ECU THE LINK is on board as Startup News sponsor for 2018, and collaboration is the name of the game …
The great American engineer, statistician and total quality management guru W Edwards Deming once said “collaboration is far better than competition; the world has always progressed through cooperation.” (or something like that, I’m paraphrasing.)
Great steps forward have happened through collaboration, be it Msr et Mdm Curie or Lennon & McCartney. Investors prefer startup cofounders with complementary skills. Buildings are designed so that coworkers can meet each other during the course of the day and exchange ideas.
Universities have often been accused of being too remote in their ivory researchy towers. As Sir Ken Robertson once said in his famous TED talk (49M views and counting), “Bodies are what academics use to transport their brains from one meeting to another.”
Business and industry can be far removed from university researchers, despite some of the most ground-breaking tech companies actually stemming from university – be it Microsoft (Gates/Harvard) or Google (Brin-Page/Stanford) or Facebook (Zuckerberg/Harvard). Having said that, some of these founders did drop out of uni to get going. They just couldn’t wait for graduation.
Australia generally has a good reputation for research, but a poor one for commercialising those innovations. Often businesses do not know how to approach universities, and vice versa.
ECU THE LINK
And so it came to pass, the fine people at the City of Joondalup and ECU forged the ‘THE LINK‘, with the express purpose of connecting the Joondalup-based university with the business and government.
“THE LINK, a strategic collaboration between ECU and the City of Joondalup, aims to spark connections between businesses and academic researchers to develop innovative solutions that solve real-life problems.” Dr Darren Gibson, Collaboration and Innovation Manager, ECU Office of Research and Innovation told Startup News.
“Our team is committed to developing strong relationships with industry, academia, local, state and federal government that enables job creation and business growth. As part of ECU’s innovation program, THE LINK provides an important platform to foster collaboration and innovation throughout WA and to grow national and international links”.
The City of Joondalup has always been a little more forward thinking than many local councils. In 2014, they set up an Innovation Fund which could hand out $20K grants to innovative startups that worked in the area. They helped set up a co-working space, Sixty27, named after their postcode.
And so it seemed a natural collaboration for this humble publication to bring on ECU THE LINK as its first sponsor for 2018.
“We believe collaboration is key to growing the startup ecosystem in the northern corridor of Western Australia.” Vicki Hodgson, Innovation Development Advisor at the ECU Office of Research and Innovation said, “Startup News directly aligns with our strategic objectives and provides a fantastic source of information on tech and innovation news, events, grants and provides advice relevant to WA.”
Paying Student Journalists
What will Startup News do with these funds? We’ll use it to pay the out of pocket expenses of the site and the business, although the owners and contributors are all unpaid volunteers, and will remain so.
The majority of sponsorship dollars will be used to pay for uni journalism students to write stories, which will also give them crucial experience in media. One hopes there will be journalism jobs when they graduate, and if so, they would have had some of their writings published. A nice side benefit of the Startup News mission.
“We are delighted ECU student journalists will have the opportunity to gain real-life industry experience writing articles for Startup News”, Vicki said, “and we look forward to working with the team”.
It’s also good to see an innovative collaboration like this put its money where its mouth is.
Feature Photo: Vicki Hodgson and Darren Gibson (photo supplied).
Since ECU The Link have signed with Startup News, we have welcomed BDO and ThinkLab as sponsors. They will be featured in upcoming welcome articles.