The MIT Global Entrepreneurship Bootcamp (March 26-31) is underway at QUT, offering some of the world’s brightest entrepreneurial thinkers the opportunity to transform their innovative ideas into burgeoning businesses.
It is the first time the MIT Global Entrepreneurship Bootcamp has been held in Australia and only the second time outside the US.
More than 120 motivated entrepreneurs from 38 countries were carefully selected by MIT from more than 6,000 applications to experience the challenges of creating a startup in just one week – a feat that typically takes years.
Mentored by world leaders from the robotics, construction, biotechnology, energy, healthcare, social enterprise and telecommunications industries, the international group was welcomed to QUT’s Gardens Point campus on Saturday.
Participants met their MIT mentors as well as Queensland Minister for Innovation, Science and the Digital Economy Leeanne Enoch, QUT Vice-Chancellor Professor Peter Coaldrake and MIT and QUT staff.
Classes are being led by Managing Director of Martin Trust Centre for MIT Entrepreneurship Bill Aulet, author of Disciplined Entrepreneurship.
Keynote speakers and mentors during event include:
- Rodney Brooks – Australian robotics entrepreneur and former director of the MIT AI Lab, founder of Rethink robotics and iRobot Corp
- Rene Reinsberg – MIT Sloan alumni and co-founder of Locu, which sold to GoDaddy for $70m
- David Anderton – Included in Forbes 30 under 30, co-founder and CTO of Deepstream.tv
- Miranda Phua – Australian social entrepreneur, co-founder of ZigWay, a Myanmar-based social enterprise that helps low income families access cheap and flexible loans
- Inga Stasiulionyte – Olympic javelin thrower turned entrepreneur
- Marius Ursache – founder of Eternime, a startup building intelligent avatars to collect and preserve thoughts, stories and memories of people for eternity
- Scott Hutchinson – managing director of Hutchinson Builders, Queensland’s largest privately owned building company
- Denis Wagner – co-director of Wagners, developers of the first greenfield public airport built in Australia in the last 50 years
- Mark Sowerby – Queensland’s first Chief Entrepreneur.
QUT Vice-Chancellor Professor Peter Coaldrake said universities should play a key role in the startup ecosystem and cultivate environments in which entrepreneurship can thrive.
“At QUT our entrepreneurial focus is on encouraging and nurturing the next generation of entrepreneurs through initiatives such as our QUT Foundries, which are co-working and mentoring spaces on campus for our students, staff, alumni and industry,” Professor Coaldrake said.
“Business and industry and our economy are experiencing unprecedented disruption and entrepreneurs play a vital role in finding the opportunities that help prepare for, and respond to, new challenges in a rapidly changing world.
“QUT is proud to work with MIT and the Queensland Government through its Advance Queensland program to position Queensland as an ideas-driven destination for entrepreneurs and industry.”
Bill Aulet said the blended educational experience of combined online and residential bootcamp provides the best of both methods of teaching.
“Within a week participants will learn the invaluable lesson of how to apply the knowledge they gained from the online class in a way that is not possible,” Mr Aulet said.
“You have to work with other people face to face to really understand how to apply the concepts for a specific new opportunity, and in entrepreneurship, every good opportunity is a new one.
“That is the point of innovation. As such, in a week at the Brisbane MIT Global Entrepreneurship Bootcamp, the participants will get invaluable expertise that would take them months if not years to get elsewhere, if they could.
“It’s not easy but then nothing that is really worthwhile in the long run ever is.”
Past alumni of the bootcamp include Simplify founder Yen Pei Tay who was named in Fast Company’s Top 50 Most Innovative Companies list for 2017.