The University of Newcastle, Australia


Thursday, 31 May 2018

In exciting news, the speakers for the upcoming STAR4000: Innovation, Startups and Entrepreneurship course have been announced, offering students the opportunity of a lifetime to work with some of Australia’s industry leaders in entrepreneurship and innovation.


These experienced entrepreneurs will assist students in building an understanding of the key elements of business creation and providing pathways for innovation. The course, offered as part of Winter School, commences on 28 June and will run as a five-day boot camp (28 June - 4 July, 9am - 5pm). All participating members will need to be able to attend all five days of the boot camp.

As part of the course students will complete an applied assessment exercise centered on creating and validating a new startup enterprise, culminating in a business pitch. After completing STAR4000 last year, J. Saunders stated “the lessons I learnt in this 5 day program would have otherwise taken me 3 failed startups to learn”.

UON offers STAR4000: Innovation, Startups and Entrepreneurship in partnership with Slingshot.

Past STAR4000 student M. Goldman said the experience gave insight into “the opportunities available in the start-up space. The quality of the presenters was fantastic and I learned so much about business in the modern economy. It was a fantastic way to finish my degree with this as the information provided was very relevant for the next phase of my life”.

A. Fairclough said STAR4000 exceeded his expectations. “It doesn't matter whether you walk into this course with no business experience, or are beginning to start a company. You'll finish with both the motivation and knowledge to tackle the most crucial things that you need to know to succeed in creating an innovative startup. [I] loved every minute, couldn't have made a better decision than to take this course.”

This year's speakers will include:

Kevin Orr, Founder of Liftango

Kevin is an enthusiastic start-up founder and CEO with 10 years experience in the corporate world as a Business Intelligence Manager for a $10B SuperFund. His strong technical background coupled with front-line business experience developing and launching a start-up, Liftango from scratch, provides him with invaluable knowledge to share with students.

Justin Hales, Founder and CEO of Camplify

Justin is the CEO and founder of Camplify, the Airbnb for caravans, motorhomes and camper trailers. The successful startup stemmed from nostalgic memories of holidaying in the family caravan and came to life with the NRMA Slingshot Jumpstart Accelerator programme. Justin’s experience in software design, driving positive results for businesses is a skillset all young entrepreneurs should develop.

Zachary Seqouia, Serial Entrepreneur

A San Francisco native and dot com 1.0 veteran, Zachary has been helping global brands with their User Experience, User Interface and Service Design for two decades. Zachary is a serial entrepreneur with multiple successful companies. Sitting on various advisory boards for local, state and federal government around innovation, he is particularly passionate about Regional Innovation.

Trent Bagnall, UON alumni and Founder of the Slingshot Accelerator

Trent draws from his own successful career in business to help motivated entrepreneurs translate their ideas to viable commercial companies. As a unique approach in collaboration between large corporates and tech startups, Slingshot provides seed funding, a 12-week mentor driven program and the support needed to build a successful business.

Justin Dry, Joint CEO of Vinomofo

Justin and his team have been proven to be game-changers in the wine industry, challenging retail leaders. Driven by the belief that everybody should be able to enjoy good wine, Vinomofo embraces the affordances of social media and digital content, to engage and excite a new generation of wine consumers. Justin is a strong believer in the importance of outstanding customer service and harnessing the power of your customer base to promote your product.

Students who complete STAR4000 will also be eligible for a two week international placement experience in Singapore with STAR4100.

STAR4100 puts the skills students develop in STAR4000 into practice on an international scale. With the support of Austrade, Slingshot, SendGrid and UON Singapore, this experience will provide students with the real-life practices to help propel their international Startup journey.

The course focuses on the skills and insights required to build a company, commercialise products and conduct business in the SE Asian region and will provide immersion experiences including:

- opportunity to spend time in Singaporean co-working spaces to experience an accelerator and/or incubator;

- site visits to some of the world's leading and largest technology companies; and

- opportunities to connect with Startup founders, Venture Capital investors, and UON Alumni paving their way in the SE Asia market.

Applications for STAR4100 will be accepted through an online Expression of Interest form and a competitive selection process. Successful applicants will be eligible for a scholarship through the New Colombo Plan Mobility Program to the value of $2,970 to support students to participate in the course.

Enrolments for STAR4000 are open now via myHub.

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