Victoria University is helping launch the next generation of entrepreneurs and innovators through a new programme which will bring graduate students together to create advanced technology start-up companies.
The introduction of a one-year Master of Advanced Technology Enterprise, commencing in January 2013, will see students combine their skills in a team environment, and culminate with teams pitching their business plans to an expert panel of investors.
Graduates from science, engineering, design, commerce, law and other disciplines will develop their technology start-ups with mentoring and support from academic supervisors. They will also work with some of Wellington’s leading companies including Baldwins Intellectual Property, Creative HQ, Deloitte, start-up firms Magritek and Mesynthes, and technology investors Movac and No 8 Ventures.
Kate McGrath, Professor of Chemistry at Victoria University and Director of the MacDiarmid Institute for Advanced Materials and Nanotechnology, instigated the programme and says it is a unique opportunity for students with a creative, entrepreneurial streak to come together and work intensively on a commercial project.
“This is the only programme of its kind in New Zealand where students from a wide range of disciplines can come together and work in an essentially real-world environment, to develop an advanced technology business concept.
“We’re hoping that a new generation of entrepreneurs and innovators will be able cut their teeth on this programme and that successful companies can be forged through the process.
“We’re looking for passionate, creative students from a wide range of backgrounds, who are interested in working in a dynamic environment to set up a business.”
Students will take part in an intense four-week development course to learn the practical and theoretical frameworks necessary to develop an advanced technology start-up company, along with collective brainstorming, team development, collaboration and communication skills. During this phase students will start to think like entrepreneurs while developing their advanced technology business ideas and an independent research focus for the year.
In the next part of the programme, students will undertake their individual research within the integrated team environment. Towards completion of the course, each team will present their business plan to an expert panel, with attracting funding being an integral part of the qualification.