Regional entrepreneurs vie for spot on US tour

Amber Rushton of Red Hippo and her Barossa marketing business Kickstart Your Marketing was a stand out among six aspiring business owners and entrepreneurs in the Barossa, Yorke and Mid North, who pitched their concepts to a panel of judges on Demo Day – hosted by Flinders University’s New Venture Institute (NVI).

As the winner of the event held on 6 November 2019, Ms Rushton will go on to pitch again at the eNVIes statewide Awards Ceremony on November 18, competing for a sponsored place in NVI’s Founders Startup Tour to the US next year.

Demo Day was the final stage of the NVI’s eight-week Venture Dorm business startup program which resulted in plenty of achievements by the first graduating class in the Barossa-Yorke-Mid North, with 65 percent of the group made up of women.

Entrepreneurs and aspiring business owners, industry experts, educators and government officials gathered to celebrate an energising showcase of regional innovation.

The event also celebrated Entrepreneurship Facilitator Services (EFS) being delivered by eNVIsion Barossa-Yorke-Mid North, a regional arm of Flinders NVI.

Federal Member for Barker Mr Tony Pasin MP remarked on the importance of programs such as EFS and Venture Dorm in the region.

“Innovative entrepreneurs and start-ups play a critical role in the Australian economy. They bring new products and services to market and drive job creation. For our regions this is a vital key to the strength and sustainability of our regional communities, ”

“Having seen three tranches of Venture Dorm run in the Limestone Coast, I can testify to the impact that this program has on regional South Australia.

“I often use the example of Ashlee Kalantarian (Ashlee Lauren), who has gone from her garage in Mount Gambier to fashion week in New York, using some of the skills she developed in Venture Dorm,” said Mr Pasin.

Supported by the Australian Government’s Department of Employment, Skills, Small and Family Business, EFS promotes and provides practical assistance to individuals wanting to start and grow their own business.

The Barossa-Yorke-Mid North region is one of 23 locations across Australia where anyone within the region can access the free service.

Like the general community, all Venture Dorm participants can access Entrepreneurship Facilitator Services for support as they continue their business journey.

“One of the best parts of this program is the chance to work with such an amazing group of entrepreneurs, mentors and investors,” Ms Rushton said.

“The Venture Dorm program has helped so many local business owners develop and hone their skills and I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to showcase Kickstart Your Marketing to Adelaide during the eNVIes, and hopefully the world in 2020.”

Venture Dorm, Australia’s largest pre-accelerator program for aspiring entrepreneurs, is delivered in the Barossa, Yorke and Mid North annually to benefit residents across the region.

As the entrepreneurial and innovation arm of Flinders, NVI aims to establish eNVIsion Barossa-Yorke-Mid North as a preeminent hub supporting this regional business community.

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