How to Become an Entrepreneur at University

How to Become an Entrepreneur at University

Starting a business at the university may be one of the hardest things you’ll do. But it is also the best time in history for (young) people to build a business. At university, you also have the gift of time, experts, mentors and research facilities on your side.

As universities are starting to become drawn towards entrepreneurship, and even launch startup incubators, they are now offering a variety of classes and programs in order to help students pursue their entrepreneurial ambitions.

This is good news for students because employers feel that they should gain entrepreneurship experience before graduating.

First of all, if you’re thinking of starting a business, it means you have an idea. In most cases, this product or service is already existing and being sold out there. But, this does not mean that this idea holds no commercial potential. Successful companies usually tend not to enter the market first. Coming later, they benefit from market validation and the learnings from their competitors’ mistakes. Instead of rushing into the unknown, coming second – or late – to the game proves an advantage; as long as you are launching based on a refined idea. When it comes to UQ, this is where Idea Hub comes into play, offering a six-week series of workshops as an introduction to entrepreneurship and the opportunity to iterate and validate ideas for startups.

 

Having competitors also means that you will be able to assess them, define what their niche(s) is/are and ensure positioning yourselves with a difference. Define what their strong points are and where they are weaker to position yourselves as not only different but also sharper, cheaper(?), better.

Starting up will come with a number of problems – especially in the early days and stages. Scarcity, of means (money), knowledge, support, understanding and much more. This is where you need strong validations to rely on. As long as you know your market – and have validated it – and your true North, your journey will be much smoother. Startup Academy (by the UQ Business School) addresses these points, professionals are also around on campus, whether at Idea Hub or ilab UQ, the startup space at The University of Queensland.

 

Moving forward, with a refined idea, a validated market and potential, it is time to launch an actual business. The initial validation allows to build foundations on which to rely as pivoting during the journey is a likely option. Putting some actual matter on a frame comes with a massive amount of challenges (and work). Going from paper to actual physical product or (not-so-physical) service requires a substantial amount of time and effort. Beyond turning an idea into a reality, you are to build a viable – and profitable – business.

This is our mission, at ilab, to help and provide resources to students and people part of the UQ network willing to embark on the entrepreneurship and innovation journey. We do have a dedicated space for startups – and welcome all interested students – run mentorship events, startup internship programs and run a startup accelerator program to help the best and brightest (ideas) come to life in the form of a viable business.

Our motto, “We turn ideas into startups and innovators into entrepreneurs”.