Flinders New Venture Institute will send two Venture Dorm program finalists to the US next year as part of the latest eNVIes Awards.
The chief executives and founders Emily Hanna and Colin Kelly will take part in a transformative 10-day business study tour in the US led by Flinders NVI, which includes the South By South West (SXSW) technology festival in Austin, Texas, Silicon Valley and New York.
Flinders NVI director Matt Salier says the US study tour “is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for these entrepreneurs to visit one of the world’s most dynamic global economies”.
“We want to give these passionate emerging founders the best chance at creating a startup with a viable business model able to create real value,” Mr Salier says.
“South Australia’s Venture Dorm builds key personal enterprise skills for these entrepreneurs that are crucial to driving the economies of tomorrow.”
The People’s Choice prize was awarded to Josh Garratt’s City ReCycle venture which aims to reduce waste to landfill from commercial office buildings.
Nailbreak provides mobile in-office manicure and wellness services to help increase employee productivity, while Partbox Systems is a innovative construction set with 3D printed, lockable joints which can be used for designing or building engineering prototypes, designing experiments or other creative ideas.
The winners and all graduates from this semester’s Venture Dorm program will receive other marketing, legal, financial and related professional services, including a place at NVI’s dynamic eNVision Incubator.
Flinders graduates Stephanie Daughtry and Hannah Rohrlach say the 12-week Venture Dorm program will enable them to take their small business to the next level.
“We had a strong concept for Post Dining (which conducts ‘creative food experience’ events) but needed help with turning it into a business,” says Ms Rohrlach, a Flinders Nutrition and Dietetics graduate.
“The course is what we needed to get things going and to make it a scaleable and sustainable venture.”
Entrepreneurs in the 12-week Venture Dorm course receive weekly coaching sessions and intensive one-on-one mentoring to bring their ideas to life.
Flinders University’s Senior Lecturer in Innovation and Enterprise Bert Verhoeven, one of the judges in the eNVIes, says Venture Dorm is one of the New Venture Institute’s most successful programs.
Dedicated to connecting people, it is a great educational environment for people who want to take an idea and develop a viable business model which is scalable and repeatable, from scratch, in less than 12 weeks.
It aims to be a “hands-on, learner-centred, enquiry based, immersive and experiential process”.
Dr Verhoeven and Mr Salier joined Mr Andrew Dunbar, the director of the Department of State Development (DSD) Office of Science, Technology and Research, Ms Sasha Baranikov (Uniti Wireless) and Ms Emily Rich (Jemsoft) on the eNVIes judging panel.
Sponsors of the awards were the SA Government DSD, City of Onkaparinga, City of Adelaide, Newscorp, eNVision Incubator, Flinders Innovation Centre, JoeyCrowd, Leap Sheep, Komms Haus, Newsmaker, Chiliad Consulting, BDO, Flinders Associate Professor Sandy Walker, Ethos Media, Motus Legal and Howard Vineyard.