Budding entrepreneurs accelerate their innovations in Shepparton

Medical supplies to indigenous communities, reducing the epidemic of loneliness in our ageing society, and exporting to Malaysia to meet growing demands, will be the three start-up areas that our Shepparton winners, Mervyn Fernando, Eva Gruen and Danny Finley, and Hanan Muhammad, will be going full steam ahead developing in the 12 week LTAP Program.

Three Shepparton winners, Mervyn Fernando, Eva Gruen and Danny Finley, and Hanan Muhammad have been accepted into the 2018 La Trobe Accelerator Program, with the opportunity to develop their entrepreneurial ideas into viable organisations and businesses.

Applications are open from anyone in the community for this 12-week free program. It offers business support and advice, coaching, office facilities, mentoring and seed funding for regional start-ups.

The La Trobe Accelerator program was awarded the prestigious 2018 Australian Financial Review Higher Education Community Engagement Award last week.

“I would like to connect Australia’s indigenous communities to supplies of medical resources and reinvest a section of the profits back into community-oriented health projects,” says Mervyn Fernando whose enterprise is called 'Indigenous Medical Supplies.’

Eva Gruen and Danny Finley are setting up an organisation called 'I Wish I'd Asked.' “We aim to reduce the epidemic of loneliness in our ageing society by working with schools to get children engaged within aged communities. It will be spearheaded in Shepparton, and is a campaign we hope to grow nationally.”

“'My Kangaroo’ is a business that will operate as a retail wholesaler and will specialise in distributing quality goods to Malaysia to meet growing demands,” says Hanan Muhammad.

“The La Trobe Accelerator Program is a unique University incubator program as it has a regional focus,” says Dr Cerasela Tanasescu, Director, La Trobe Accelerator.

“La Trobe is in a great position to support regional start-ups as we have campuses located in Shepparton, Bendigo, Mildura and Albury-Wodonga. We’ve awarded $157,000 in seed funding to start ups so far, and are about to head into our third iteration of the program. In the 2018 program we had over 80 applications and 19 winners, with over half from our regional catchment areas.”

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