The project has been funded by the National Foundation for Australia-China Relations (NFACR) in their latest grant round.
The Ecosystem is a mentoring program for domestic and Chinese international students, with a focus on innovation, entrepreneurialism, and working with small to medium enterprises (SMEs) at early-career stage.
A high-profile hackathon event to showcase the successes will be a key outcome of the program, to be held in late 2023.
Dr Stacey Farraway, Deputy Vice-Chancellor of Future Growth at La Trobe University, said the program has been co-designed with a range of academic and industry partners to enhance learning outcomes for students.
“The Ecosystem comes with the support of a consortium of MBA Alumni mentors, the established Australia-Chinese business community, the Chinese diaspora and a network of universities and industry partners,” Dr Farraway said.
“Students will identify challenges, offer impactful solutions and implement their skills in a commercial context – increasing their understanding of the multitude of dynamic factors that real-world strategies must endure and overcome,” Dr Farraway said.
Together with business mentors, students are organised into work teams to solve business problems faced by local start-ups, scaleups and SMEs.
Expected outcomes for the students will include the practical application of their studies and the gaining of experience in an entrepreneurial setting, along with establishing ongoing industry connections.
The NFACR is an Australian Government initiative established in 2020 to strengthen understanding and engagement between Australia and China under Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.
The grants focus on supporting Chinese international students and domestic students to connect more with the broader Australian community and improve their experience of studying in Australia, and support education connections.
National Foundation for Australia-China Relations (NFACR)