University of Technology Sydney

94663 Navigating Entrepreneurial Ecosystems and Initiating Change

Warning: The information on this page is indicative. The subject outline for a particular session, location and mode of offering is the authoritative source of all information about the subject for that offering. Required texts, recommended texts and references in particular are likely to change. Students will be provided with a subject outline once they enrol in the subject.

Subject handbook information prior to 2021 is available in the Archives.

UTS: Transdisciplinary Innovation
Credit points: 8 cp
Result type: Grade and marks

Anti-requisite(s): 94684 The Navigator AND 94685 The Navigator+


This subject was previously called Innovation and Entrepreneurship Studio A.


This subject provides a rich understanding of environments and ecosystems that enable entrepreneurship. Students explore and become confident navigators of entrepreneurial ecosystems through immersive interaction with key stakeholders in an entrepreneurial ecosystem and visualising it as a 'map'. This visualisation and students' knowledge of the ecosystem becomes the foundation for their ability to initiate change. By the end of this subject, students are 'guides' in the ecosystem and have developed a capacity to leverage such ecosystems to advance their own initiative or venture.

Subject learning objectives (SLOs)

Upon successful completion of this subject students should be able to:

1. Drawing on entrepreneurial ecosystem frameworks, identify and situate key actors in their local entrepreneurial ecosystem.
2. Collaborate in inter-disciplinary teams to integrate, explain and visualise entrepreneurial ecosystems.
3. Responsibly engage with others in the entrepreneurial ecosystem with a view to develop longer-term professional relationships.
4. Evaluate the impact that a proposed interpretation of entrepreneurial ecosystem might have from practical as well as ethical considerations.
5. Identify gaps in their local entrepreneurial ecosystem and envision levers to influence the ecosystem.
6. Develop a strategy for activating an entrepreneurial ecosystem with reference to stakeholders' considerations.

Course intended learning outcomes (CILOs)

This subject contributes specifically to the development of the following course intended learning outcomes:

  • Identify and represent the components and processes within complex systems and organise them within relational frameworks (1.1)
  • Integrate findings from research and problem/stakeholder/data analysis in creative and useful ways to generate a proposal (2.3)
  • Articulate often-complex ideas simply, succinctly and compellingly to a diverse team or multiple types of audiences (3.4)
  • Identify significant issues, challenges or opportunities and assess potential to act creatively and ethically on them (4.1)
  • Interrogate and appreciate the ethical responsibilities related to social, legal and regulatory practices (4.3)
  • Explore and articulate the transformation required to create and implement innovation, with sensitivity to the creative destruction that this requires (5.2)

Contribution to the development of graduate attributes

The subject provides opportunities for you as a student to engage with various stakeholders and peers to generate an ecosystems view of the entrepreneurial environment in a chosen domain. You examine the current state of the environments and ecosystems that enable entrepreneurship to produce a visualization of the system. You are then challenged to utilize this map to identify opportunities to act creatively and ethically on significant issues and challenges to create transformation or implement innovation.

So, your experiences as a student in this subject support you to develop the following graduate attributes (GA):

  • GA 1 Complex systems thinking
  • GA 2 Creating value in problem solving and inquiry
  • GA 3 Inter- and trans-disciplinary practices
  • GA 4 Imaginative and ethical citizenship
  • GA 5 Entrepreneurial and intrapreneurial skills

Teaching and learning strategies

The subject is taught in block mode, in between sessions. The subject is taught using an experiential teaching and learning approach. Delivery of materials, lectures, webinars and discussions is supported by online learning and communication tools and a learning management system. The face-to-face classes engage students in group work, discussions and exercises to reflect upon and revise the content. Students work with and receive feedback from peers, academics and professionals across a wide range of disciplines.

Content (topics)

  • Entrepreneurial ecosystems and stakeholders
    • Incubators, accelerators and co-working spaces
    • Investors, funders and financial institutions
  • Systems thinking, analysis and mapping
  • Government, policy and economic growth
  • Visual communication and presentation


Assessment task 1: Ecosystem Directory


This task addresses the following subject learning objectives:

1 and 3

This assessment task contributes to the development of course intended learning outcome(s):

1.1 and 4.3

Type: Report
Groupwork: Group, group and individually assessed
Weight: 30%

Present in your choice of format (e.g. document or presentation). However, keep in mind this is an academic submission. Consequently, include a brief introduction and a list of APA 7th formatted references. The individual components of the report will be aggregated into one group submission prior to the development of the group part of the assesment.

