Bringing Silicon Valley startup knowhow to Sydney
Students with a passion for innovation and entrepreneurship will have the benefit of learning from Silicon Valley’s Julia French, who is bringing insights from some of the world’s largest global tech companies to UTS.
Julia French has an infectious desire to foster change by helping tomorrow’s entrepreneurs and innovators navigate and succeed in the fast-paced and dynamic world of startups.
Having worked with some of the world’s top tech companies, including WhatsApp, Dropbox, Atlassian and AirTreeVentures, in a career spanning nearly two decades in the epicentre of US tech innovation, Silicon Valley, Julia has recently joined the UTS Faculty of Transdisciplinary Innovation as a core team member of the Diploma in Innovation.
The Diploma in Innovation is a unique transdisciplinary degree program, where students from all faculties come together to authentically explore innovation, entrepreneurship and creative intelligence during intensive 3-week subjects. It is like a mini double degree that provides students with real industry access and creates a key differentiator when starting their careers.
Innovation touches everything in our lives and will continue to do so, the ability to teach and integrate these frameworks and knowledge is what creates a desire to be a life-long learner.
In all of Australia the Diploma clearly stands out as a program that meets the needs of students – it adds value to any core degree and enables students to pursue exciting career paths on the same plain as their global counterparts
- Julia French
Where innovation and education meet
“Innovation is a critical focus across all sectors – whether students are keen to found their own start up or become an entrepreneur, or want to drive innovation and entrepreneurial initiatives within a corporate or not-for-profit – these are skills that are invaluable in today’s world of work,” says Professor Louise McWhinnie, Dean of the Faculty of Transdisciplinary Innovation.
Julia’s enthusiasm for entrepreneurship and her deep understanding of global innovation frameworks and industry knowledge provides a wealth of experience that our students can tap into.
- Louise McWhinnie, Dean of Faculty of Transdisciplinary Innovation
In a uniquely transdisciplinary approach, the Diploma brings together undergraduate students from across all seven of UTS’s faculties in a collaborative learning environment, where they deep dive into the world of entrepreneurial ecosystems and experimentation, as well as hone their skills in futures thinking and innovative approaches to business and social challenges.
From their very first subjects, students work on real-world challenges and briefs from industry partners, which has seen students delivering pitches to organisations such as WWF and Microsoft. They also learn tips, tricks and advice from expert guest speakers and undertake immersive learning excursions to startup hot spots like the Sydney Startup Hub.
Julia is no stranger to the Diploma. Prior to joining Transdisciplinary Innovation as a core team member, she co-designed two new entrepreneurship subjects in the Diploma in Innovation with Associate Professor Martin Bliemel, the Diploma’s course director. She consistently received accolades from students on those subjects.
“I’m delighted Julia has now joined the core team for the Diploma. The Diploma remains a game-changing add-on to any UTS undergraduate degree. Julia has an outstanding grasp of curriculum design, and can readily link it to the latest research and industry practices,” says Bliemel.
“Students have a lot to learn from Julia and from international leaders she invites into the classroom - and these leaders are also always on the lookout for emerging talent for the initiatives they’re involved in, so it’s a great opportunity for students and industry in creating a strong, networked ecosystem of capable, passionate professionals,” he says.
Julia will be speaking at a special Q&A event at UTS Startups on Wednesday 25 March – register to attend here.