ATAR boost for young entrepreneurs at Swinburne

Victorian secondary school students will get the opportunity to experience the life of an entrepreneur as part of an exclusive new partnership between Swinburne University of Technology and the innovation agency Marketing Innovation Entrepreneurship Lab (MIELab).

The semester-long program will see students undertake a real-world project to develop innovative thinking and an entrepreneurial mindset. In small groups, they will identify and analyse a problem, generate a solution, design and test a prototype, build a business model and pitch their idea in a venture showcase event.

To recognise their achievements, Year 10 and 11 students who undertake the Shark Tank eSchool in 2022 and complete the capstone assessment will receive an ATAR adjustment of two aggregate points when they apply to study with Swinburne.

Swinburne’s Vice-Chancellor Pascale Quester says the partnership is a unique opportunity to introduce high school students to the world of entrepreneurship.

“Entrepreneurial thinking and skills are not just essential for start-ups, they underpin success in every industry,” Professor Quester said.

“Swinburne is proud to be building a prototype of a new and different university – one that is truly of technology, innovation and entrepreneurship. We are very pleased to be supporting students who share this vision as they develop the skills they need to succeed in the future workforce.”

Entrepreneurship in action

The program’s name derives from the popular Shark Tank reality television show, where entrepreneurs pitch to five investors (known as ‘sharks’) to secure funding for their ventures.

Teachers in participating schools will undertake two days of training on delivering the program and receive ongoing online support.

Dean of Swinburne’s School of Business, Law and Entrepreneurship, Professor Keryn Chalmers, says that this ‘teach the teacher’ model will ensure that participating schools are developing the next generation of innovative thinkers for years to come.

‘Swinburne is committed to developing leaders who are equipped to address global challenges and meet the needs of new and emerging industries,’ Professor Chalmers says.

‘Students who complete the Shark Tank eSchool program will not only leave with a solid foundation in entrepreneurship, but will be supported to continue growing their passion, skills and knowledge at Swinburne.’

Swinburne will be the exclusive partner of the MIELab in Victoria, building on the success of the Shark Tank eSchool program in South Australia and Western Australia.

Founder and Managing Director of MIELab, Andrew Bensley, said it was an exciting opportunity for Victorian teachers, students and schools.

‘We are excited to have Swinburne University of Technology as a tertiary partner, providing engagement opportunities for students and supporting the development of entrepreneurial skills and an entrepreneurial mindset of young people.

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