UTS Business School and Australia’s leading venture technology company, BlueChilli, have formed a partnership to develop startup-like innovation skills within the corporate sector.

Under the three-year agreement UTS and BlueChilli X, the corporate unit of Blue Chilli, will collaborate on programs for clients of the Business School’s executive education unit. In addition, BCX will provide business acceleration expertise to the school’s clients when required, while UTS will share academic research with BCX

“Innovative business solutions are highly dependent on disruptive thinking yet corporates are often bound by rigid, business-as-usual mindsets that sideline creative corporate entrepreneurs,” the chief executive of BlueChilli X, Steve Dunn, said. “Together, our focus will be on creating business agility by delivering programs that ’teach’ and ‘do’ in parallel, thereby equipping corporates with the capabilities to seek and rapidly convert innovative business opportunities.”

BlueChilli Pty Ltd is a startup incubator and accelerator founded by Sebastien Eckersley-Maslin in 2010. BlueChilli X, a spin-off from the original model, is a corporate accelerator founded by Mr Dunn in 2013.

UTS Business School’s Director of Strategic Partnerships, Gauri Bhalla, said the collaboration would combine Mr Dunn’s experience as a corporate intrapreneur and Mr Eckersley-Maslin’s startup expertise with the school’s rigorous corporate learning background. “This is a powerful combination,” she said.

Executive education will be the initial focus but the partners expect the agreement to facilitate a wide and deep relationship, including student access to programs and internships, plus the development of new models of intrapreneurship using UTS research.

“The initial focus will be on intrapreneurship and capability building inside large organisations,” Ms Bhalla said. “We’ll work together on helping client partners accelerate their business innovation.  Clients will get rigorous capability building from UTS, and BCX will lead us through the execution.”

First trial projects are under way, including one with Commonwealth Bank of Australia. CBA has signed a three-year contract with UTS Business School to provide training and development to 6000 staff.

UTS Business School is based in the Ultimo/Pyrmont creative and digital industries precinct and later this year will open new headquarters designed by world-renowned architect Frank Gehry. Executive education will operate out of the Dr Chau Chak Wing Building, where internal spaces have been designed to encourage creativity and collaboration.

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