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A platform for students to express their preparedness.

The Deakin Think Tank Challenge is a proactive approach to Deakin’s engagement with industry and a visible expression of Deakin’s culture, which is, a genuine belief in our vision and mission. Our vision is to be the best university we can be using the digital frontier and our mission is to produce research that positively impacts the communities we serve and which informs the preparation of our students for the jobs of the future. The Deakin Think Tank Challenge provides our students with an opportunity, and industry centric platform, with which they can express their preparedness. And it especially provides our industry partners with opportunities to share their challenges with us.

During the evening of September 14th 2016 an audience of industry practitioners, academics, students and their families enjoyed an evening of presentations from four finalist teams in the tenth annual Deakin Think Tank Challenge. The difference this year was that, instead of using more traditional hypothetical case studies, a real industry challenger was sought to offer a real industry challenge. This was also the first year that the Think Tank Challenge was adopted and managed by the Department of Management of the Deakin Business School in the Faculty of Business and Law in conjunction with the Deakin Commerce Society.

From an original pool of nine excellent applicant teams of undergraduate students from across the university, and following a preliminary pressure packed selection test process (20 minutes to examine a business problem and then present a five minute team solution to a panel of four judges assessing the presentation against ten criteria), four top scoring finalist teams emerged. These teams had five weeks in which to prepare their solutions and presentations for the main event. All teams performed superbly with Team 1 emerging victors and receiving the prize pool of $2000. Congratulations to the winning students Tom Rochford, Max Hall, Nick McConville and Hilary Murchison.

The ‘Challenger’ for the event was a not for profit, hi-tech ‘Start Up’ hub located in Mulgrave, Melbourne, called the Eastern Innovation Business Centre. The challenge set by the CEO, Danielle Storey, and the Chairman of the Board of Directors, Emeritus Professor Darrell Mahoney, was to develop ideas and strategies to attract under 30’s entrepreneurs and innovators to the centre to grow start-up businesses and benefit the centre. Students were offered access to the centre and the CEO as they prepared their solutions.

The Deakin Think Tank Challenge 2016 was sponsored and supported by several organisations including Dimension Data; Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand; the Bowater Trust and of course the challenger, the Eastern Innovation Business Centre. The Department of Management and the Deakin Commerce Society express sincere gratitude to these fine partner organisations for helping to bring this event to life. We look forward to sustaining these industry partnerships long into the future.

Whilst there could only be one formal winning team, we consider that all teams were winners. Runners up received gift vouchers and certificates of participation and above all, they know that their involvement in the Think Tank Challenge equips them with an additional competitive edge to their growing professional profiles. Congratulations to all runners-up student teams including Team 2: Hellen Ho, Darcy Gannon, Lachlan Andrews and Aidan Wright; Team 3: Alon Goldenberg, Dominic Ulbrick, Luke Marriott and Alaster Bradley; and Team 4: Gisela Tamsil, Yelena Chsheglova, Victor Lau and Dhwani Khimasia. We wish you all good fortune as you traverse your chosen careers.

Dr Jeff Chamberlain
Deakin Think Tank Challenge Project Manager
Department of Management, Deakin Business School
Faculty of Business and Law