Almost 200 people gathered in the Flinders University Plaza on Thursday 8 November 2018 to cheer on Venture Dorm finalists, including skin protection entrepreneur Dylan Manov who took out the Gold eNVIe at the 11th eNVIes Awards hosted by Flinders University’s New Venture Institute (NVI).
With a mission to protect Australians from skin cancer, Mr Manov’s Happy Skin enterprise provides organisations with low-cost, convenient sun screen dispensers that can be securely installed in public spaces including schools, construction sites, sporting grounds and beaches.
He was one of 23 startups in the recently completed metropolitan round of Flinders University’s award-winning entrepreneurial program, Venture Dorm, run by the NVI. The program helps new businesses start up fast with low upfront investment, with participants given access to co-working spaces, contemporary services and technology, combined with expert practical skills and guidance.
“Venture Dorm was an incredible experience from start to finish,” Mr Manov says.
“Winning is a validation of all that hard work and how far Happy Skin has come from when it was just an idea.”
His total prize package of $40,000 includes a seat on Flinders’ NVI annual US innovation mission, where he is looking forward to showcasing his invention – “The whole world needs to be more aware of the dangers of skin cancer,” he says.
Mr Manov will be joined on the trip by gold and silver winners of the Limestone Coast eNVIes – to be held in Mount Gambier in December this year – and Thursday evening’s silver eNVIe winner.
The visit will take them to start-ups in San Francisco, Silicon Valley and Austin, where they will join other business founders and leaders to attend more than 30 events, pitch competitions, site visits and networking opportunities. The US Innovation Mission is open to other founders and businesses, and never fails to inspire entrepreneurial growth.
Presenting at the awards celebration, Flinders University Vice-Chancellor Professor Colin said “Flinders has a unique capacity to inspire bold new ways of thinking, and to develop people who are capable of changing industries, and creating new businesses and the jobs that go with them.”
“At the NVI we have done exactly this, enabling more than 300 startup enterprises and training thousands of innovators and entrepreneurs.”
He said being at the forefront of brave new ideas is central to the University and includes innovation and enterprise topics offered as study options in all of the University’s programs.
“We equip our students with the skills to think differently, seek out innovative approaches, grasp and develop new opportunities, and thrive in a constantly changing world, which means embedding robust innovation and enterprise skills so they have the capacity to build and create.”
This round of Venture Dorm follows recognition for the Flinders University NVI earlier this year as a global entrepreneurial incubator leader in the Asia Pacific region, by university bench-marking company UBI Global.
Taking out the Silver eNVIe and a share in the prize pool was Luke Penman, from Play Pause Play, a new internet radio channel that streams Australian music, enabling listeners to interact, participate in competitions and discover new Australian music. The People’s Choice Award went to Dean McGurgan, who has invented an easy to install, self-closing ceiling vent that can reduce heating costs by up to 20%.
Allison Nikkula, a member of the NVI’s co-working space (eNVIsion) and founder of CareApp (which connects residents in care facilities to their families) was MC for the evening – after earlier sharing her CareApp entrepreneurial journey at Venture Dorm sessions.
The six finalists vied for a share of a $60k prize pool, pitching their business to a panel of judges including:
- Rose Kentish, founder and CEO of Sparkke Beverage Co.
- Jodie Walton, Managing Director of Harrison McMillan
- Hannah Murdoch, Producer at Mighty Kingdom
- Andrew Dunbar, Director of OSTAR, Department for Industry and Skills
- Matt Salier; Director New Venture Institute, Flinders University
The eNVIes are proudly supported by the Government of South Australia’s Department of Industry and Skills, D’Arrenberg, NewsCorp, Amazon Web Services, NewsMaker, Chiliad Consulting, Sparkke Beverage Co., Canva, Motus Legal, Komms Haus, Moonshine Lab, Icebreaker18, Showpony, SouthStart, Phil Hoffman Travel, BDO, Flinders Enterprise Consulting and eNVIsion Incubator.
Semester two (metropolitan region) Venture Dorm finalists:
- Founded by Dylan Manov
- A sunscreen company with a social edge, Happy Skin provides businesses with low-cost, convenient sunscreen dispensers.
- Founded by Dean McGurgan
- EcoVent is a self-closing ceiling vent that can reduce heating costs by up to 20%.
Children’s Entertainers Association
- Founded by Dave Russel, Libby Day, Muge Demir and Volkan Demir
- CENTA is an Australia-wide, not-for-profit association of kid’s entertainers formed to protect children.
- Founded by Luke Penman
- Play Pause Play uses internet radio software for a 24/7, 100% Australian-made music stream.
Conscious Living Project
- Founded by Nikkola Pickering, Kirsty Palmer, Nikki Harvey and Karyn Clements
- Conscious Living Project Is a social enterprise designed to help people connect, find meaning and live consciously.
- Founded by Gary Yau
- Prison Gothic Revival Program is bringing back traditional Chinese Font design for modern day use.