Business

Relaunch invigorates partnership

David Knowles of Pitcher Partners is inspired by Swinburne’s vision for an entrepreneurial school. Image supplied by Swinburne University

Swinburne is set to re-establish itself as a world leader in entrepreneurial education with its revitalised Australian Graduate School of Entrepreneurship (AGSE), says a senior partner of Pitcher Partners, David Knowles.

At the relaunch of the AGSE, Mr Knowles announced that Swinburne had “resoundingly beaten” a plethora of entrepreneurial schools that had entered the market in the last 10 years to be chosen by Pitcher Partners as a key collaborator.

As Chairman and Executive Director of Pitcher Partners’ International Institute of Entrepreneurship, Mr Knowles told the relaunch he was excited about the collaboration.

“The word entrepreneur has transformed from being a dirty word to an aspirational one,” he told the launch.

“While there was no shortage of alternative providers for us to consider working with, Swinburne’s AGSE had all contenders resoundingly beaten.”

Throughout 2017, Swinburne and Pitcher Partners have offered a Master of Entrepreneurship and Innovation (MEI), giving students the option of studying at the refurbished AGSE facilities or at Pitcher Partners’ Melbourne offices.

Mr Knowles said Pitcher Partners had been “inspired” by the vision of Swinburne Pro Vice-Chancellor Professor Michael Gilding and AGSE Director, Alexander Kaiser, for a relaunched entrepreneurial school.

MEI course content has been co-designed by Swinburne and Pitcher Partners.

“They understood the unique position the AGSE had held in the global entrepreneurship space and made clear to us what was going to happen to regain Swinburne’s rightful place as a world leading institution in this field,” he said.

“More importantly, they had a clear vision for how they could help us achieve our objectives and how by working together both of our ambitions could be accelerated and amplified.”

Director of the AGSE, Alex Kaiser says the collaborative approach to the course material has allowed students to become the type of entrepreneurial leaders and innovative thinkers needed by small to medium enterprises such as local government, professional service firms, start-ups and not for profits.

The content strives to engage students with industry and prepare them to work in a range of enterprises or start their own.

“The collaborative nature of the course will allow students to do field work with industry mentors and be supported as they launch their own ventures, or to work on mentored projects provided by the industry partner,” Mr Kaiser said.

“We produce graduates who are future-ready.”

Classes have been scheduled to suit those working full-time, with each unit of study offered with the option of ‘block mode’.

Swinburne has a long-standing relationship with Pitcher Partners and has previously undertaken joint research programs with the organisation, including a study of family business planning, supported by the Australian Research Council.

Alongside the Master of Entrepreneurship and Innovation, Swinburne is also offering a Graduate Certificate of Entrepreneurship and Innovation.

Source: Swinburne University

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