The La Trobe Accelerator Program funds entrepreneurial innovation in Melbourne and across regional Victoria, providing La Trobe students, researchers, alumni and the wider community with the opportunity to develop their ideas into viable businesses.
La Trobe Vice-Chancellor Professor John Dewar and Director of the La Trobe Accelerator Program Dr Cerasela Tanasescu presented certificates to the nine graduating teams at a ceremony held at the Australian Centre for the Moving Image (ACMI) on Thursday 3rd May. Minister Philip Dalidakis MP gave the address.
The La Trobe Accelerator Program is designed to build Victoria’s regional entrepreneurial ecosystem. It accelerates the development of start-ups by providing expert support, resources, up to $20,000 equity-free seed funding, mentorship and connections to communities in Victoria.
La Trobe Vice-Chancellor Professor John Dewar congratulated the graduating Accelerator teams and said the program reflects the University’s focus on supporting innovation, especially in regional Victoria.
“It’s fantastic to support such entrepreneurial start-up businesses through our Accelerator Program, helping turn brilliant ideas into reality,” Professor Dewar said.
“Importantly the program supports the regional economies of Victoria and so it’s great to see start-up innovation from Bendigo, Albury-Wodonga, Shepparton and Mildura.”
Associate Professor Brian Abbey of NanoMslide – the graduating team who invented the transformative microscope slide – said the Accelerator Program has help transform the way the team think about their invention.
“Interacting with other start-ups and working closely with a mentor to try to turn our technology into an actual business has been a really rewarding experience,” Associate Professor Abbey said.
“It’s truly exciting to see what a short time ago was just an idea hatched in my laboratory at La Trobe turn into a real-world product that could have significant economic as well as societal benefits.”
Adam Valastro of graduating team Travelling Tradies, said he enjoyed being part of the La Trobe Accelerator Program and felt the program had contributed to the success of his business. His business connects Australian tradespeople with hotels and hostels, where they can exchange their skills for food, accommodation and cultural experiences.
“This inspiring program provided me with the opportunity to work with experts from wide-ranging disciplines across La Trobe University, from business and data analytics to computer science and media – all of whom provided valuable advice and insights,” Mr Valastro said.
Applications open for the 2018 Regional Accelerator on Monday May 14, 2018. Last date for filing applications is Sunday July 15, 2018 (11:59pm AEST).
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