An Innovation Incubator Connecting Students
Industry and Community Partner
QUT (The Foundry)
Innovative features of the QUT foundry include:
- Engaging multiple disciplines
- Flexibility in duration, location and space
- Intra or entrepreneurial elements
Success of the QUT Foundry is enabled through the matching of the right student to the right startup and supporting the experience within a well-functioning innovation ecosystem.
Linked to the matching of students to startups, is the need for the students to be well prepared for the experience and to have an appreciation of the poorly defined, complex and ever-changing space, which is innovation in a startup context.
Selection of the appropriate student for these setting is important, with it desirable for students to have the following characteristics:
- Innovativeness and a desire to make a difference
- Risk taking and a willingness to work in poorly defined spaces
- Proactiveness and an attitude to seek solutions and challenge ideas
- The ability to work in an autonomous environment with often laissez faire management arrangements
- Resilience and capacity to be flexible and adaptive
For more information
The QUT Foundry is an innovation incubator environment equipped to support startup ventures.
QUT students can access WIL opportunities on offer through startups connected with the QUT Foundry. A startup may vary from a small operation (1 to 2 people) with a vague idea and emerging practice, to more sophisticated operations who are looking for innovative ways to increase growth or market share.
QUT Foundry connects students looking for a WIL opportunity with a startup seeking the students skills and expertise. The WIL opportunities should enable students to advance their skills in their field of study, however the activities of a student in these settings will demand from them capacity across all areas of successful business practice.
Many WIL opportunities for students involve relatively well-established organisations and businesses. Startups, by definition, lack some of the experience and consistent practices of more established companies. Therefore, these WIL experiences challenge students to work in ill-defined and innovative work spaces.
There is potential in this model for students to be working across multiple companies and startups employing their skills in a greater diversity of opportunities.
Impact / outcomes
Students: students gain experience through their involvement with innovation and entrepreneurship opportunities.
Startups: Success of startups, both in their capacity to gain market share as well as being able to pivot to better ideas, is a keep achievement outcome for the QUT Foundry.
The Foundry is a locale of innovative WIL opportunities rather than a teaching centre, so assessment is undertaken by the student’s ‘base’ unit.
This model of WIL is currently in its infancy with evaluation of outcomes still emerging. However, for those involved in these experiences there exists a positive outlook on the contribution of this approach to preparing future focused graduates.