Law, science, engineering, arts and architecture students will be offered a new course in innovation and entrepreneurship at the University of Sydney from next year.
“We’ve developed the first cross-faculty innovation and entrepreneurship major which means students across six different faculties will be able to learn about how to be innovative and entrepreneurial,” she said.
Professor Cutcher said the program would help undergraduates develop a business idea.
“They need to learn how to think in an entrepreneurial way and how to develop their own future, job and career. That’s what we are trying to offer them in that new major,” she said.
After building a start-up that markets Australian products to China, Livia Wang is now encouraging other international students to forge their own career paths as entrepreneurs.
Four years ago, Ms Wang and her business partner, Warren Liu, co-founded Access Corporate Group which now has 2000 employees.
After graduating from the University of Sydney with a Master of Strategic Public Relations, she and Mr Liu started marketing Australian and other international brands to Chinese consumers. They are now supporting new start-ups through the Sydney Genesis program, a start-up accelerator open to all University of Sydney staff, students and alumni.
Ms Wang, who is chief brand officer of Access Corporate, said that while the COVID-19 pandemic had created challenges, it had not prevented innovation which she hoped to encourage by supporting the Genesis program.
After moving to Australia from Taiwan as an international student in 2008, Ms Wang met Mr Liu at university and later co-founded Access Corporate Group with two other partners in 2017. She had found it difficult to find a job after leaving university but in 2012 she started marketing Australian products to China. Having seen Australian businesses try to enter the China market and fail, she and her business partners formed Access Corporate Group to represent and manage Australian and New Zealand lifestyle products in China.
“Many brands were very keen to enter what they saw as a profitable potential market but were unsure how to establish a strong connection with the consumers,” Ms Wang said.
“Today, we operate nearly 30 premium international brands in our portfolio including leading cosmetic brand Napoleon Perdis.”
Access Corporate Group, an innovative brand management company, now has offices across Sydney, Melbourne, Auckland, Los Angeles, Frankfurt and Hangzhou, and its gross merchandise value is doubling each year.
Manager of the Genesis program, Alex Carpenter, said the Genesis community looked forward to collaborating with Ms Wang and Mr Liu.
“Start-ups are given the best chance of succeeding when they’re in a supportive environment, learning from experts in different fields,” he said.
“Their story demonstrates why there’s so much more to being a successful entrepreneur than getting the launch details right. It’s about bringing your unique expertise – whatever that may be – to a problem and contributing to the community.”
Professor Cutcher said more than 1000 university alumni, students and staff had completed the Genesis program and raised more than $55 million, creating more than 900 jobs.