BOND UNIVERSITY RECRUITS BUSINESS BIG HITTERS TO ITS NEW ENTREPRENEUR DEVELOPMENT PROGRAM
15 May 2017, Written by Ben Hall
BOND University has secured the services of four of Australia's most successful business identities to oversee its new program called Transformer, which is aimed at developing the new wave of young entrepreneurs.
Transformer is the first of its kind in Australia to help students undertake "big picture thinking" and they'll be able to call on the experience of Queensland chief entrepreneur and Blue Sky Alternative Investments founder Mark Sowerby, Virgin Australia director David Baxby, ECP Asset Management co-founder Jared Pohl and Goldbean founder and CEO Jane Barratt.
Bond has invested $2.5 million in the Transformer program with a renovated co-working space in the University's business school and 100 students have enrolled.
"Do not doubt that this will become the most important space within Bond University," Sowerby said at the official launch on Monday.
"This is the place where ideas will be developed into the things that will change our lives," Sowerby says.
Baxby, Pohl and Sowerby (pictured above) and Barratt will form an independent advisory circle in Transformer which is being offered to all students at Bond.
The program can be completed by students at their own pace during their undergraduate or postgraduate degree and has three distinct and separate phases - Inspiration, Exploration and Transformation.
Sowerby says the Transformer program will give students a platform to challenge themselves and build on their entrepreneurial experience.
"Investing in and mentoring younger generations is crucial to successful growth," Sowerby says.
"Specialised areas and programs to provide this help to the entrepreneurs of tomorrow gives the economy a huge ongoing dividend through job creation, wealth creation and innovation.
"A vibrant startup ecosystem is one of the important pathways for people to start their own business, find the right help, establish networks and just get started."
Sowerby, Baxby and Pohl held their first introductory session with the Transformer students as part of the mentoring and development plan.
"There were some really good ideas in there already and the most promising thing was the passion and drive from the people involved," Baxby says.
"That's really what you want to see. You want to see people who have got the commitment to see it all the way through," he says.
"I believe these entrepreneurs who are unburdened by legacy thinking are the ones who will succeed and Transformer is the first step towards helping build some great companies."
Pohl also says the millennial workforce need to embrace the changes going on in the world and try and stand out from the crowd.
"There were some great ideas in there today, and some really innovative ones and that's really encouraging," Pohl says.
"We need to give young entrepreneurs the confidence to pursue unique ideas which solve real world problems. We don't need another social network or product marketplace."
To add yet another touch of occasion to the launch of Transformer, today marks 28 years since Bond University opened the doors to its first cohort of students.
Business News Australia
Author: Ben Hall