Budding entrepreneurs have showcased their ideas to leading innovators and UNSW alumni at a networking event hosted by NewSouth Innovations (NSi).

Three student teams from NSi’s Student Enterprise program presented their business ideas to 20 UNSW alumni who are currently running successful start-ups, including Simon Foster, Managing Director of ShoeBoxed, an online receipt and document manager; Jane Lu, Chief Executive and founder of online retailer Show Pony; Alfred Lo, Lead Principal of seed funder Optus-Innov8 Seed; and Rebecca Paget, founder of gift crowd-funding website Giftling.

Three student teams – including Re:Align, a digital marketing tracking company – have successfully incorporated their businesses with assistance from the NSi’s program, which guides students through the process of developing, launching and operating a business. Students can receive commercial and legal advice and have the opportunity to network with investors, mentors and alumni entrepreneurs.

The event, which was also attended by Vice-Chancellor Professor Fred Hilmer, Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research) Professor Les Field and NSi CEO Kevin Cullen, complements other NSi initiatives aimed at fostering a culture of entrepreneurialism among students.

This year, NSi hosted the Sydney Seed Fund Pitch event, which invited students to present a video pitch for a technological idea or online business model to a panel of established entrepreneurs. Student entrepreneurs also had the opportunity to network with Australia’s largest Angel Investor syndicate at the Sydney Angels Mixer, and the eight-week UNSW Start-Up Games program saw student companies participate in workshops designed to bring their ideas to fruition.  

NSi’s Student Enterprise Manager, Joshua Flannery, says the networking event aims to directly connect students with industry while giving them practical learning opportunities.

“With such bright and passionate student entrepreneurs now on campus, NSi is excited about the prospects of connecting them with seasoned alumni who are influential in the innovation ecosystem.”

Flannery says NSi is also looking forward to scaling up these programs to coincide with the 2015 launch of a new UNSW innovation hub, The Crouch Innovation Centre.

Media contact: Cassie Chorn, UNSW Media Office, 9385 8107