Mr Jarryd Daymond from the Faculty of Business and Economics at Macquarie University was recently awarded best poster voted by students at the recent poster session held as part of Learning and Teaching Week at Macquarie University.
I asked Jarryd to tell us a bit about his project and what motivated him to work on it.
The entrepreneurship project
The Project started in 2014 with a pilot forum to support student business ideas, and was run on a shoestring budget. We found a lot of people were interested in the competition but that interest didn’t translate into participation. This year Clare Iarandine and I teamed up to see if we could implement some of the recommendations of the pilot and build upon that initial forum.
This year we wanted to structure it in a way to make it easier for students to get involved, through scaffolding their involvement . The competition is primarily about developing student entrepreneurship skills and helping them to learn along the way. Students get to apply what they are learning in their degree programs, and use their various skills in a competition format which helps to improve their employability. Students can point to it as something they have done, put it on their resume and talk about it in job interviews.
The competition is not focused on launching successful ventures. The entrepreneurship ideas still have some way to go and they need more financial support and a further incubation of their ideas to make it more viable. Our focus is very much on the learning and skills development.
Have you had industry support for this?
No formal support as yet. The first stage of the competition required students to write their entrepreneurial idea in 100 words for an opportunity to win $100. That is a lot less daunting to students, as having an idea and writing a 100 words is not too difficult. Stage 2 had students coming to a workshop hosted at the PwC Offices (so they are sort of an industry partner). The workshop was designed to help students generate entrepreneurial ideas and give them some tools to organise those ideas into a suitable business model.
We were awarded a Macquarie University Strategic Priority Grant this year and that has enabled us to offer some prizemoney as an incentive for students to be involved.
What motivated you to do the project?
At the beginning of last year I was working on secondment to the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Students and Registrar)’s office on a project in response to student requests for entrepreneurship support – such as for money and space to work. Other universities provided these incubator spaces and these students were wanting some support to start businesses.
I’ve also had a sustained interest in entrepreneurship. I used to run a conference for entrepreneurs. I also started my own business and was connected to a lot of people in the startup scene, so this was a logical project for me to initiate.
How do you see this contributing to student engagement?
The students from the Asia-Pacific Student Entrepreneurship Society are very engaged. (See http://teche.ltc.mq.edu.au/we-want-macquarie-staff-to-embrace-their-inner-entrepreneur/). They are engaged with staff, with industry, with fellow students. A lot of what they are doing is working together, running drop-in workshops during Macquarie Learning and Teaching week. One student is even rumoured to have turned down his graduate role at an accounting firm next year because he wants to continue on with entrepreneurship activities.
What is your most memorable moment working in this space?
Last year, despite only having a modest pilot project with only 3 student teams, the event had an amazing energy and excitement about what students were doing. Students were up there pitching there ideas to experienced entrepreneurs and investors and giving it a go. That was really nice to see! Also, experts from outside the university were very generous with their time and advice for what was a very modest event. I was blown away with the attitude of the people involved. We’ve called the pitch this year the “shark tank” – but the whole journey is within a really nurturing environment. My experience of the entrepreneurship culture is that it can be very supportive because people in the space realise that somewhere down the track you are probably going to rely on someone else for a helping hand.
Outside of work what are you passionate about?
This project is kind of outside of work because it is not formally part of my role. I work primarily in quality assurance and planning in the business faculty. Apart from that I have almost finished the 2nd year of my MRes. My research is on cross-sector collaboration, which keeps me busy. I love doing research.
I am also always involved in one sport or another- squash, golf, rowing at the Macquarie University boatshed down on the Lane Cove River and triathlons. I am competing in a triathlon in November after I submit my MRes – so balancing work, writing and training.