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Meet our innovators

9 October 2017
Wondering if a degree could help you start a business?

From developing a new way for millennials to save for retirement to connecting pet sitters with pet owners, meet four of our postgraduate students and alumni who are forging careers as innovators and entrepreneurs. 

Founder and CEO of Archie Rose Distilling Co, Will Edwards (Master of Management ‘12) has made a huge impact among Sydney entrepreneurs and on the palates of locals. After completing his postgraduate studies at the Business School, Will began to focus on turning his long-time passion for spirits into a business.

“In my mind there had to be a reason as to why you couldn’t start a distillery in Sydney. I thought that if I did the research and found that reason, then I could put the idea to bed and get on with other things.

“I spent six months working on finding the reason, but never found anything I considered an absolute roadblock, so it was then I committed to starting Archie Rose.”

Archie Rose Distillery became the first distillery to hit Sydney since the 1850s, and has become a popular venue in the inner-city suburb of Rosebery.

Master of Commerce student Antonia Bolla, is changing the way women shop with her start-up Jamie & I. Antonia’s idea sparked while routinely getting ready for an event and struggling to find an outfit.

“I was listening to my Spotify Discover Weekly playlist, which suggests songs based on your tastes, and thought it would be so good to have something like this for fashion during my nothing-to-wear moments."

After winning the Sydney Innovation Hub Hatch prize through Sydney Genesis, Antonia and her sister Lidia were able to produce their first prototype and go on to launch the virtual shopping assistant.

Alexis Soulopoulos (Master of Management CEMS ‘14) is the co-founder and CEO of Mad Paws, an online platform offering affordable, local pet-minding solutions. Alexis developed his business idea after pet sitting for a friend who didn’t want to leave their Labrador locked up in a kennel.

“I offered to look after Honey and it turned into an incredibly rewarding experience. I then realised that there were more people out there like me: who love animals, have flexible schedules and would like to earn some extra money.”

Today, this Sydney based start-up is Australia’s largest go-to pet sitting community in Australia.

Carla Harris (MBA ’16), is the CEO and co-founder of Longevity App. During the final capstone unit of her MBA at the Business School, Carla and her team developed Longevity as a way to help millennials save for retirement.

“We tracked back a couple of generations and started talking to millenials and social media savvy people to understand how we could prevent them from being in the same situation as their grandparents.”

The solution became an app that contributes a small percentage of every spend a user makes into their superannuation. Since completing the project, Carla has continued to develop the app and was recently selected for the SheStarts program, which aims to get more women into the tech start-up world.

Where will postgraduate study lead you? Applications for semester 1, 2018 are now open. Chat through your postgraduate study options with our academics and course advisers at the Postgraduate Studies Expo on Wednesday 11 October, 4-7pm. Register now