This is the transcript for the audio How can you make an impact?

Please note that this episode contains references to suicide that some people might find disturbing.

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Hi, I’m Jess Clayman and Welcome to your path to UTS.

Your path to UTS

Today we’re discussing how you can make an impact.

My name is Sinay. I graduated from UTS last year. I was studying Medical Science and right now at UTS I’m part of UTS Startups and I started working on a project where we tailor video games for young adults on the autism spectrum disorder and that has been a really interesting journey. Just being part of UTS and everything that lead me to be here.

So Sinay, when you were in high school what did you want to be when you grew up?

So, in high school I actually really wanted to be a doctor. I think the reason I wanted to do medicine was I like the idea where I could combine working with people, studying science and being able to really travel overseas and have that freedom. Also coming from a Jewish background, you really can only get three choices: lawyer, doctor or commerce. Hate law, hate commerce so being a doctor was my only real option. But then later on I realised that I only really chose medicine for the wrong reasons. I wanted that flexibility even though I could achieve it in another way really.

What do you think was some of the biggest struggles you faced when choosing what to do after school?

I really didn’t know what was out there so, I didn’t get the ninety-nine point ninety five to get straight into medicine and I really didn’t know what I wanted to study and I always knew I was going to take a gap year and I was lucky enough to go to Ethiopia and volunteer there for four months and then Israel volunteering in some parts with really interesting communities there and I think that really helped me build my leadership skills, really see what I really want and I think in high school you tend to be so uniformed and suddenly when you leave you realise what you’re good at and what you’re not basically.

Tell me some of the biggest things that you learnt about yourself and what you wanted your life to look like while you were overseas?

I think I realised that I really enjoyed being a leader during the programs and volunteers I often was the leader of the program and freely teaching and providing really interactive facilities for the people. I think that was really exhilarating and exciting. Adapting yourself, working with people because every day I was working with completely different people and different backgrounds, age, gender and adapting yourself to what that person’s need and how you as a person work with them. I really, really enjoyed that and the fact that you get to really meet so many people, I really had fun and also just analysing their facial expression, analysing data that was another part, kind there was a science aspect to it. I really, really enjoyed it.

So, what are you currently studying at UTS. I know you mentioned it before but tell us again what it is that you’re doing at the moment?

So, I recently graduated with a Bachelor of Medical Science and now I’m an active member at UTS Startups, working on AxonPlay.

And what made you choose this path, what was it that kind of led you down this career?

So throughout university, and even high school, I was highly involved in leadership programs and volunteering with kids and adults with disability, or you know diversity, I really had to think creatively and specifically think outside the box with practical activities and facilitating for different camps.

But when I was really pushed outside of my comfort zone, was when I really started with the young women on the autism spectrum disorder that when one day, she actually tried to jump off a second story building because her boyfriend didn’t want to see her anymore and you know and it wasn’t that he was the love of her life, it’s that she was so overwhelmed by her own emotions and she couldn’t cope with the rejection, she couldn’t handle the routine and became harmful to herself and when her mum and I were seeking engaging resources to help her cope with that resiliency, there was really nothing out there and there was nothing really to introduce her, like all the social resiliency, talking about a relationship, rejection in a sustainable way and that’s why I did more research and came across this idea and right now that’s what we’re working on

So, at AxonPlay, we’re really creating engaging video games that target those exact kinds of problems for people on the spectrum and introducing them to real life scenarios that are sometimes too complex to teach. Just like a real-life situation that you really need to be immersed in order to overcome them.

I think this is such a wonderful way for people, and people in general not just on the spectrum, to engage in these real scenarios in a way that is easily accessible and very easy to digest as well.

Tell us a little more about this project and about how it all works?

Yes, so it’s not just me, I have a team with five other people. We have a game developer, an artist, a game artist and a narrative designer and together we’re working really hard on facilitating real life social scenarios in a form of a game.

