Entrepreneur leader urges research rethink

Anthony Francis award
Flinders Partners CEO Anthony Francis.

University researchers should think like entrepreneurs and seek alternative funding by giving their research commercial goals, says Flinders Partners managing director Anthony Francis.

Mr Francis, who last night won the 2015 Business / Higher Education Round Table Best Entrepreneurial Educator of the Year Award, is putting real-world entrepreneurial ideas on the table for researchers, secondary and tertiary students.

“We have been working with senior researchers at Flinders for many years to produce practical outcomes for our research,” he says.

“We show them how to become more entrepreneurial by looking for practical research outcomes by working from the market back rather than from their research focus so they can apply for funding through industry or commercialisation partners.”

Mr Francis will conduct the next full-day Innovative Management Workshop at Flinders at Tonsley on Monday 23 November.

The founder of the current business model for Flinders University’s sole commercialisation agent Flinders Partners won the B/HERT award for Biz Playbook, a free online (Massive Open Online Course) developed for Year 10 and 11 Business and Enterprise or SACE Research Project students.

Biz Playbook, which was compiled by Flinders Creations with input from Flinders Business School, features successful entrepreneurs such as Maggie Beer, Poh Ling Yeow and Marita Cheng who participated in the previous Entrepreneurs in Conversation program at Flinders.

“Our experience tells us that it’s almost impossible to teach entrepreneurship without relevance or more particularly without a real project,” he says.

“Much of the process is about adapting to the market, and learning how to cope with that is key to the success and without a live project and a real market, this becomes almost impossible.

“What we have done is more than just talk about the need for entrepreneurship but to give teachers and students real tools to use straight away.“

Mr Francis urges more teachers to use the resource next year at the link here.

A former KPMG manager, Mr Francis has also created the award-winning innovation management software Strategiize and the 12-week Flinders entrepreneurial program Venture Dorm. He sits on several company boards and is an advisor to the Adelaide Football Club’s Innovation Committee.

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One thought on “Entrepreneur leader urges research rethink

  1. Congratulation, Anthony, this is a great recognition of your outstanding work in educating entrepreneurship, much needed for Australia’ future.

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