One of Professor Ian Chubb‘s final statements in his role as Australia’s Chief Scientist was a call for Universities to play a pivotal role in Boosting High Impact Entrepreneurship in Australia. At Bond University we are in a unique position to respond, given our status as Australia’s only private not-for-profit university. Indeed, the words one of our founders expressed at the creation of our university seem prophetic given the contemporary rhetoric on innovation.
The Bond Business School has a proud history of building entrepreneurial knowledge in our students. In 1990 we joined London Business School and Lyon Graduate School of Business to be one of three international institutions to compete against the likes of Harvard, Wharton and Carneggie Mellon at the inaugural International Moot Corp competition at the University of Texas, becoming International Champions three times.
The latest iteration of our highly experiential entrepreneurial education is the Bond Business Accelerator, a for-credit subject based on the highly-regarded Lean Launchpad methodology. We have graduated 23 startups from three cohorts, with the next program beginning in May. In addition to the BBA, students can undertake the Silicon Valley Study Tour, a ten-day immersion into the cultural and systemic enablers of innovation.
Perhaps the most important development in the way in which we are building the innovative thought leaders of tomorrow is through our new two-semester-long pair of subjects: Business Model Generation and Business Model Execution. These subjects are studied by every single Bachelor of Business student and take participants through a mentor-rich, highly experiential process of creativity, ideation and early customer validation through to MVP construction and customer discovery. Every B.Bus student will graduate from their Bond degree understanding the ways in which individuals and organisations come up with new ideas, validate those ideas into minimally viable products, and actually go out and sell those products to real customers.
In designing our entrepreneurship education offering, we have drawn from best practice both domestically and internationally. We are in the midst of refreshing our co-working space to become the central point of activity for the broader Bond Business Commercialisation Centre, and we have an exciting lineup of events planned for 2016 (starting with the Health Innovation Seminar on March 23rd).
The good news is that our actions are gaining momentum. The National Innovation and Science Agenda has given legitimacy to entrepreneurship education, and our efforts are becoming noticed. A quick assessment of the most viewed profiles on LinkedIn of members of the Bond University community (1,243 members) shows five of the top 10 profiles to be linked to the Bond Business Commercialisation Centre.
#1 Aaron Birkby is on our Advisory Board and has been a pivotal contributor to the development of the Bond Business Accelerator. #3 Leigh Kelson is a serial mentor for our students, contributing practical relevance to our academic rigour. #7 Andrew Maxwell is a member of both our Advisory Board and of the 1996 winning Bond Moot Corp team. #10 Tres West is the cofounder and Program Manager of the Bond Business Accelerator. I sit at #6.
We believe we are achieving significant advances in entrepreneurship education. We have learned from many, and continue to learn from our peers. Our desire is to be the preeminent provider of entrepreneurship education in Australia, contributing to the strength of Australia’s innovation-based economy through skilled graduates and professional contributions to our community.
I am proud to be the inaugural Director of the Bond Business Commercialisation Centre and look forward to increased connection with the broader Bond family in building the innovative thought leaders of tomorrow.