So it’s set in a fantasy kind of world, it’s really cool because you get to be the player and the player is someone on the spectrum, so you don’t have to be on the spectrum to play that game. It’s really interesting because you can actually get the sense of people on the spectrum feel because often it’s really hard to empathise or sympathise with someone who is slightly different to you but being immersed and seeing the way they see is really interesting and within that game you get, you’re the boss, you get to choose who you want to speak to, you build leadership skills, you build different resiliencies, you learn that rejection is not the end of the world, you learn how to handle rejection, you get the freedom to really tailor the conversation and meet new people. I mean other characters in the game.

Before arriving at UTS, and starting down this path, did you ever consider a career as an entrepreneur? We talked before about, you know, becoming a doctor and down the medical path in an MD way. Did you ever consider being an entrepreneur when you were leaving school?

I think I didn’t really know what an entrepreneur means, let alone spell it. But ever since I was little, I really enjoyed problem solving. So, I would see things and try to figure them out myself and then try to research and back it up. I never actually knew to put the title as entrepreneur and at home, even though you’re really pushed to do something different, it’s never start your own business, it’s be creative with what you have.

Now speaking of starting your own business, since starting at UTS, you’ve started two businesses. What was your initial idea, when you entered the UTS Startups community?

It was creating a cosmetic app, an ethical cosmetic app, that according to you know what you’re most entitled of, that what you care about the most then you’ll buy the right products. After doing some testing, marketing and interviewing people, I realised that people really weren’t interest in that either they really care about the environment, so they really know exactly what product they’re buying. Versus people who don’t really care or wouldn’t really download something in the first place to help our current environment and I realised that I wanted to solve a different problem and that wasn’t actually my interest. So cosmetic was far off what I really wanted to do.

We did a bit of a pivot.

Exactly, it was a great learning experience curve.

And I guess it was that prompt that people weren’t necessarily engaged with what you thought they would be engaged with, that prompted you to kind of pivot the idea and move it around.

Exactly and right now with my current startup we’ve really started with extensive market research, we’ve had in-depth interviews with over seventy individuals some  identified themselves on the spectrum. Families, OTs, caretakers, different schools and we’re really able to admit that I was really able to put my all my heart and soul into it. I also had a lot of background in this problem and saw a first-time compared, the other problem where I didn’t know much about it and this is so close to heart as well.

How important was it for you to engage with those people outside of your kind of immediate sphere? To kind of engage with schools and people on the spectrum and community groups?

So important. I mean first thing you do when you want to create a startup, or want to create a business or project, you name it, you really need to do your market research. So, seventy people are people that we actually had an in-depth conversation. We still have a lot more people that was just an online survey. You really need to test out, more than one hundred people to see whether it’s not a problem that you have found, but to see that this is across multiple people and to see whether the solution that you’ll be testing throughout will accommodate that problem because, at the end of the day, it doesn’t matter if you’re solving the problem that you think it is, you want to really help other people and really facilitate their problem.

That’s a really nice way to kind of circle back around the idea of pivoting and pivoting what problem you saw that needed to be solved with the kind of switching between the first business to the second.

But what kind of pivot I always find too is used a lot between entrepreneurs, some people I find don’t really know what it means. What does it mean, and why do you think some friends or maybe fellow students avoid entrepreneurship or maybe don’t think it’s for them?

So the meaning of the word pivot, is where we change the old hypothesis to create a new one. So the new hypothesis is true, so we’re trying to adapt to it. This is something we constantly do at AxonPlay. So we test out one hypothesis. When we test it out, we really test it out with customers, with our potential customers, with our OTs and our gaming productions and then we therefore see whether we should pivot, so change it and test another hypothesis, or continue with what we’re doing and the second half of the question I think, people tend to avoid entrepreneurship, because we tend to be really comfortable with where we are.

Also how do you tell your parents, that after going to uni, everything that you’ve learnt you’re just doing something completely unknown, right from the start with no certainties whatsoever. You work all day, lots of sleepless nights and you know, the hope that you’ll one day become the new unicorn. There is also the ethnic influence and I think, people sometimes think of thinking in the back of their mind like oh I should do this and later on they see that someone has created the idea for a billion dollars and I’m like oh I should have done that and that’s the biggest step, just trying to do it and really pushing yourself. It is hard to commit and motivate yourself, but it is once you get into that stage, that you’re so passionate about it, that every time you speak about it your face lights up. I just think its so magical to be in that space. As corny as it sounds it really is so immersive.

