Nick Wodzinski

Research School of Management

ANU College of Business and Economics


Having graduated in 2014 from the CBE, I moved back to Canberra and was invited to tutor and support the seminars for the Undergraduate Entrepreneurship and Innovation course for semester 2 2019 as a casual academic. My goals for this semester were student outcomes focused - encouraging soon to graduate students to consider the option of working for their own ventures or other ventures in the CBR community.

I was very excited to reconnect with the course as part of the teaching group. As a previous participant in the course in 2014 the impact from the teaching of Dr Christopher Nailer and Camilo Potocnjak Oxman was a big factor in me leaving my role at KPMG and joining a Canberra based startup SignOnSite, at which I was able to implement many of the lessons learned from this course to help the company grow to over $1 million AUD revenue.

A highlight for me this semester was the penultimate assessment item for the course. It's a chance for all students to pitch their business models they have been working on this semester. Nearly all teams had taken enormous steps in customer discovery and validation - many of them conducting surveys and interviews to collect primary data to support their pitches. This demonstrates a courage and an overcoming of social fear that is not involved in many other courses and so often students can find this hard. However, the pitches in week 12 showed me so many examples of students getting out into the ecosystem to collect data from partners and customers, and it was really inspiring. An especially rewarding feeling was having worked closely with many of the teams week to week in seminars and in consultation – to see them get up and perform so well in front of all their peers and also representatives from Canberra's startup community was a proud moment for me.

Another highlight of the semester was that I was able to host my consultation times at the CBE Venture Lab. Consultation time has been a really crucial time for this course – it is where I've been able to provide lessons learned from experience with individuals and teams looking to include mobile technologies in their business models. Being in the Venture Lab for the consultations also provided touch-points for students to interact with the participants of the Venture Lab and affiliated events. The ultimate outcome was that students had many opportunities to 'touch' different parts of the Canberra startup community while they learned about Entrepreneurship and Innovation through the course. This modern approach to supporting learning through multiple initiatives, inside and outside curriculum, was really exciting to be a part of.


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