It was designed to create the entrepreneurs of the future and empower UTS graduates to shape their own career paths.

Now, the university’s entrepreneurial incubator and accelerator program, the Hatchery, has edged out three other finalists to take out the Learning Experience category at the Australian Financial Review Higher Education Awards, held at the Sofitel Sydney on Tuesday night.

The awards, which recognise innovation and achievement in Australia’s higher education sector, were part of the three-day AFR Higher Education Summit this week.

Judges commended the Hatchery for creating high student demand for its programs, and for helping students to engage with industry and the innovation ecosystem.

Other finalists in the category were University of Notre Dame, La Trobe University and Western Sydney University. More than 100 entries across all categories were considered by the judging panel.

AFR education editor Tim Dodd, left, with UTS Hatchery staff and students.

Since its launch just over two years ago, the Hatchery has evolved into a multi-dimensional offering that now comprises the Hatchery entrepreneurial development program, Hatchery+ start up accelerator, an international component and a DIY hybrid learning platform.

Hatchery+ recently marked its one-year milestone, celebrating the part it has played in producing 25 start-ups to date.

Hatchery+ names to watch include myInterview, a video interview recruitment tool co-founded by UTS Bachelor of Business/Bachelor of Science graduate Guy Abelsohn. It was the first Australian start-up to secure a place in the Tel Aviv Landing Pad program for early stage entrepreneurs. myInterview was also accepted as a scale-up in the Slingshot HR Tech Accelerator.

Also gaining traction is Carrots Money, a goal-oriented saving app which was awarded People’s Choice at the latest Demo Day in July. Co-founded by UTS BA (Communication) graduate Sarah Nguyen, the start-up has gone on to be part of the SBE Australia E3 program for female-led companies.

Drone piloting technology company Tekuma, co-founded by UTS MBA graduate Annette McClelland, recently pitched at the Shanghai Life Geek International Entrepreneurship Competition, and was placed in the top 10. Tekuma also represented UTS at the VTKnowledgeWorks Global Partnership at Virginia Tech in the US as one of 30 teams from across the globe.

Nick Berriman, a UTS Electrical Engineering and Creative Intelligence and Innovation student who completed the first Hatchery program this year, said: “The best thing I learnt was that I was capable of working in the start-up community. Originally, I didn’t know how the start-up space worked or even whether it was something I wanted to do, but having gone through the program I’m more sure than ever about continuing on this trajectory.”

UTS Innovation, Entrepreneurship and Creative Intelligence Unit (IECIU) acting director Monique Potts said, “The team has worked very hard in two short years to evolve the program to where it is today, and this award energises us all to keep building on it to continue fuelling entrepreneurship across UTS.”

Read more at UTS Newsroom.

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