Curtin looking to accelerate more startups

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// The search is on again for innovators to take part in next year’s Curtin Accelerate, a free 10-week program to develop an invention or a new business idea.

Applications for Curtin Accelerate program, which offers tailor-made guidance and support to prepare concepts for commercial success, are now open to Curtin’s alumni of more than 240,000 graduates around the world, as well as staff and students.

Curtin University Director of Commercialisation Rohan McDougall said the Accelerate program provided vital early stage support for emerging businesses in the Curtin community.

“Curtin Accelerate is Perth’s longest running accelerator program now in its seventh year of operation,” Rohan McDougall told Startup News.

Alumni Success Stories

“The program has graduated many teams that have gone onto success. These include warehousing marketplace Storekat, who completed an angel round and were recently successful with a significant Accelerating Commercialisation grant, ergonomics solutions business, Soter Analytics, who conducted a successful crowd funding campaign and are expanding internationally and Gelavo who launched their avocado based ice-cream onto the Perth market this year.  

Gelavo is the brainchild of Curtin University food science and technology alumni Anthea Rodoreda and Andrew Tilley who tackled the issue of fresh produce waste by using unwanted WA avocados to make ice cream.

Since participating in the 2018 Accelerate program, Gelavo’s icecream has gone into production and is now selling through various retail outlets in Perth.

“The program provides mentoring, seed funding and access to networks that can help these businesses grow,” Rohan said.

“It is part of a pipeline of programs to support entrepreneurship at Curtin that can connect teams with global entrepreneurs and investors, transforming ideas into successful new products and services. We are seeking applicants who have innovative ideas or business concepts and need some support to take them to the next level.”

Curtin Accelerate, which offers access to co-working spaces, information technology infrastructure, key industry networks and personalised mentoring from specialists in digital marketing, business growth, intellectual property and finance, will run from February to April 2020.

Another alumni success story is Spiropak, which took out the overall prize at the 2019 Curtinnovation Awards for its breakthrough oil and gas industry technology.

What does the program offer?

If you qualify for entry into the program, you’ll receive:

  • a $5,000 equity-free grant
  • business start-up workshops designed and delivered by an experienced program manager
  • access to key industry contacts and networks, including commercialisation experts, investors and potential partners
  • 10 weeks personalised mentoring from specialists in digital marketing, business growth, intellectual property and finance to help build and improve your idea for commercial success.
  • free registration to the West Tech Fest 2019 conference, and exposure to the Extreme Tech Challenge and associated global community of investors and entrepreneurs.

Teams applying for Curtin Accelerate must include at least one Curtin staff member, student or graduate. Applications close on 25th October.

To find out more about the Curtin Accelerate program, visit their website.

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Curtin University is a sponsor of Startup News.