Growing the next generation of startup founders
UTS Director of Entrepreneurship Murray Hurps has spent 14 years starting and building startups, and is passionate about the opportunities they present for students.
In 2018 he launched UTS Startups, generating 100 student-founded startups well before the end of the year. Here, he details why such an initiative is so important, and gives an insight into what that community looks like.
Universities are uniquely positioned to move Australia's entrepreneurial needle in the right direction, and it’s our responsibility to inspire and educate students on the incredible entrepreneurial opportunity they have.
Not only are their living expenses and life commitments the lowest they’re likely to ever be, students are surrounded by available and affordable talent, educational resources and a multitude of support and funding programs clamouring for their attention. It will never be easier in their lives to launch a startup, and there will never be a more fertile ground to do so – especially here at UTS.
With the university’s clear focus on growing entrepreneurship, I’ve felt very privileged since joining in July to be applying my experience to ensure we provide the best inspiration and support to every student.
Since launching UTS Startups, we’ve been inspiring students to be part of a community of all startups across UTS. We don't have requirements around having a company, revenue, or a business plan. We simply define a startup as something trying to address a significant market, which is using technology to address the market quickly.
We don’t prescribe a path for anyone, as a traditional accelerator might, but we give UTS Startups teams access to our collaboration spaces, and connect them to the best opportunities and support we can, given their needs at the time. This could be potential customers for their startup, investors, talent of every kind, founders with relevant previous experience, marketing strategists, lawyers, accountants, and anything else to help their business succeed.
I’m delighted to say that the traction we have gained so far has been incredible. We signed up 100 startup teams well before the end of this year. Our community is full of amazing, talented and driven people, some of whom have already been recognised for their achievements and potential through our inaugural UTS Startups Awards.
Check out our infographic below for a flavour of what our first 100 teams look like:
Thank you to everyone who has helped make 2018 the incredible year it has been, particularly the amazing UTS Startups community, every UTS student we’ve worked with, the incredibly supportive UTS staff from every faculty, school and department, and the many partner organisations we work closely with.
2018 has been great - 2019 will be better. I’ll see you there.
Inspired to be part of the UTS Startups community? Visit startups.uts.edu.au to find out more.