Is entrepreneurship education the must-have skill set to determine a successful career?

Recognising the growing demands of the innovative and technology-driven economy, Queensland’s QUT has joined the internationally-renowned Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) to teach entrepreneurial skills transferrable across countries, careers and industries.

QUT will host MIT Global Entrepreneurship Bootcamp at Gardens Point campus in Brisbane from March 26-31, with more than 5,000 applications submitted for this year’s camp.

Strict guidelines will determine the final participants provided they have completed the MIT-led MITx entrepreneurship MOOCs (massive open online courses).

The intensive, week-long camp connects entrepreneurs to the MIT entrepreneurship ecosystem, who finesse their skills during all day lectures and late-night working sessions.

Classes are led by Bill Aulet, Managing Director of the Martin Trust Centre for Entrepreneurship at MIT and senior lecturer at the MIT Sloan School of Management.

“Online can teach you the knowledge in the most efficient and self paced manner but then when looking at how to apply, the residential experience is optimal,” he said.  “Within a week the participants will learn the invaluable lesson of how to apply the knowledge they gained from the online class in a way that is not possible.”

During the five-day bootcamp participants experience all the highs and lows of starting a company and pitch their idea to seasoned entrepreneurs, investors and venture capitalists.

Organisers were looking for three kinds of talent:

  1. Entrepreneurs: involved in an early-stage startup or aspire to start one
  2. Corporate entrepreneurs: working at growth-stage startup or established enterprise and looking to expand the company’s horizons and learn new tools
  3. Teams: people looking to be part of an innovative startup team and working on developing a rigorous business plan

Past Australian participants include QUT’s own Professor Margaret Petty who heads the School of Design, who saw a need to draw parallels between creativity, technology and business acumen.

“It was great to see and experience how the basics of entrepreneurship can be taught in a week,” Professor Petty said.

“In addition to sharp entrepreneurship skills, the bootcamp provided another level of personal lessons about team work and resilience that can be applied in daily life.

“Through a range of programs, QUT is encouraging students to develop their entrepreneurial skills alongside their discipline knowledge.”

Professor Petty said there was strong momentum within QUT to build upon studies in entrepreneurship with skill development encouraged through the activities run by student groups such as QUT starters, QUT Code Network, or the start-up accelerators run by Creative Enterprise Australia and Bluebox in the QUT Foundry co-working spaces.

“Entrepreneurial thinking is a fundamental skill and boosts resilience, which is increasingly recognised as a core capability for students to adopt beyond university,” she said.

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Ben Ready founded MBA News in 2014 and is the Managing Editor. He is a former business and finance journalist with Australian Associated Press (AAP) and Dow Jones Newswires in London. Ben completed his MBA in 2012 and was awarded the QUT GMAA Entrepreneurship Prize. He is also the founder and Managing Director of RGC Media & Mktng (rgcmm.com.au).