Published on 24 March 2015
Two USC Executive Master of Business Administration students are on track to convert their learning experiences into successful Sunshine Coast-based businesses.
Caroline Campbell of Sunrise Beach and Wayne Bluck of Mooloolaba have had their business aspirations boosted by winning major prizes in the School of Business’ Plan Pitch Competition.
This competition marked the completion of their two-year Executive MBA studies at USC recently.
Ms Campbell, contracted to market Seven Queensland and Bendigo and Adelaide Bank and Mr Bluck, an experienced property entrepreneur, both impressed the judges with their professional pitching and preparation work, designed to secure investor interest in the start-up business ventures they intend to launch later this year.
Ms Campbell won the Brisbane Angel Network investor prize, giving her the opportunity to develop her venture under the guidance of experienced technology investor Mark Ferris.
The Brisbane Angel investor network is composed of a large group of private investors who actively fund early-stage technology companies.
“The university has given me an incredible opportunity to continue my innovation through the School of Business prize,” Ms Campbell enthused.
“To finish the EMBA is one thing but to also receive acknowledgement that I am on the right track is a great vote of confidence in my work.”
Ms Campbell intends to employ her EMBA experience and Brisbane Angel Network mentoring opportunity to fine-tune her Sunshine Coast-based business venture, an online service designed to connect event-holders with potential sponsors.
Mr Bluck was awarded a mentoring prize from the Innovation Centre Sunshine Coast to strengthen the business strategy his pending patent rests on.
Mr Bluck is seeking a patent on an invention to be employed in the materials handling field and has formed a business partnership with a Brisbane manufacturer.
“While I can’t discuss the details of the patent, I am grateful for the opportunity to further develop my product with mentoring support from the Innovation Centre,” he said.
USC Lecturer in Entrepreneurship Dr Retha Scheepers said the success of these students had exceeded her expectations and provided encouraging signs the school’s curriculum was providing successful, real-world outcomes.
“The School of Business strives to bring together industry and academic experts to provide students with exciting, relevant and authentic learning experiences,” Dr Scheepers said.
“Our close collaboration with Mark Ferris (Brisbane Angel Network) and Dean Alle (Entrepreneur-in-Residence at the Innovation Centre) enables these opportunities and further reinforces USC as a leading university for innovation and entrepreneurship in Australia.”
— Brent Hampstead