The eclectic streets of Shanghai and the colourful market city of Tel Aviv are worlds apart, but what they both share is a flourishing startup culture.
Now the generosity of donors is helping talented students immerse themselves in these hotbeds of entrepreneurial activity to refine their skills and bring their newfound expertise back home.
The UQ Idea Hub Startup Adventure is an international program that provides opportunities for capable entrepreneurial students.
Program Director, Nimrod Klayman said the initiative builds astute, proactive and conscientious global citizens who contribute to their communities and the wider innovation economy in Australia.
“Our students take part in this immersive experience by working in a startup in a foreign country and become embedded in the cultural system, attending industry events, and establishing new networks,” Klayman said.
“They leave for this program and return completely changed — more driven, more mature, more engaged in their education and driving growth in their own ventures.”
Despite being a powerhouse for the production of leading minds and ideas, Australia has remained relatively isolated from the vibrant startup culture that has blossomed in other parts of the world.
As a result, we continue to lose some of our best talent to overseas markets and companies.
The UQ Idea Hub program has wide-reaching benefits for the participants and the Australian startup community.
“Some students from regional Australia have never seen a city larger than Brisbane, so exposing them to global markets introduces them to clients and gives them an appreciation of scale,” Klayman said.
Recent trips have taken students to Israel and China, and alumni of these programs have returned to Australia to apply their knowledge, and in many cases, establish thriving local businesses.
In 2018, a quarter of the funds received towards the Area of Greatest Need fund at UQ went towards Idea Hub’s Startup Adventure to enable more students than ever to take part in this life-changing experience.
Main image (left to right): Sam Barton (Diploma in Arts), Josephine O’Boyle (Master of Business), and Phoebe Bardsley (Bachelor of Economics) in Tel Aviv, Israel.