This article was written by Chris Parkes, originally published in Faculty of Business and Economics, The University of Melbourne
Melbourne has a thriving entrepreneurial community, with a powerful combination of scientific research, high tech design and manufacturing, and innovative thinkers. Australia’s newest and most advanced entrepreneurship training, located at the centre of Parkville’s investigative hub, builds on this long ingrained pedigree.
Melbourne is an extraordinary education and investigative ecosystem, where the continuous supply of new discoveries and ideas blends harmoniously with a culture of early adoption of technology and new service. This, together with its research capabilities, has seen Melbourne foster dynamic biotechnology, medical technology, engineering and ICT sectors over the last three decades. As Australia becomes less manufacturing intensive and the economy continues to transform, innovation and entrepreneurship will be key drivers of economic stability.
The University of Melbourne is playing an important role in the development of that entrepreneurial culture. Over the last decade it has built its own entrepreneurial cluster that includes Carlton Connect, the Melbourne Accelerator Program (MAP), the School of Engineering, and Melbourne Business School, fostering strong connections between research and business and accelerating the launch of multiple start-ups.
The resurgence of the entrepreneurial spirit and the DIY enterprise is indeed transforming the business landscape globally. What has been lacking, however, is the formal, practical skills to give these new business ideas and ambitions the best possible start.
In response to the adjusting business landscape, Australia’s newest and most advanced entrepreneurship training will be offered from 2016 by the University of Melbourne, located at the custom built Wade Institute for Entrepreneurship at Ormond College. The practical, one-year University of Melbourne Master of Entrepreneurship degree will produce graduates who are ‘start-up ready’.
The Master of Entrepreneurship will equip students with the knowledge and skills to develop and launch innovative new businesses, successfully commercialise products and services, and devise successful business models. Students will be mentored by entrepreneurs and gain hands-on experience in prototyping new products and services, running a pop-up business, and developing a start-up business idea to pitch for real venture capital.
The Wade Institute for Entrepreneurship, designed by Lovell Chen, will provide a unique environment for budding entrepreneurs to unleash their creativity. Underpinned by the design philosophy that to teach people how to create, make and innovate, the space they occupy must invite them to create new things from the moment they walk in, the building will have no limitations. As student ideas evolve, so can the spaces they inhabit. To help this transformation, the building can turn inside out. Rather than only accessing rooms internally, the cloisters enable perimeter doors, creating an active external face to the start-up spaces. In their downtime, students will be able to climb up onto the roof of the building, where they will find an outdoor sport, recreation and performance space.