Student innovation has entered an acceleration phase with the launch of a new three-year collaboration between Bloom and The University of Western Australia (UWA), led by the UWA Innovation Quarter.
As part of the agreement, Bloom and UWA will work together on a number of exciting new initiatives to encourage the creativity and talent of young West Australian entrepreneurs.
At the launch, UWA Vice-Chancellor Professor Paul Johnson said the student-led organisation was supporting change for students by encouraging the application of knowledge beyond the classroom.
“Since it was launched one year ago, Bloom has developed a tremendous reputation, engaging with over 3,000 students and building a community of 50 young entrepreneurs who are establishing ideas and businesses,” Professor Johnson said.
The BloomLab at St Catherine’s College offers workshops, co-working space and mentoring to assist students throughout their entrepreneurial journey right from the seeds of ideas all the way through to the full bloom of starting a new company.
Bloom Director and CEO, 22-year-old computer science and psychology student Mark Shelton was enjoying the rapid progress of Bloom and was keen to grow the collaborative spirit driving university students to make their mark on the world.
“According to a 2013 study, more than one-third of Australian graduates aspire to start their own businesses, but frankly we have just not seen this intention translate into reality. We are addressing this by empowering young West Australians to test and experiment their ideas while they’re still in university,” he said.
St Catherine’s Head of College, Fiona Crowe said the importance of encouraging the culture of entrepreneurship and innovation through education was vital and this agreement was a credit to UWA.
“Bloom‘s activities play a key role in Western Australia’s economic development and this collaboration will establish its place in the innovation ecosystem,” she said.
During the launch start-up pitches, from ‘Jurimetrics’ (legal analytics), ‘Cultured’ (personalised backpacker advice) and ‘veri.vote’ (secure online voting system), were inspiring examples of the diverse talent at Bloom.
“Being a part of the Bloom community has played a vital role in ‘Cultured’s progression. Working out of the co-lab space has increased our productivity as a start-up, and allowed us access to invaluable mentoring and networking opportunities,” Alastair Parker said.
Founded in 2013, Bloom is a not-for-profit organisation that has a range of facilities including two large spaces, one communal and one quiet, 30 workspaces (hot and dedicated desks), 2 meeting rooms, two kitchens and fast, unlimited WiFi, all available at St Catherine’s College.
The business community can support Bloom through corporate partnerships and sharing their expertise here
Students who have an idea, prototype or business can gain some support from Bloom by joining their facebook page or attending their events.