This assignment has 4 parts:

  • Individual overview of the Entrepreneurial Ecosystem and its scope
  • Individual directory and potential data sources of that Entrepreneurial Ecosystem's key components
  • Individual lessons learned from 1-2 interviews or media sources
  • Group directory of your Entrepreneurial Ecosystem's key components and interview plan
  • Resourcefulness (depth and breadth) of desktop search to inform critical decision-making with regards to conceptualising entrepreneurial ecosystems
  • Comprehensive rationale for the scope of entrepreneurial ecosystem exploration
  • Relevance of interview design and originality and criticality of questions raised and explored

Assessment task 2: Ecosystem Mapping & Leverage Proposal


This task addresses the following subject learning objectives:

2, 3, 4, 5 and 6

This assessment task contributes to the development of course intended learning outcome(s):

2.3, 3.4, 4.1, 4.3 and 5.2

Type: Project
Groupwork: Group, group and individually assessed
Weight: 35%

Present in your choice of format (e.g. document or presentation). However, keep in mind this is an academic submission. Consequently, include a brief introduction and a list of references. You may also include your interviews transcripts and other content as appendices.

This assessment has 4 parts:

  • Evolution of the Entrepreneurial Ecosystem
  • Ecosystem Map (visualisation and legend)
  • Leverage Proposal (with 3 sub-components)
  • Groupwork Reflection
  • Respectful and professional engagement of stakeholders towards insightful histories of the entrepreneurial ecosystem
  • Richness and breadth of entrepreneurial ecosystem, including detailed interconnections within it
  • Convincing and insightful analysis, identifying levers by which the entrepreneurial ecosystem can be developed
  • Original and achievable proposal for one or more key stakeholder(s) to activate levers to develop an Entrepreneurial Ecosystem
  • Thorough exploration of the value or impact that the proposed visualisation of the ecosystem might have on stakeholders
  • Comprehensive evidence of contribution to inter-disciplinary team effort and achievement (*)

* The overall group mark will be multiplied by the output of SparkPlus peer assessments. Non-completion of SparkPlus will result in a 20% penalty of this group assessment. Use of this criterion is contingent on team size: If teams are too small, this criterion may be modified with consultation.

Assessment task 3: Letter from Future Self


This task addresses the following subject learning objectives:

4, 5 and 6

This assessment task contributes to the development of course intended learning outcome(s):

2.3, 4.1 and 5.2

Type: Reflection
Groupwork: Individual
Weight: 35%

Present in your preferred format (e.g. Word document, Adobe Acrobat PDF, Presentation slides). Include a separate list of references.

This assignment has 4 core parts:

  • Your vision of the ecosystem 10 years from now
  • Levers YOU can start pulling today
  • An actionable proposal on how you can activate those levers
  • Clear evaluation of the value of pulling these levers

The overall length limit for the entire proposal is 3 pages (equivalent to 1,500 words).

  • Convincing and insightful analysis of the future state of the Entrepreneurial Ecosystem you are aiming towards
  • Critical analysis of levers that you (the student entrepreneur) could ‘pull’ to influence the Entrepreneurial Ecosystem
  • Original and achievable proposal for you to activate levers and generate improvements to the Entrepreneurial Ecosystem
  • Thorough exploration of the value (outcome, impact) that your proposal might have for the EE and its benefit to you as a stakeholder

Minimum requirements

Students must attempt each assessment task and achieve an overall pass mark in order to pass this subject.

Late penalties apply to all assessment tasks as outlined in the FTDi FYI student booklet. Please consult this booklet for other useful information including Special Consideration, Plagiarism, Extension, and Student Support Services.

A minimum of 80% of attendance of classes (as outlined in the timetable) is required.

For 2020 only, students with covid19 induced clashes between 94663 and either 94662 or 81539 are still required to attend 80% of the non-clashing sessions. Separate advice was given on how to handle clashing sessions, including finding a 'buddy' in each class to bring you up to speed and managing expectations within your teams.

Required texts

No required textbooks. Required readings and other resources will be provided via Canvas.