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Business School students hungry to enter the start-up world

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21 October 2020

For the second year, staff at the Centre for Innovation and Entrepreneurship have provided an opportunity for Business School students to volunteer their time and expertise to help early stage start-ups.  This unique experience supports their growth and development through being part of a small team tackling large, global problems. It’s an opportunity that benefits both the student and the start-up.

The start-ups involved are the winners of last year’s Velocity $100k Challenge, who have moved onto the Centre’s VentureLab incubator programme. The ventures being developed include SpinPoi, a social venture that uses scientifically-proven techniques with poi to improve wellbeing, and Pacific Med Tech, which aims to build capability and capacity in the biomedical engineering field in the Pacific region.

Wei-Xuen Chan is a first-year student majoring in Accounting and Commercial Law. During her internship with Pacific Med Tech, she assisted with several design and research projects. “It is such a gratifying experience, and I have gained a lot of insight into the work that goes behind the scenes during the development of a start-up. Everyone in the team was driven and it was incredible to get the opportunity to work with like-minded people to see that small pieces of work we do build up to assist with solving real-life problems”.

Sejal Bhan is about to complete a Bachelor of Commerce, majoring in Economics and International Business. “This was my second time taking part in the VentureLab Volunteers programme and to be able to be given this great opportunity has been one of the highlights of my time at university. Also, it’s definitely a great addition to the CV! Last year not only did I get to work with the company Electroclear over my days at university, but I also got offered a summer internship with the company and got to learn so much about working in a start-up environment.”

Sejal worked with SpinPoi in 2020. “I was given the responsibility to handle some aspects of accounting and marketing. In accounting, I got to learn a lot from using the software Xero, since it’s a rising trend to use this accounting software amongst companies. Additionally, I helped prepare a budget report for 2021 as SpinPoi plans to move to the Netherlands next year. When it came to marketing, I got to work more on the Google Analytics aspect of the company. I also got to write a blog post on mindfulness! I am so grateful to have been given this opportunity twice by the University.” 

SpinPoi founder Kate Riegle van West has also found the experience rewarding. “As a solopreneur, it’s been amazing to have the support of VentureLab Volunteers. Being able to bounce ideas off each other and to share the heavy load of start-up life has been great for my business, not to mention my mental health!”

Programme Coordinator Jessica Schneider says she was surprised and delighted at the level of interest in the VentureLab Volunteers programme. “We had 5 volunteers last year and received 45 applications from students wanting to participate in 2020. This included postgraduate students who wanted the opportunity to work on a start-up. We are preparing ourselves for even more interest next year, and starting to think about how we can extend opportunities. I cannot wait to see what teams are in the VentureLab cohort for 2021 and am looking forward to seeing their ventures take shape during the six month programme, with the support of a new group of VentureLab volunteers”.

Read more about the 2020 VentureLab incubator participants

Nicholas Bing
Nicholas Bing

social media

21 October 2020

For the second year, staff at the Centre for Innovation and Entrepreneurship have provided an opportunity for Business School students to volunteer their time and expertise to help early stage start-ups.  This unique experience supports their growth and development through being part of a small team tackling large, global problems. It’s an opportunity that benefits both the student and the start-up.

The start-ups involved are the winners of last year’s Velocity $100k Challenge, who have moved onto the Centre’s VentureLab incubator programme. The ventures being developed include SpinPoi, a social venture that uses scientifically-proven techniques with poi to improve wellbeing, and Pacific Med Tech, which aims to build capability and capacity in the biomedical engineering field in the Pacific region.

Wei-Xuen Chan is a first-year student majoring in Accounting and Commercial Law. During her internship with Pacific Med Tech, she assisted with several design and research projects. “It is such a gratifying experience, and I have gained a lot of insight into the work that goes behind the scenes during the development of a start-up. Everyone in the team was driven and it was incredible to get the opportunity to work with like-minded people to see that small pieces of work we do build up to assist with solving real-life problems”.

Sejal Bhan is about to complete a Bachelor of Commerce, majoring in Economics and International Business. “This was my second time taking part in the VentureLab Volunteers programme and to be able to be given this great opportunity has been one of the highlights of my time at university. Also, it’s definitely a great addition to the CV! Last year not only did I get to work with the company Electroclear over my days at university, but I also got offered a summer internship with the company and got to learn so much about working in a start-up environment.”

Sejal worked with SpinPoi in 2020. “I was given the responsibility to handle some aspects of accounting and marketing. In accounting, I got to learn a lot from using the software Xero, since it’s a rising trend to use this accounting software amongst companies. Additionally, I helped prepare a budget report for 2021 as SpinPoi plans to move to the Netherlands next year. When it came to marketing, I got to work more on the Google Analytics aspect of the company. I also got to write a blog post on mindfulness! I am so grateful to have been given this opportunity twice by the University.” 

SpinPoi founder Kate Riegle van West has also found the experience rewarding. “As a solopreneur, it’s been amazing to have the support of VentureLab Volunteers. Being able to bounce ideas off each other and to share the heavy load of start-up life has been great for my business, not to mention my mental health!”

Programme Coordinator Jessica Schneider says she was surprised and delighted at the level of interest in the VentureLab Volunteers programme. “We had 5 volunteers last year and received 45 applications from students wanting to participate in 2020. This included postgraduate students who wanted the opportunity to work on a start-up. We are preparing ourselves for even more interest next year, and starting to think about how we can extend opportunities. I cannot wait to see what teams are in the VentureLab cohort for 2021 and am looking forward to seeing their ventures take shape during the six month programme, with the support of a new group of VentureLab volunteers”.

Read more about the 2020 VentureLab incubator participants


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