Are you a business savvy student with tons of ideas that you believe should be shared with the global marketplace? Are you also looking for ways to foster your entrepreneurship? If that’s the case, we’ve discovered your gateway to sustaining your new business concept. No longer will your innovation be used for a passing grade, but instead be supported with a real-world focus.
UniSA’s Innovation & Collaboration Centre (ICC), located in the brand new Cancer Research Institute across from the City West Campus, offers a range of events, programs and targeted workshops to develop technology-based incubation and business growth in South Australia.
The ICC offer a variety of student-focused activities to assist with starting a globally successful venture. One of their programs, Venture Catalyst, accepts up to 10 early stage companies through a six-month program. Entrepreneurs in Residence and mentors educate would-be-founders on the process of commencing their own global start-up company.
Last year, they introduced an extension to the program, Venture Catalyst Space, which focuses specifically on supporting the innovative and disruptive ideas of start-up businesses and entrepreneurs in the space sector.
‘Venture Catalyst [in both of our streams] is an important piece to our start-up ecosystem as it focuses on building early stage ideas, not simply accelerating existing companies ready for investment,’ tells ICC Manager, Jasmine Vreugdenburg.
‘It focuses on the founders, which means the workshops and mentoring are very targeted to whatever stage they’re at. This gives participants access to knowledge and resources at the right point in time, as well as access to incredible global networks, fast-tracking their success in building a global start-up. It also takes an IP and equity free approach, so founders can build value in their start-up before raising capital.’
Co-Founder of Studio Buddy, and alumnus of Venture Catalyst, Tim Simon, expresses that his company ‘began as a mix of hobby-development just over five years ago, [and] has now turned into a full-time commercial venture.’
‘Apart from giving us the support and resources to focus on product development, access to the working space and resources has been immensely helpful for us pre-cash flow, which has been so valuable,’ tells Simon.
Over the past couple years, the ICC have also held over 200 workshops, seminars and events. Each of which are specifically tailored to connect students with some of the leading investors and innovators the world has to offer. This includes SCOUT, which aims to unite UniSA’s bright new talent with some of the state’s best start-up businesses. More importantly, it provides the invaluable opportunity for attendees to speak directly with potential employers about their experience and expertise.
‘We’ve seen great success since we started SCOUT in 2017 and 2018, with students receiving networking, mentoring and paid roles from the event. This year, we’ve had even more demand from companies looking for talent, so it’s a great event to attend—plus there’s free pizza!’
Words by Tanner Muller