Onur Ekinci is co-Founder of Peer Academy (www.peeracademy.org). Peer Academy is Australia’s first professional development marketplace, where anyone can teach and learn. Think Airbnb meets Tedtalks. This on-demand, cost-effective, practical model is fast becoming the preferred destination for professional development across all sectors.
Can you remember the first time you experienced the potential of the China/Australia relationship?
In 2007 I landed in Shanghai on a semester exchange for university. I was blown away by the size and scale of the city and country. To think that all of Australia’s population exists in Shanghai alone made me realize that we’ve seriously got to change from this western-centric view of the world.
What tips would you give someone who is just starting out in business or as an entrepreneur?
Here are a few things I went through in getting Peer Academy (www.peeracademy.org) off the ground:
• Worst case scenario: To give you the creative confidence in starting off as an entrepreneur, imagine the worst case scenario. If you fail, what’s the worse that could happen and would you be prepared to live with that? For me, it was not gaining or losing a $ after a year of trial. I was happy to live with that.
• Start small: We all start with big ambitions. Now scale that back and cost out an experiment where you would be happy to lose $. For me, our initial experiment costed me $5,000, which I was happy to lose.
• Build something people want: You’ll hear this mantra across the startup eco-system. Stay close to your end users and work with them in building a solution. This takes the pressure off having to come up with all the answers and it mitigates the risk. For me, that meant running a number of workshops, taking out dozens of potential users to coffee and getting feedback.
Why are you excited about CAMP? What does CAMP mean to you?
CAMP is a great opportunity to build relationships with peers who might be potential collaborators or co-founders in new projects and ideas that come out of the five days together. It’s an opportunity to work with emerging and important methodologies to put ideas into action.