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Queenslanders awarded scholarships for world-leading innovation bootcamp

Four clever Queenslanders have been awarded scholarships to attend an internationally renowned innovation Bootcamp being held this week at QUT, thanks to state government funding.

First published 4 February 2019

The highly acclaimed Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Innovation and Entrepreneurship Bootcamp condenses a one-year MIT course into an intensive, one-week learning experience led by MIT’s most respected business lecturers.

Innovation Minister Kate Jones congratulated the recipients of the scholarship - Emma Robinson (pic above right), Melody Dobrinin (pic above left), Jackson Grant (pic above second right) and Michael Frangos (pic above second left) - at a welcome event on Saturday night.

“Queensland has a growing international reputation as a hub for technology and innovation,” Ms Jones said.  

“Hosting this Bootcamp for the third year in a row is a huge feather in Queensland’s cap, funded through the $650 million Advance Queensland initiative in partnership with QUT, attracting 97 participants from 30 countries.


This year's MIT Bootcamp participants being welcomed at QUT's The Cube.


“Awarding these scholarships ensures we are able to support our best entrepreneurial minds in Queensland to collaborate, foster new ways of thinking and build skills to turn ideas into action.

“This aligns with our vision to diversify Queensland’s economy through innovation and ensure we stay ahead of the curve in years to come.

“The four recipients we’ve selected have demonstrated their ability to think outside the box and push the boundaries in their areas of interest, spanning agriculture, dietetics, business and engineering."

One example is scholarship recipient, grazier and family farming advocate Emma Robinson from Charters Towers who will explore how technology can assist farmers to improve collaboration, productivity and reduce cost of production through more sustainable supply chains.

“Farmers are innovative by nature and have to be to be solutions-focused and practical to solve everyday problems and find ways to optimise production systems,” Emma said.

“The MIT Bootcamp will enable me to do a deep dive into the innovation process and continue to progress ideas through a collaborative project I’ve set up for graziers known as the Beef Collaboration Project – a project by farmers, for farmers.

“My vision is to see family farming prosper through innovation, ideas and technology and to find new ways to leverage the very best of family farming but with the scale and opportunity of a larger corporate.”

Scholarship recipient and ex-Google Project Manager Melody Dobrinin set up a startup that helps people with dietary difficulties.

“I’ve had complex dietary requirements since a young age and simple activities like going for a meal at a restaurant can be fraught with complications,” Melody said. 

“With the number of people with food-related health problems increasing I saw a need to start ‘Noshable’, a company that helps people with complex diets find food wherever they go.

“The MIT Bootcamp will provide me with knowledge and experiences to continue working on solutions in this field in order to improve people’s lives.

QUT Computer Science and Economic student and scholarship recipient Jackson Grant was former president of student startup society QUT Starters and hopes to use the Bootcamp experience to help solve problems in the business world.

“MIT are world class when it comes to innovation and I am excited to discover the secret sauce behind this program,” Jackson said.

“I enjoy learning about how we can bring economics - so often influenced by irrational human decision-making - together with logical IT solutions to identify and solve real-life problems.”

Engineer Michael Frangos, Director of Indigenous Energy Australia and The Engineers Co-op, is looking at ways to use business solutions and a better understanding of local communities to drive economic, social and environmental outcomes.

“My goal is to find innovative solutions to 'close the gap' and improve the livelihoods of regional, vulnerable and disadvantaged Australians, by trying to solve problems in a different way through combining business knowledge with an understanding of local culture,” Michael said.

“Attending the MIT Bootcamp we'll give me the skills and experience to take my contributions to the next level."

MIT is ranked as the number one university in the world in the 2019 QS World University Rankings.

According to the 2014 report on Entrepreneurship and Innovation at MIT, alumni have launched more than 30,000 active companies, creating 4.6 million jobs and generating US$1.9 trillion in annual revenue. The cumulative result is the equivalent of the 10th largest economy in the world.


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