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Launch Pad hosts Student to Startup—Interuniversity Networking and Pitch Fest

Launch Pad hosts Student to Startup—Interuniversity Networking and Pitch Fest with UTS Startups, UNSW Founders & Catalysr

On Wednesday 12th October 2022, Western Sydney University Launch Pad hosted its first Interuniversity networking event — “Student to Startup” — with University of New South Wales (UNSW Founders), University of Technology Sydney (UTS Startups), and Catalysr, a Western Sydney based migrant and refugee focused startup incubator.

We welcomed over 30 students who were interested in startups and entrepreneurship from UNSW, UTS and Western to our new Parramatta Engineering Innovation Hub (PEIH) campus, just a week after NSW Premier, the Hon Dominic Perrottet MP visited for the official opening of the building.

Facilitated by Launch Pad Chief Entrepreneur in Residence Jamie Pride, the Pitch Fest and Ask Me Anything (AMA) panel consisted of founders that came out of each of the universities: Taofiq Huq from Catalysr and UNSW, Alinta Furnell from UNSW, Albert Ong from UTS, and Eden Conway from WSU. 


About our Founders Panel

Taofiq Huq, UNSW Alumni, is the CEO and Founder of Spiral Blue, an Earth observation services company which uses Space Edge Computing technology to improve affordability, lead times, and accessibility for Earth observation (EO) data – with zero minimum order quantities. 

Alinta Furnell, UNSW Alumni, is the co-CEO and Co-Founder of Synbiote, whose focus is to streamline the production of biopharmaceuticals and biomaterials by developing a process analytical technology for the purification step. Synbiote aims to increase the accessibility and integration of biotechnology in our lives. 

Albert Ong, UTS Alumni, is the Founder of Tinkery, an Online retailer and supplier for mechatronic and product prototyping kits to makerspaces, tinkerers, and students. Its kits include components, guides and educational materials for classrooms, and are designed to be fully customisable. This encourages the user to treat the kit as a tool for future projects, and not just as a single-use paperweight like existing kits on the market. 

Eden Conway, WSU Alumni, is the CEO and Co-Founder of impacted., an impact reporting platform for charities and non-profit organisations. impacted. aims to streamline and improve efficiency of reporting so that organisations can focus on maximising budget and purpose amidst the constant struggle to provide quality aid with slim resources and funding. 

The Event at a Glance

Students and guests arrived for breakfast, followed by the introductory welcome and Acknowledgement of Country.  

10:00am – 10:30am: Pitch Fest – Four rapid pitches from Founders who began their startup journey as students at one of the partner universities.  

Our four guest Founders each delivered a 2 minute pitch of their startups, in a high-energy rapid-fire Pitch Fest.  

10:30am – 11:15am: Founders Ask Me Anything (AMA) Panel  

During the AMA Panel, students and guests had the opportunity to ask the Founder panellists about their startup journey and experiences.  

11:15am – 12:00pm: Speed Networking  

The Speed Networking activity was similar to Speed Dating, but instead the students and founders mixed in different groups of 2-3 to answer 3 question prompts.  

  • If you could work for any startup, who would it be? 
  • What area of startup are you interested in? 
  • Why are you interested in entrepreneurship? 

12:00pm – 1:30pm: Lunch and networking

The event ended with lunch, and guests ended up staying until around 1:30pm to have one-on-one chats with the Launch Pad and other University program teams, and other aspiring founders. 

This Student to Startup event has catalysed the formation of our new inter-university LinkedIn group, keeping students connected and up to date with future opportunities and events. It has also marked the beginning of future collaborations with other Universities, as Launch Pad hopes to maintain ongoing relationships with UNSW Founders, UTS Startups and Catalysr.


View the event gallery here.

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