Six UON students are amongst the first cohort of 40 budding entrepreneurs to complete The Navigator unit at the Sydney School of Entrepreneurship

UON students among first cohort of entrepreneurial trailblazers

Monday, 9 October 2017


Six University of Newcastle (UON) students are amongst the first cohort of 40 budding entrepreneurs from across New South Wales to complete The Navigator unit at the recently launched Sydney School of Entrepreneurship (SSE).

The pilot unit saw students from across the state take part in online and face-to-face study, where students gained a deepened understanding of the entrepreneurial mindset.

Mapping the entrepreneurial ecosystem through the Massive Ecosystem Scavenger Hunt (MESH) enabled students to understand the Sydney start-up community through experiential learning, an innovative approach used at SSE.

UON Bachelor of Business / Bachelor of Innovation & Entrepreneurship student, Liam Scanlan, is part of the first cohort to complete the SSE core unit. He joins his UON colleagues Vanessa McDonald, Paige Vernon-Smith, Liam Jewell, Kaylee Medonca and Michael Hanlon as graduates of SSE’s first program.

(Photo L to R: Vanessa McDonald, Liam Scanlan, Paige Vernon-Smith, Liam Jewell, Kaylee Mendonca and Michael Hanlon)

In addition to his studies, Liam is the founder and director of the successful Australian surf brand, Eat Your Water. Liam founded Eat Your Water just a few weeks into his first semester of university and learnt the hard way what was involved in running a business.

Liam has used his time with SSE to further network among the start-up ecosystem in NSW and consider avenues for potential business growth for Eat Your Water.

“I’ve always been one for doing things a little bit differently, so to spend time with a really great bunch of people who also think a little bit differently has been great. I have a lot of hands on experience with entrepreneurship, but to step back and look at it from a more theoretical point of view has been really insightful,” he said.

UON Senior Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research & Innovation), Professor Kevin Hall, said the recent graduates would be well equipped to embark on the next phase of their careers.

“UON is committed to nurturing the next generation of innovators and assisting them in building an understanding of the key elements of business creation, providing pathways for innovation and future self-employment. I look forward to watching our recent SSE graduates employ their new entrepreneurial skills as they embark on exciting careers,” Professor Hall said.

SSE CEO Nick Kaye said, “This first cohort has attracted students from all 12 of our member higher education institutions and it’s been inspirational to see such diverse and talented students from right across the state.

“With a thirst to learn and support one another, they have been a true reflection of SSE and our value in cross-disciplinary learning,” he said.

When fully operational, at least 1,000 students each year will participate in SSE courses and activities during their degree or TAFE program, with many more taking part in a program of co-curricular activities including workshops, hackathons, educational boot camps and networking events.