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Entrepreneurship at VU

Gus Balbontin

Entrepreneur in Residence, The Hanger

Former Executive Director and CTO of Lonely Planet

The Hanger is an initiative that we started last year to tackle the challenge of, I guess, stimulating entrepreneurship across the students and the University as a whole.

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The hanger is Victoria University’s business stimulator. It connects VU students with the networks, support and business acumen of three renowned ‘entrepreneurs in residence’ to help create and grow their own successful startups.

Gus Balbontin

Specifically for international students, one of the challenges you have is because you didn’t grow up in the place, like in Melbourne or Australia, you don’t have the already-established networks.

So entrepreneurship does teach you a lot around, you know, resilience and recovery and courage.

When someone says “I’ve got an idea but I don’t know what to do with it,” is when they come to The Hanger to kind of get going.

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Think like a startup.

Act like a business.

Gus Balbontin

Beyond the physical co-working space, we also run Hackathons which is a big kind of get-together for a day, where we network, get to meet people, play with ideas, discover new customers and see if new businesses can rise from that.

We also run what we call a Startup School.

So the Startup School, it’s a program that we run through the semesters, both semesters during the year, where basically they can come in with an idea or a problem or a puzzle or something they want to achieve.

And during eight weeks, eight to 10 weeks, we basically build a business and launch a business.

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Small challenges.

Big outcomes.

Yazan Kharouf

Bachelor of Business (Marketing)

My business, Food Post, is basically an on-demand delivery platform, where I connect university students to local restaurants to deliver affordable, quality food on campus.

The Hanger helped me make the theory more practical and make it more applied to the real business world.

Gus Balbontin

My advice to international students and wannabe entrepreneurs, I guess, is stop thinking about it, get on it. Come and see us, come talk to us. You know, it is something that I think is more about doing than thinking. So go for it.

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VU hanger

Think outside the box.