How you can change the world (and earn academic credit on the way)

It’s safe to say the world’s not short of problems right now. From plastic pollution to food wastage, cultural intolerance to climate change, there’s a whole lot of work to be done on a whole lot of things.

And perhaps you’re the person to do it. Perhaps you’ve got an idea that could make a big difference to the way we live our lives, but you just don’t know how to get it out there…

Well, help is at hand.

Bloom is a creative lab run out of St Catherine’s College at UWA, and it’s dedicated to boosting startups of all shapes and sizes. Teaching you skills you wouldn’t ordinarily pick up at university, it encourages you to take your big idea and turn it into a reality, whether that’s a small business, community initiative or globe-spanning enterprise.

A lot of young starters give up on their projects because they can’t get the resources they need to follow through, or don’t have the connections they need to put their ideas in front of the right people. Bloom aims to give you not just business skills (although you’re sure to pick those up too) but also practical life skills that can be used whether or not you’re planning a startup. Think leadership, public speaking and better presentation of yourself and your vision to other people.

“It’s deep diving into what drives you, and how to make the most of it,” says Anna Lee, Bloom’s Community Manager. “It’s about understanding your skill set and seeing where the gaps are.”

Better yet, you can get academic credit while you’re working on your dream project. While everyone is welcome to get involved in the community – from Year 12 students to people who aren’t even studying at all! Second-year UWA students can apply for Bloom’s Launchpad program, a one-semester unit that counts towards your degree. Made up of lectures, workshops and activities that will get you out of the class and into rooms with key influencers and businesspeople you wouldn’t normally meet, it lays the groundwork for you to boost your learning and your project.

 

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And you never know where that might take you. For Ahmud Auleear, the people he met and the skills he learned at Launchpad took him all the way to Silicon Valley. The company he co-founded after Launchpad, Humm Tech, was created to come up with ways to make the brain work better; it’s now about to launch a memory-enhancing patch can improve learning ability and treat memory loss in the elderly.

"Launchpad was an unforgettable experience,” says Ahmud. “It gave me the opportunity to practically apply theory to build my own start-up, and I would recommend any student from any degree to get involved and do the unit."

So if you’ve had a lightbulb moment and you’re keen to develop it, Bloom should be one of your first stops at UWA. We can’t guarantee you’ll build a business empire but we can help you lay the foundations.

To find out more about the Bloom community and the Launchpad program, visit the Bloom website now.