“My aim is to manufacture an Australian-made, plastic-free glitter by developing valuable connections with investors and partners while also critiquing our own business processes,” Ms Sutton said.

Drawing on the culture of innovation and entrepreneurship at both universities, cancer researcher Professor Derek Richard and QUT Foundry’s Angela Young are partaking in the Entrepreneurial Development Program, directed by well-known entrepreneurship educator Bill Aulet.

Executive Director of QUT Entrepreneurship, Professor Rowena Barrett, described the relationship between academic staff at both universities as unique.

“We are similarly focussed and passionate about providing inspirational opportunities for students and staff to learn how to nurture, incubate and develop their ideas into solutions that wow the world,” Professor Barrett said. 

QUT Entrepreneurship's Professor Rowena Barrett, left, and QUT Foundry's Angela Young


MIT also hosted its prestigious Innovation and Entrepreneurship Bootcamp three years in a row at QUT’s Gardens Point campus, which saw 100 Queensland participants survive high pressure learning and apply entrepreneurship education to new ventures.

Bootcamp Alumni and QUT graduate Nyree McKenzie, CEO and co-founder of Bidhive which is automating bid management, was recently named the AWS Founder of the Year at the Women in Digital Awards.


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