Are you interested in disruption? Do you have the next Facebook idea written down in your notebook? Do you want to be an entrepreneur?
If so, what is stopping you from starting a business while you’re at University?
My name is Liam Greinke. I am a QUT student who is interested in disruption, who has ideas and who wants to be a student entrepreneur.
During September, I was fortunate enough to attend Creative3. Creative3 was a two-day forum and masterclass with leading international creative entrepreneurs who shared their knowledge and experiences. Throughout the conference, the speakers shared five key lessons about how to start, grow and scale creative businesses whilst at University.
- Treat university as a time to start a company, fail and learn
- Take it slow, come up with ideas based on validated problems, treat your ideas as disposable dolls and have a milestone for viability
- When starting your business, your first aim should be to build something scalable that a small group of people love
- When growing your business, spend time convincing cheerleaders for investment not sceptics
- When scaling your business, remember that the speed you scale at is just as important as the intellectual property
So what if you don’t have any ideas yet?
Identify problems that you are passionate about solving. For example, you may be passionate about health and the problem of obesity. From there you can break that down to work out why this problem is occurring? This will then provide you with opportunities to come up with viable solutions.
The following megatrends will help you formulate big sustainable ideas:
For example, Forever Young indicates that the expenditure on gym memberships and diet requirements are not resulting in a reduction in the health system costs. Therefore, the problem exists, there is an opportunity, and a viable solution will reduce the strain on the health system.
Global Megatrends: Seven Patterns of Change Shaping Our Future by Stefan Hajkowicz
More from less: scarcity of water, energy and mineral resources versus demand from overpopulation means that society needs to serve more people with fewer resources
Planetary pushback: what humans have done to the earth on the macro and micro level for example, antimicrobial drug resistance and climate change
Great Expectations: the digital age causes people to have greater expectations about their consumer experience
The silk highway: the bulk of the economic output is moving from the West to the East
Forever young: there is an ageing population, an increase in health expenditure (gym memberships and diet requirements) but there is still an increase in obesity resulting in huge costs to the health system
Digital Immersion: digital devices are estimated to exponentially grow to 200 billion by 2020, which will result in an explosion in connectivity
Porous boundaries: boundaries around organisations and countries are removed for example the peer-to-peer economy and new models of lending will challenge current regulations
If you have an idea then that is great! Either way you can utilise the university workshops, societies, co-working space, and incubator to formulate an idea and start a business while you’re at University.
Workshops and Societies (Just to name a few):
- QUT Business Advantage Program
- The QUT Business Advantage program offers specific workshops including: entrepreneurship, design-led innovation and the introduction to start-ups
- Leadership Development Initiative
- Leadership Development Initiative offers programs such as enacting social change
- QUT Enactus
- QUT Enactus provides you with opportunities to make an Impact in the community through social entrepreneurship
- QUT Starters
- QUT Starters provides you with networking events, further start-up workshops and collaborations with external parties
- The Idea Network
- The Idea network gives students access to resources to specifically start a business while studying
- The Coterie
- The Coterie at Kelvin Grove offers an inexpensive student membership option that allows you to collaborate with likeminded entrepreneurs, workshops and a space to start, grow and scale your business
- QUT Bluebox
- QUT Bluebox offers an incubator program that can help turn an idea into a minimal viable product over a short term period
The Creative3 was a life-changing experience and it’s a credit to QUT for sponsoring students to attend. So keep an eye out for the Creative3 next year and make sure you apply!
The lessons learnt coupled with the resources available to you at QUT mean that starting a business at university is possible!
Why not start your learning as an entrepreneur now?
Absorb as much as you can and utilise all of the resources that QUT has to offer.