Young entrepreneurs go in to pitch at the Oval

Flinders students will join up to 50 PhD candidates from around Australia in the Australian-French Entrepreneurship Challenge.

The 24-hour national challenge aims to design an innovative and profitable startup concept. The budding entrepreneurs will have access to advice from seasoned mentors throughout the challenge, to help them come up with a concept before pitching ideas to a panel of judges. The event takes place at Adelaide Oval on 11-12 July.

Flinders will be represented by PhDs Jakob Andersson, Andrew Cole, Dhani Dharmaprani, Bradley Donnelly, Tets Kimura, Rowan Pivetta and Kelsey Seyfang whose research covers a diverse range of subjects and disciplines.

Flinders Vice-Chancellor Professor Colin Stirling says the PhD challenge is “an exciting opportunity for Flinders University to demonstrate its commitment to the needs of industry by producing research, graduates and other skilled workers that meet the needs of Australia’s Future Submarine Program”.

“Growing collaboration between South Australian and French education and business communities will not only strengthen our role in defence and maritime research, but will also facilitate important social and cultural engagement that we hope will contribute to the ongoing and deepening relationship with France into the future.”

It is the first time the event has been held in Adelaide and participants are competing for a chance to win a trip to France. This will include a tour of the country’s main universities, incubators and research institutions to give them a first-hand look at its innovation system.

The Australian-French Entrepreneurship Challenge is based on the ‘Les 24H chrono de l’entrepreneuriat’, a flagship event that has been run in France since 2011.

The SA event is supported by the State Government, the Embassy of France in Australia, Flinders University, the University of South Australia, University of Adelaide and the Australian and French business communities.

This challenge is an opportunity for the State’s future innovators to build on their entrepreneurial skills, says the Minister for Higher Education and Skills Dr Susan Close.

“Whether their research is in the natural sciences, engineering, medicine, technology, social sciences or the humanities, participants will bring fresh and innovative ideas to this challenge.”

Dr Close, who chairs the State Government’s French Engagement Advisory Group, says the event further highlights South Australia as a destination for innovation and new thinking.

The Minister joins a large group of adjudicators on the 24-hour challenge jury. They feature high-profile business, government and university representatives including Flinders University Innovation and Enterprise senior lecturer Bert Verhoeven and New Venture Institute director Matt Salier.



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