On 22 May 2018, The School of Consumer Intelligence and Information Systems (SCiiS) and the Department of Applied Information Systems (AIS) launched the state of the art Technopreneurship Centre, the first of its kind at UJ.
Dr Barnabas Gatsheni, the Head of department of Applied Information Systems said the Centre is set on becoming a breeding ground for ideas and innovation. "It aims to equip students with tools to enable them to fly and shift focus from being certificate driven to being technology acquisition driven."
"The Centre is a convergence of entrepreneurship and technology in one space where students are constantly challenging themselves in their efforts to connect the dots, find future fit business solutions and effectively respond to real world problems. This ideation hub will foster a culture that encourages openness to collaborate within and across departments, institutions and organisations, Dr Gatsheni explained."
Dr Gatsheni mentioned that this initiative will instill intrapreneurship in the psyche of the students and also become a pedestal for spin-offs and startups. Furthermore, he sees the Centre being aligned to the thinking and developments around the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR).
Dr Gatsheni views the key driver of all this being; the world that no longer waits for its graduates, and with an economy that calls for knowledge and knowledge skills because when developing solutions, it positions our students to effectively respond to opportunities, by continually adapting their models of engagement and thinking to continually plan, plot and thus adapt to future skills requirements.
Dr Gatsheni also added that the key 4IR skills that the Centre fosters includes: Machine learning and robotics; Programming Python, C#, R, collaboration, interpersonal skills; Solid Computer, Maths and Engineering skills; Data analytics; Data management ; Algorithms; SQL and Open data.
As a new venture, the Centre is open to Angel funding, Venture Capitalists, Industry mentorship, student placement and increased engagement with alumni.
"We look forward to seeing the Technopreneurship Centre grow into being an effective ideation hub that produces ground breaking innovative solutions," concluded Dr Gatsheni.