RMIT Vietnam NewsStudents and alumni team up on start-up projects

Students and alumni team up on start-up projects

Monday, March 5, 2018 - 11:22

Students in the Applied Entrepreneurship course supported RMIT Vietnam alumni last semester, pitching plans for the alumni to grow their start-up businesses.

The collaborative project created a “mini incubator” which brought together School of Business & Management students and RMIT alumni who are young entrepreneurs in various industries.

The students worked in groups, serving as business consultants and pitching potential solutions to problems and/or opportunities for the alumni to grow their businesses.

To do this, the students applied tools and techniques they learnt in class, discovering their clients’ challenges and needs and developing viable business models.

“The learning outcome of this course is for students to gain experience, and to develop their entrepreneurship knowledge into practical skills,” explained Ms Nguyen Thi Minh Thu, Applied Entrepreneurship lecturer.

The student consultants also received valuable advice from local industry experts, venture capital leaders, and their lecturers as they put together a viable business model for their client.

Vo Nguyen Hai Tran, a Bachelor of Business (Marketing) student, said she truly valued the opportunities she and her teammates gained from this project.

“We had opportunities to apply a wide range of knowledge and skills into this real-life project. We applied learning from entrepreneurship and marketing to finance; and skills like team work and project management,” she said.

Students in Applied Entrepreneurship, as well as other RMIT Vietnam courses, learn from practical projects and are assessed on skills and application – not just knowledge. However, working with start-up businesses allowed students even more space to make a real-world impact.

“Working with ventures that are still in a small-to-medium scale offers a macro and strategic understanding of how a start-up works, and the flexibility to implement improvements,” explained Le Truong Duc Hung, Bachelor of Commerce alumnus and co-founder of Filawai beverage.

With most of the participating businesses in their very first stage of development, Hung emphasised the value of learning about a venture’s early years, a period when many start-ups fail.

“It is a great opportunity for the students to learn about common challenges of a start-up during the first years and apply everything they learn to overcome these challenges. This experience will particularly be relevant for aspiring entrepreneurs,” Mr Hung said.

The students presented their business plans at the end-of-semester expo.

The collaboration not only brought valuable benefits to both the start-up owners and the student consultants, but also fostered the entrepreneurial spirit that is in RMIT’s DNA.

“Working together with these young yet professional and thoughtful students, we are more eager to do a good job with our business, so we can be an inspiration, a shining example for them and for those who aspire to start up a business,” Hung added.

Like many of her classmates, Bachelor of Business (Logistics & Supply Chain Management) student Quan Le Bach Kim now has an even greater interest in entrepreneurship.

“It is a challenging yet rewarding project. We got to experience what it means to be an entrepreneur and to be part of an entrepreneurial team. We built up the confidence and capacity to start up our own business one day if we decide to do so,” she said.

This project is part of RMIT Vietnam’s ongoing effort to build an entrepreneurial culture in the university and greater community. Besides undergraduate-level initiatives like this, the University is also launching a graduate certificate in business start-ups. The program offers the opportunity to learn and practise the progression of new venture creation through a series of collaborative and authentic learning experiences.

Story: Le Thanh Phuong