Flinders/TAFE SA students team up to build businesses

(L-R): TAFE students James Duncan, Christof Sigel, James Dowel (back) and Shi-Ping Duan on their Venture Dorm work placement.
(L-R): TAFE students James Duncan, Christof Sigel, James Dowel (back) and Shi-Ping Duan on their Venture Dorm work placement.

Design, multimedia and software students from TAFE SA are helping aspiring and existing entrepreneurs from Flinders University’s New Venture Institute (NVI) build up their businesses.

Seven TAFE SA Diploma of Software Development students are undertaking a four-week Work Integrated Learning placement with six entrepreneurs from the NVI’s Venture Dorm program – an entrepreneurial education and training course for potential and existing start-ups.

As part of their placement, the students are helping Venture Dorm participants build their business websites, and web and mobile applications.

A group of four TAFE design students are also designing branding and logos for another 10 Venture Dorm start-ups as part of a module in their Diploma of Graphic Design course.

NVI Director Matt Salier said the partnership between TAFE SA and Flinders will be further enhanced through the new eNVision Incubator – a platform enabling both TAFE and Flinders University students the opportunity to work with new and existing start-ups on real projects and businesses.

“The NVI will be scaling up student participation in start-ups with the launch of the eNVIsion Incubator at Bedford Park later this month, which will relocate to the new Tonsley site in January 2015,” Mr Salier said.

“The Incubator will allow start-ups to benefit from the extra resources and help of TAFE and university students, while also offering the students hands-on experience in all facets of business entrepreneurship.”

Mr Salier said Work Integrated Learning is integral to the NVI’s ongoing relationship with TAFE SA at the new Tonsley precinct.

“Collaboration and entrepreneurship is at the heart of the University’s activities at Tonsley and this valuable partnership with TAFE SA and the NVI’s Venture Dorm program showcases a successful model for the new Tonsley precinct that will develop both industry-ready graduates and tangible assets for South Australian entrepreneurs.”

TAFE SA Information Technology lecturer Kim Roberts said the partnership with Flinders NVI is “providing TAFE students with invaluable experience”.

“It’s an opportunity to work with real clients on real projects,” Ms Roberts said.

“This is helping them to consolidate and apply their knowledge in a meaningful way, whilst also helping start-ups put their ideas into action,” she said.

“I am genuinely excited by this program and the benefits for everyone, both now and in the future.”

Venture Dorm participant Craig Walter said the students’ efforts to prototype for his start-up Contact Always, a high-tech lost property application, was invaluable.

“Their work was spot on, the prototype included extra features and the team leader coordinated a demanding technical task with finesse,” Mr Walter said.

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