Murray Hurps is returning to Harris St, with the University of Technology Sydney (UTS) announcing the appointment of the former Fishburners CEO to the new role of Director of Entrepreneurship.
Officially taking on the mantle today, UTS stated Hurps will be working within the leadership team of the UTS Innovation and Entrepreneurship Unit, which is led by Professor Margaret Maile Petty.
In his new role he will be focused on growing the number of student-founded startups coming out of the university, and helping to “shape and drive a strategy for a vibrant startup environment around the Ultimo precinct”.
Hurps said he is keen to support UTS in its “clear focus on growing entrepreneurship”.
“I’m passionate about Australian startups, and see the biggest risk and opportunity for Australia to be the number of people launching scalable companies. Universities are uniquely positioned to move Australia’s entrepreneurial needle in the right direction,” he said.
“I’m excited to apply my experience to ensure UTS provides the best encouragement and support to the largest number of potential startup founders. Ensuring students are making the most of the broad startup ecosystem will be a priority for me.”
With more than 40 percent of its students wanting “pathways and support” to bring to life their ventures, Professor Petty said UTS is committed to scaling entrepreneurship university-wide with a cross-faculty approach; with this in mind, it has developed a UTS Innovation and Entrepreneurship strategy and the Director of Entrepreneurship will play a key part in its execution.
“We’re also very active in the development and activation of the Ultimo precinct, with a strategic objective anchored in the rejuvenation of one of the neighbourhood’s best recognised centres for innovation and entrepreneurship – the former Fishburners building,” Professor Petty said.
“Having Murray on board gives us a significant advantage, as he brings an exceptional level of expertise and national recognition for his leadership in helping forge Australia’s startup ecosystem.”
The appointment comes less than a year after Hurps stepped down as CEO of Fishburners.
Hurps, who first took the reigns of “interim CEO” in 2014, stated last June that after three years of working to grow the Fishburners community, he felt like his role was “complete”.
“In the three years that followed, I’m incredibly proud to have grown our community to 845 startups, and secured new spaces for our community in Brisbane, Shanghai, and Sydney…In this moment, I feel like the future of Fishburners is secure, my role of ‘interim CEO’ is complete, and I’ve decided to move on and find my next challenge.”
Hurps then took on the role of program director of Westpac’s data-focused accelerator FUELD in September.
Image: Murray Hurps. Source: Rosary Coloma.