They used their entrepreneurial nous to come up with real world answers to some of the pressing environmental issues of the era including climate change, carbon footprint, mine site rehabilitation, water usage and waste reduction through a series of sustainability challenges.
Top speakers at this year’s event included:-
It was the second year in a row MIT Bootcamps had chosen Queensland to deliver its entrepreneurship program, in partnership with Advance Queensland. Applications are now open for the MIT Innovation and Entrepreneurship Bootcamp, themed Innovation is Everywhere which will be held at QUT in February next year.
Leading industrial and resources companies took a keen interest in the event by setting specific challenges for bootcamp participants to tackle.
These included challenges about water useage, rehabilitation of mining sites, reducing waste and energy efficiency.
The QUT Business School provided a special award for innovation, won by the Solar Coat team.
Solar Coat, once operational, is a 3D nanotechnology that can be retrofitted to already installed solar panels to push the panels to optimal efficiency.
Team member Balendu Avvaru, who is based at BioMed X Innovation centre in Germany, said by layering 3D dimensional arrays of metal nanoparticles and quantum dots on existing silicon based solar cells energy efficiency can be increased by at least five percent.
“We project that current solar farm owners will be able to generate an additional revenue of $400,000 per hectare per year,” he said.
MIT’s judges, made up of senior board members and Brisbane investors, selected dual winners – CareMate, a dementia-based care platform for carers – and HomeGrow, a-grow-your-own gardening system attuned to individual backyard conditions.
Third-placed team, StartGood, was another application platform designed to improve and increase access for youth volunteering in third world countries.
QUT Business School Head of School of Management Professor Rowena Barrett said QUT has an emerging strength around entrepreneurship and by working with MT Bootcamps the university is able to learn how they inspire and teach participants from all around the world.
“Hosting the MIT Bootcamp shows us that QUT can do this as well and we can bring people together using the expertise that we have here in Australia which can be quite different to what exists in the US,” Professor Barrett said.
“We can inspire people by helping them to articulate what the problem is that they want to solve and help them discover the frameworks they need to apply in order to start solving and go from nothing to something.”
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Three Queenslanders, Murray Saylor, Suhyun Kweon and Max Wasley attended the bootcamp thanks to scholarships funded by QUT and Advance Queensland.
Since the MIT Bootcamp program began in 2014 and there have been 500 participants from 70 countries. Collectively, they have launched 100 new ventures, raising over US$51 million. Six have been selected for Forbes 30 under 30.
Some of the participants got an early start to the challenges being set by travelling to the Great Barrier Reef’s Lady Elliot Island where they were encouraged to think and plan to ensure the long-term sustainability of industries important to Queensland’s economy.