The best kind of corny though and it’s not even about ways that that kind of billion dollar ideas that will make you all this money and so rich. Its about your business and what you’re doing is genuinely helping so many people and it’s filling a need within the community, you know what I mean?

Yeah. It really is. I think during the interviews where you hear people say, the problem with that are introducing our solution, they basically asking you for that specific solution and just like they want something interactive that they can sustainably, something they can do every day, repeat that action over and over again with the psychologist, without having that face to face interaction without having to constantly to work on seven things yet it’s amazing to hear.

Yeah. What would be, you know, your top pieces of advice for people who think on entrepreneurship isn’t for them. Who are maybe sitting at home maybe thinking, it’s big and it’s scary and this is not the thing for me?

I think just do it. What’s the worst that can happen? You know you can start small, think big. It’s so incredible because you learn so much and you get exposed to so much, you become a leader, you become an accountant, you become a business person, you become a product manager, there are so many other exposure that you would never be, never to have had the chance to even be exposed to that if you were doing the typical nine to five job.

You get the ability to meet so many people, connect with so many people and at the end of the day if AxonPlay doesn’t work out, I still would have come with so much knowledge and so much connection and just for me finding out what is my passion, for me to be able to manage a team of five, and you know, growing, for me to be able to highlight and express myself and articulate a solution that I had is just incredible and I will forever cherish those skills.

Absolutely. I think that something people forget about a lot is, that there is a big wonderful idea that you want to see come to fruition but are so many tie ins that you get to learn as well. Whether it be accounting, or marketing or different kinds of administrative tasks stuff like that, that goes into starting your own business that you get the opportunity to really get to dig into and learn.

How did the UTS Startups community help you start at kind of pivoting and growing your idea?

When I first came to UTS Startups, I really didn’t know other types of startups. I thought app was just the only thing out there and then I realised that you can combine med-tech. So I could combine my background, my passion for science and my passion for helping people and created my own and I think and often people say you learn from your mistakes which is completely true, but there are so much mistakes that you can create in order to learn from them. So, everyone here, it’s an open space. Everyone is just so welcome to ask questions to express knowledge, to share what they’ve learned in passing. I definitely would not have been able to get to the stage I’m in  now without the people who work here and without the people who are just so passionate about their Startup as I am and just learning and growing with each other.

Absolutely. One of the best parts of starting a business at uni is that you have access to the talent of so many fellow students that can help build your Startup.

What’s it been like to take on UTS students as employees and co-founders?

So amazing, because I was in their shoes just a year ago and I think often it is so important that for people who are studying at UTS to not just studying but do other things outside. So other curriculum, just like being part of a Startup or being part of volunteering programs or working part time and I think it’s really incredible to see how their ability to think critically within their start up, within the company itself and using their knowledge from what they’re studying and applying it into the Startup world.

What advice would you give to other UTS students? Especially those who will be starting their first year very, very shortly.

Yeah. I think don’t be afraid of failing first year or think so hard because you want to be social, but you want to get HDs. Just make sure you’re there, because you want to be there. Again, make sure that UTS isn’t the only thing you’re doing, that you’re creating other outer curriculum. So, it can be an internship. I did an internship overseas and I think, really broadening your horizons and trying to do lots of other things. I really think its cool going to UTS. Especially someone like me, who is a very visual learner and a hands-on person, I found that UTS was super practical, versus other universities. So, if any other students are visual, this is a great place to be.

What does the next few years hold for you and AxonPlay?

Well so much. At the moment we’re working on our MVP so minimal viable product. We’re creating a really, the start kind of left the draft of what we want to do. We already started testing it with some other customers. We will maybe be able to pivot and really grow. We would like to really expand it to other countries across the world, move to different types of newer diversities whether its AD HD, and really expand the levels on our games and the list goes on, and on and the picture is really, really big and we’re very excited to start.

If you’d like to explore a career in entrepreneurship at UTS like Sinay has, then head on over to

Thanks for joining us.