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Not-for-Profit organisations were invited to submit a key organisational or operational challenge for the participating students to focus on over the course of the week. In total, eight NFPs, representing a diversity of worthwhile causes, got involved. WOFIE attracted over 40 postgraduate participants from the MBA programs, accounting, finance, public relations, health and human services management, engineering, education and law. Demonstrating Deakin's 'Worldly' approach, visiting students from a Deakin partner institution in India - ITM - also participated as part of their Australian tour agenda.
Participants worked in dedicated teams to consider challenges relating to membership and fundraising; education and awareness; and engagement and marketing.
As the students learned more about innovation, entrepreneurship and the NFP landscape over the course of the event, their ideas and solutions developed and were refined as they worked - sometimes late into the evening - to perfect their pitch. On the final day of the event, each team presented their ideas to a panel of judges which included previous winners, academics and NFP experts. After a nail-biting wait, the three winning teams were finally announced:
1st: The Sociovators (Multiple Sclerosis Australia)
2nd: The Innovation Factory (Rotary Club of Ringwood).
3rd: CHAPS (Building Better Lives).
The first Workshop For Innovation and Entrepreneurship (WOFIE) was held in November 2011 at Deakin University's Melbourne Campus.
Fifty postgraduate students from diverse Deakin University study areas participated in the inaugural WOFIE event in November 2011, which had as its key theme Sustainability in Action. Students were allocated to mixed discipline teams which included Business and Law, Engineering, Arts, Health Sciences, Natural Sciences, Psychology and Education and each team was given a sustainability-based business challenge.
During the week, the teams worked on developing solutions for their particular challenges, supported by guest speakers and mentored by Deakin University staff and alumni. At the end of the week each student group presented their ideas to a panel of judges with extensive experience in the areas of sustainability, innovation and entrepreneurship. The winning teams received substantial prizes: first prize $6,000, second prize $3,000 and third prize $1,000.
1st: Greenovators: domestic power conservation
2nd: Green Rocket: optimising energy efficiency training
3rd: Gladiators: promoting sustainability through collaboration