I think it was Einstein who has been attributed with saying, “if I only had one hour to save the planet, I would spend 55 minutes defining the problem and then five minutes solving it”. This is a favourite quote shared around the Hatchery and is really indicative of the way that you learn how to think and approach problem solving

Hi, I’m Nick Berriman. I’m studying a double degree in Electrical Engineering and Creative Intelligence and Innovation, so it basically means I’m always studying in the library.

I’m very passionate about sustainability and clean energy projects. I also aspire to own a clean energy or ‘green’ start up to help contribute to dealing with climate change and environmental degradation.

From aspiration to reality

Starting my own business is something I’ve had in the back of my mind for a while now, but it wasn’t until I did the Hatchery program in Autumn 2017 that I understood the nuts and bolts of how to make my aspiration possible.

During the program, I was lucky enough to work with a group on a project that was right in my area of interest. We looked at how we might improve rates of recycling and composting at UTS through gamification and a behaviour tracking app. We are currently looking at ways to develop the app and are hoping to talk to UTS about implementing our project at the University.

Meeting and working with likeminded people who were passionate about the same things that I was passionate about was really enjoyable. It was definitely far easier and more consistent than group projects from my normal subjects.

Part of a community

The Hatchery has an awesome little community, which I can honestly say was one of the best parts about doing the program. You get to interact with and learn from other students in other faculties as well as industry professionals and teaching staff in a relaxed way. Some of my good friends now I met during the program.

The boot camp is also lots of fun – it’s two days of intensive learning by doing. The whole time you are put through your paces in a way that is primed to teach you constantly. I walked out of each day exhausted but brimming with ideas!

The best thing I learnt was that I was capable of working in the startup 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.

The Hatchery is the perfect way to test whether this sort of creative and entrepreneurial space is right for you. I also found that I learnt a lot of useful and effective design tips and project methods that have helped me in numerous projects and subjects since.

The other unexpected benefit was getting to know people in the clean energy and sustainability community. It’s a relatively new community, so I’m lucky that the team at the Hatchery could hook us in with individuals and groups who are working on cool projects in this space. If we as a nation are going to become more sustainable and transition to a clean energy future then we are going to need entrepreneurs and startups to drive innovation in this space. I’m really looking forward to being a part of that.

To anyone who is thinking about joining the program, my advice is to remember to have fun! It sounds cliched, but it’s easy to get bogged down trying to perfect your work, and this not only slows down your process but detracts from the enjoyment of the process. As they say, it’s about the journey and not the destination.

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