Being at the coalface of future talent development, universities are uniquely positioned to move Australia’s entrepreneurial needle in the right direction.

Not only are their living expenses and life commitments the lowest they’re likely to ever be, students are surrounded by available and affordable talent, educational resources and a multitude of support and funding programs clamouring for their attention. It will never be easier in their lives to launch a startup, and when combined with the right university, there will never be a more fertile ground to do so.


University of Technology Sydney (UTS) is just one place where the next generation of Australian startup founders and business disruptors are starting their entrepreneurial journey, thanks to strategic initiatives such as Entrepreneurship at UTS, which includes programs such as Startup Internships and UTS Startups.

Since UTS Startups’ July launch, over 110 student startup teams have been established. Arlula, Stitch Hub and Tech Gym are just three of the student-founded ventures flourishing in the UTS Startups community.

Check out the mini-profiles below to find out more about their inspiration, challenges and goals.

Arlula streamlines a marketplace in space

UTS students Arran Salerno and Sebastian Chaoui have set their sights set on the stars, shaking up the space industry.

What’s your startup? 

Currently, it is very difficult to gain simple, affordable and regular access to resources in outer space (like satellites and the data they generate) because the commercial space industry is still in its early stages. So we’re streamlining it by aggregating and automating demand and supply and enabling smaller transactions to take place within a marketplace for resources such as earth imagery and observation.

Utimately, we’re creating an easier and more affordable way of accessing valuable insights, through our marketplace model. We can work across areas ranging from precision agriculture and asset management, to monitoring the environment and illegal fishing.

What are your key challenges and successes?

By creating a marketplace for assets in space and commodifying satellites and spacecraft, we’ve faced difficulty in dealing with parties who may be casualties of a disrupted industry if they don’t adapt. But we’re inspired by the opportunity to get millions of people building businesses and using the resources of space in a meaningful way.   

What’s your next big milestone?

We’re now looking for our first early adopters – people who would benefit from satellite

imagery and Earth observation data. If you can help, contact sebastian@arlula.com.

Stitch Hub – taking command of type 1 diabetes

UTS graduates Eliza Marks, Polina Pashkov and Lucy Allen are simplifying life for people with type 1 diabetes.

What’s your startup?  

Stitch Hub is a one stop shop where people living with type 1 diabetes (t1d), their carers and clinicians are exposed to all the resources available to them.

We provide quick and easy access to resources you may otherwise have never come across – from new products to federal government financial assistance information, to advice for carers and recommendations for clinicians.  

Until now, finding relevant and accessible resources to help people better understand and manage t1d has been complex, time consuming and difficult. We know because our co-founder Lucy was diagnosed with t1d at the age of 9. As she transitioned from pediatric care to being a young adult, Lucy watched the support around her simply fall away. We’re lucky we have the opportunity to do something about it.  

What are your key challenges and successes?  

Proving ourselves as quick and capable learners in areas we’re not familiar with. But we’ve surrounded ourselves with new skills, amazing mentors, and a newfound belief in ourselves.  

What’s your next big milestone?

The launch of our MVP. We’re on the hunt for a talented techie to assist our developer. If you can help, email hello@stitchhub.org.

Tech Gym – using robotics for rehabilitation

Meet Rowan Smith and Thirunisha Thirumurugan, UTS students revolutionising stroke rehabilitation.

What’s your startup?  

Tech Gym offers rehabilitative products for patients with upper limb mobility issues. Our products assist stroke patients to regain connections and strength to their fingers and arms and could be used in hospitals, rehabilitation centres, and by physical therapists.

The two concepts we have so far are ‘Rehab to the Beat’ and ‘Universal Care’. ‘Rehab to the Beat’ is a virtual piano to help stroke patients regain hand strength and movement. The ‘Universal Care’ robotic arm is a hand-controlled device to use games or exercises for the patient to improve movement.

What are your key challenges and successes?  

We presented Tech Gym at the Virginia Tech Global Entrepreneur Challenge in the US in August this year. As part of that process, we were challenged to highlight any problems we had not answered yet and look at what features people liked and didn’t like. We’re also competing in the Sydney Regional Final of the Pitch for $1 Million competition at StartCon on November 30.

We’re the first in the UTS Startups community to take on the ‘Build a Startup’ offering within the Startup Internships program, through which Rowan is gaining internship credit for Tech Gym. We’ve been blown away with how much support we’ve received – the community and the vibe is phenomenal.

What’s your next big milestone?

To release our MVP. The particular medical advice that we’re trying to get is around the Therapeutical Goods Administration regulations. If you can help, get in touch via hello@techgym.com.au.


UTS Startups inspires, supports and develops student-founded startups at UTS. If you’re at StartCon, visit our UTS Startups stall at Startup Alley. Visit www.startups.uts.edu.au to find out more about our student ventures and how you can support them.