MME Student To Take Start-up to Japan

UNSW Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering (MME) student Zoe Marandos is headed to Japan in a few weeks’ time to meet with start-up founders and investors after taking first prize in the second annual Innovation Dojo. Marandos, a Year 4 student in Mechatronics and Neuroscience, utilised her studies to lead a team to tackle workplace stress. Their winning solution integrates employee support with a data-driven HR response.

UNSW students brainstorming at Innovation Dojo sessionInnovation Dojo is a unique program that combines start-up incubation with cross-cultural consulting to foster business relationships between Australia and Japan. Participants are challenged to find solutions to mutual problems, such as agricultural inefficiency, aged care, science, or cyber security. After meeting at a kick-off networking event, teams develop their ideas with the support of mentors as they go through a 9 day lean start-up program. Their final products are pitched in a competition.

“The Innovation Dojo was a great opportunity to engage in cross-cultural entrepreneurship,” says Marandos. “It was highly rewarding to solve big problems common to Japan and Australia using knowledge and experience from my field of study.”

Marandos and the other members of Team Baransu competed against four other teams to secure the top prize. In addition to their trip, they will receive a year of continuing support from Innovation Dojo and their partners.

“We are very fortunate at UNSW to have so many opportunities like this,” Marandos said. When asked what advice she would give to students who wanted to pursue opportunities like the Innovation Dojo, she said “I would highly encourage all interested students to make the most of these resources as a great way to obtain diverse skills in a short period of time, meet like-minded individuals and broaden your perspective of what your future career could look like.”

The School of Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering wishes Ms. Marandos all the best in launching her start-up!

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