Last week marked the conclusion of the Start Something Program at the University of Western Australia, a UWA Innovation Quarter Initiative established to develop, promote and foster entrepreneurship within the university environment.
Deputy Vice Chancellor Kent Anderson reinforced the importance of the Start Something program. “My prediction is that the entire Australian Higher Education Sector, all 39 universities, will be on this route in the future”
“I think with UWA IQ the University is taking a very affirmative step.”
Developed by Innovation Cluster, a Perth organisation of industry experts involved with guiding corporate innovation and research commercialisation, with content from Atomic Sky, the program was designed to empower participants with the skills needed to turn their ideas into a successful business.
Each workshop focussed on a different aspect of the commercialisation process, with topics ranging from market identification to how to pitch to recognising funding routes. Particularly popular amongst participants was the opportunity to interact with experienced entrepreneurs who had successfully commercialised ideas in the healthcare, resources, information technology, engineering, social enterprise and innovation sectors.
Participants concluded the program with a better understanding of whether there was a business or commercially viable product in their research as well as an awareness of next steps they could take in commercialisation.
“It was fantastic to play a part in running the inaugural Start Something program with Innovation Cluster & UWA IQ and to see the amount of research and innovation happening in one of our world class universities. I believe many universities will follow suit with the idea of bringing startup thinking and methodology to research ideas, in order to find the right path into industry.”
– Andy Lamb, CoFounder of Atomic Sky
Feedback was very positive, with one participant observing that the workshop removed their fears and insecurities about being able to run a viable dynamic business and allowed them to think of their research in the context of the real world.
Congratulations to Jo Hawkins and Jonathan Lilley who were the winners of the ‘Start Something Prize for Entrepreneurship’ and Ghulam Hassan who received the CSA Global Prize in Entrepreneurship. Each prizewinner will receive mentoring from an Innovation Cluster expert, access to a desk space at the Tech Hub and industry contacts.