Young innovators get down to business in San Francisco

12 March 2019

Student entrepreneurs from The University of Queensland flew to San Francisco to embed themselves in startups at the world’s global centre for high technology and innovation. 

Representing some of the brightest minds in engineering, law, business management, and design research, the students spent four weeks learning about founding, investing in and growing an early stage business.

Bachelor of Engineering (Hons)/Arts student Myrthe Snoeks applied for the UQ Idea Hub pre-incubator program Startup Adventure to link her degrees and expand her network in the United States.

“My experience with young businesses like cloud-based service operations company, Accelo, has helped me to understand the latest trends and to explore innovative business models,” she said.  

“We’ve had the opportunity to meet some amazing people, from a one-to-one session with the UQ founder of Patchd Medical, Robert Quinn who uses technology to predict and prevent sepsis, to scientists, researchers and engineers across STEM giants like NASA and Google.

“We also attended workshop events with the manager of the Australian Landing Pad, which operates in WeWork San Francisco, a global network of workspaces that include entrepreneurs, innovators, service providers, corporate innovation departments and investors.”

UQ Idea Hub Director Nimrod Klayman said the students networked with UQ alumni who now work in companies like Twitter, Netflix and Disney.

“Building a culture where collaboration and mentorship is the norm is vital in creating an entrepreneurial economy. Learning from those who have gone through struggles and successes will motivate and inspire young Aussie entrepreneurs,” said Mr Klayman. 

“By partnering with experienced entrepreneurs in established spaces, students can form long-term relationships where technical and market information can be exchanged, connections established, and new initiatives conceived.”

UQ Idea Hub programs are for the aspiring, the inspiring and the ambitious. While this is Idea Hub’s sixth global Startup Adventure, it is the first to San Francisco, home to Uber and Tesla.

The inaugural visit was organised in partnership with Aussie Founders Network, a member-driven community of Australian founders, investors and industry advisors in Silicon Valley.

The UQ Vice-Chancellor’s Greatest Need Fund mainly funds the San Francisco Startup Adventure with each student receiving a scholarship. Idea Hub run programs every year, including startup placements in Tel Aviv, Shanghai, and Singapore.

UQ Idea Hub brings together experienced mentors and a network of local and global innovators to help students grow their ideas into solutions that matter.

Join one of our programs

Image: Engineering and arts double major Myrthe Snoeks (far right)