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Innovation Centre for smart young entrepreneurs at UC

UC setting up Student Innovation Centre for smart young entrepreneurs next year

November 7, 2012

The University of Canterbury (UC) is setting up New Zealand’s first Student Innovation Centre next year for smart young entrepreneurs, Deputy Vice-Chancellor Professor Ian Town said today.

The centre will be launched in February and will be open to students with bright ideas to develop their entrepreneurial skills.

``We wanted to create a special student-led entrepreneurial ecosystem that encourages, develops and inspires innovative and creative business abilities among as many UC students as possible,’’ Professor Town said.

``The centre will offer a unique portfolio of extra-curricular entrepreneurial opportunities for students that complement and enhance the existing innovation opportunities already on offer at UC.

``The centre will host New Zealand’s first specialised hatchery for incubating students’ bright ideas into new commercial and social ventures.’’

The centre will be open for business in the 2013 academic year. It will work closely with existing on-campus activities such as entre, a student-run non-profit company that organises competitions and other events for students who wish to develop their entrepreneurial talents.

Global economies needed innovative and bright people to produce and grow healthy economies and societies. Smart and creative thinkers were the most critical resource, particularly the rapidly growing knowledge-based economy on which New Zealand’s future rests, Professor Town said.

UC was a vital part of Christchurch and Canterbury’s source of knowledge creation and talent. UC already has an enviable reputation for research and innovation.

With the rebuild under way in Christchurch, Professor Town said there was an urgent need to encourage a climate that fostered innovation and entrepreneurship among its student community.

``The long-term payoff is a generation of highly motivated thinkers, a growth of successful local businesses and strongly focused organisations, a healthy economy and vibrant society. As the Lonely Planet travel guide recently said: ‘Christchurch is one of the top ten cities in the world when it comes to excitement and opportunity’,” Professor Town said.

The centre will be run by executive director Dr Chris Kirk and manager Dr Rachel Wright.


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