Seven students from the University of Newcastle are set to pioneer the future of innovation as they undertake studies at the Sydney School of Entrepreneurship

UON students marked as entrepreneurial trailblazers

Wednesday, 16 August 2017


Seven students from the University of Newcastle (UON) are set to pioneer the future of innovation as they undertake studies at the new Sydney School of Entrepreneurship (SSE), officially opened today in Ultimo.

An offshoot of the successful Stockholm School of Entrepreneurship, SSE aims to provide access to practical training, support and mentoring and will focus on developing an entrepreneurial mindset among students.

UON students will participate in SSE courses and activities as part of their degree program, and be embedded into the entrepreneurial ecosystem through connection with peers, industry experts, policy makers, entrepreneurs and mentors.

UON Bachelor of Business / Bachelor of Innovation & Entrepreneurship student, Vanessa McDonald, said she was thrilled to be part of the first SSE pilot course and had found it a great way to compliment her studies and further her horizons.

“I love studying in Newcastle and am lucky enough to have classes in our new city building, but I wanted to get involved with the Sydney School of Entrepreneurship to experience a different environment and have found getting a snapshot of the scene in Sydney really beneficial.

“So far we’ve participated in some really great activities such as engaging with industry professionals via panel discussions and Q&A, and hands-on exercises like developing a model of our own local ecosystem, with a view to create a working representation of the NSW ecosystem.

“I’m also an artist and really interested in the start-up scene, so ultimately my goal would be to be involved in the creative sector making a difference connecting artists with businesses, as well as equip them with the skills they need to commercialise their products through enhancing their own personal brand,” she said.

Committed to nurturing the next generation of innovators, UON recently commenced the delivery of the unique Star4000 program which, developed in collaboration with accelerator company Slingshot, provides students with skills in entrepreneurship and assists in building an understanding of the key elements of business creation, providing pathways for innovation and future self-employment.

Funded by the state government through the Hunter Infrastructure and Investment Fund (HIIF), UON has played a key role in developing an Integrated Innovation Network (I2N) of regional incubator spaces to kick-start a networked innovation ecosystem across the Hunter region.

Senior Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Professor Kevin Hall, said SSE was a great initiative to further ensure students had a well-rounded understanding of the sector, as well as increased exposure to key players.

“We’re proud to be pioneering the next generation of entrepreneurs through our innovative programs and cutting-edge facilities.

“I look forward to our students undertaking additional courses through SSE, as it is a wonderful opportunity to further develop their connections, and am keen to see the benefits as they embark on exciting careers,” he said.

SSE is a partnership between all 11 NSW universities and TAFE NSW to drive the next generation of innovators.

The UON students commencing with SSE as part of their studies are:

  • Michael Hanlon – Bachelor of Commerce
  • Liam Jewell – Bachelor of Development Studies (Honours)
  • Vanessa McDonald – Bachelor of Business / Bachelor of Innovation & Entrepreneurship
  • Kaylee Mendonca – Bachelor of Business
  • Liam Scanlan – Bachelor of Business / Bachelor of Innovation & Entrepreneurship
  • Ryan Sweeney – Bachelor of Business / Bachelor of Information Technology
  • Paige Vernon-Smith – Bachelor of Business / Bachelor of Innovation & Entrepreneurship