Strip back the clutter
Mike Reid has a winning smile and it is never more in evidence than when sharing his views on entrepreneurship, which he describes as “unwavering and absolute.”
“In new business, I think simplicity is beautiful,” the third year Business and Economics student tells me, positively beaming.
“Find a problem you face in everyday life and solve it.”
And set about problem solving they did when the club, Student Entrepreneurs/Agents of Change, developed their new businesses from scratch over the weekend “Startup Camp 2010.”
Tian Yang, president of Student Entrepreneurs: Agents of Change, attributes the near explosion of student-based interest and talent regarding entrepreneurship to intrinsic qualities.
“When it comes to entrepreneurship, a recurring theme is that everyone has it in them,” he explains. “Sometimes, all it may take for something to happen is for the person to realise that.”
In true Collins Street-style, teams worked through the Friday and Saturday nights at the Spot Building on the weekend of April 9 to 11 to take their business ideas from concept to web-based reality.
30 Melbourne students had responded to organisers’ challenges:
Do you ever feel like you speak a language others don’t understand?
Do you ever stay awake at night dreaming up big ideas?
Do you ever feel a burning excitement at the thought of starting your own business?
The club abandoned its original bureaucratic structure for a more freewheeling approach.
“We like to approach every event like a start up,” Mr Reid says.
“People are given a lot of autonomous power and within each role, whether it be marketing, sponsorship or a leadership role of the entire event, each is responsible for that particular area.”
So what did the all-nighters come up with? Here are a few of the results.
Ansr.it (http://ansr.it) – Intriguing questions. Crazy answers. ansr.it!
Blood Thank (www.bloodthank.com) – Connecting generosity with gratitude, for blood donors and receivers.
Dream, Share, Discover (www.dreamsharediscover.com) – Share your dreams and aspirations.
Class Notes (www.classnotes.com.au) – The class notes marketplace for university students.
Night Mapr (http://night-mapr.appspot.com/) – Find a night event near you.
Gwisher (http://gwisher.com) -– Help hapless guys to find perfect gifts for their girlfriends.
As Phillip Kingston, Founder of Kingston Development and one of the judging panellists puts it, “Startup Camp is one of the best experiences a student entrepreneur could go through. It gives them first-hand insight into the grit, sweat and work ethic that is required to get a startup off the ground”.
“The quality of what these students produced was on par with that of the Startup Camp run for professional entrepreneurs in Sydney,” Andrew Gerrand, Developer Relations officer of Google and judging panellist, says.
Mr Reid’s role in the camp was in marketing where the club had two main objectives.
“That was to gain high quality participants for the camp from a mix of business and IT software development and secondly, and more broadly, to promote the club and to promote entrepreneurship, not just at the University, but hopefully in the wider community as well” Mr Reid says.
“That’s where Startup camp was so powerful – it was the power of doing, the power of application and it meant that we really feel that our events tie together the things that students learn at university and actually do in practice.”
And what is it about entrepreneurship and all night sessions?
“During Startup camp we were discussing time constraints – we had 18 to 24 hours to go from nothing to business.
“We said to our club founder Amir Nissan let’s get a week and see what we can really do.
“But he said, no, this is the whole point – under those time constraints and under those conditions you perform at your best. You have to strip back all the clutter and get to the core of what you need to do and do it, and it was that doing that was so powerful during Startup.”
For a full list of the results of the camp, visit: