Free program inspires student entrepreneurs to launch startups

Supported by a $10,000 City of Sydney grant, the non-profit student organisation Textbook Ventures will run a series of seminars, workshops and pitchfests.

Student and Textbook Ventures general manager, Clinton Chan, explains how tertiary students can learn from experienced startup founders and boost their entrepreneurial skills.

Why do you think it’s important to encourage students to become tech entrepreneurs?

Most students don’t actually see entrepreneurship or the startup ecosystem as a viable career path. The vast majority of students are fixated on corporate careers instead. But as the digital economy grows, there are more opportunities to create a career in tech and startups.

What do you hope students will get from the program?

I hope they’ll meet other students and learn from the speakers that entrepreneurship is something available to all students. As our national economy strengthens and the standards and ubiquity of tertiary educations increases, we’ll naturally have an increasingly crowded workforce – something I’m already finding now as a student.

For the wider startup community, I hope they meet some truly talented students they can bring on board to work in their teams. And I hope they continue their own student engagement efforts and see how important it is for the wider startup community that we begin encouraging students to take an interest in tech and the startup ecosystem.

Tell us a little about Textbook Ventures

The organisation was started in 2016 by 2 friends of mine, David and Patrick, who envisaged it would be a student-run venture capital fund. Early in 2018 we decided to adopt a different approach.

We decided it should become an industry group and an interconnector for students because we saw a gap in the career aspirations of students. Few students realised how much of a booming tech economy Australia has and how important entrepreneurship will become for the future.

How can people get on board?

We’ve got a 12-month program of events planned, and it’s all free. There are seminars, a Sydney startup festival, careers fair, pitch nights and lots of other programs throughout the year.

We’re bringing together experienced founders, academics, venture capitalists and successful student entrepreneurs that we hope will inspire other students.

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