INCUBATE is launching at Monash University this summer.
Talented students, staff and alumni with startup ideas are encouraged to apply and attend the INCUBATE Information Session by registering here
INCUBATE, the award-winning startup accelerator program will be running from late January to April at Monash University in partnership with The University of Sydney Union. The accelerator program encourages entrepreneurship, promotes calculated risk-taking and accelerates the development of startup ventures over three months.
“Monash is really excited to be a new partner in the INCUBATE program. We have some great entrepreneurial students and staff here at Monash and the INCUBATE program will be an opportunity for them to start putting their ideas into practice.” says Alastair Hick, Director, Commercialisation.
INCUBATE is also excited to announce that Paul Naphtali will be the In-House Mentor for INCUBATE Monash University.Paul is an internationally experienced marketer for technology startups, with 15 years experience in Silicon Valley, Europe and Australia. Paul has helped develop some of the most successful technology startups including VP Global Marketing at Jajah (acquired by Telefonica), head of PR for Snaptu (acquired by Facebook), head of PR for TokBox (acquired by Telefónica) and now provides PR strategy and execution to a range of early and growth stage startups.
The Program will fund up to six high-potential startups providing each team with:
- $5,000 equity-free business grant
- 14 weeks of co-working space
- Mentorship from Australia’s leading entrepreneurs
- Workshops by experienced early-stage advisors
- The chance to present to potential investors on Demo Day
- Pitching opportunity at National Demo Day in Sydney
Some of the mentors involved in the program are:
- In-House Mentor, Paul Naphtali, Co-founder and Managing Partner at Rampersand
- Professor Michael Vitale, Faculty of IT and Treasurer of Melbourne Angels
- Petra Andren, Director at ATP Innovations
INCUBATE Information Session at Monash: Wednesday 26 November 2014: Register
* INCUBATE is open to all students, staff and alumni of Monash University. Individual and group applications are encouraged. Terms and Conditions apply. Applications close Sunday 7 December 2014
Over a hundred investors, entrepreneurs, students and graduates packed into the University of Sydney’s historic Refectory to hear INCUBATE’s winter crop of entrepreneurs pitch their startups and bid for seed-funding and further support.
Competition for INCUBATE, a startup accelerator provided by the University of Sydney Union, was fierce, Program Manager James Alexander told the crowd.
“Over 50 startups applied for our winter program and we only accept eight,” he said.
For most entrepreneurs, the industry watchword is disruption: the first address of the evening, Ureferjobs, was no exception.
“Seven percent of applications come from referrals,” CEO Mahesh Muralidhar told the audience. “[But], forty percent of hires come from these referrals.”
A veteran recruiter himself, Muralidhar claims the job recruitment industry is ripe for a shake-up. His pitch – an internal, freemium referral system for businesses – would encourage industry specialists to connect their well-skilled peers with prospective employers, to obtain a cash reward in return.
It’s distinct from business networking websites like LinkedIn, which currently derives 60% of its income from recruiters. As an internal system, sold directly to businesses, Muralidhar argued Ureferjobs would provide deeper and richer referrals and build a stronger internal infrastructure.
The INCUBATE winter program places its teams into a 14-week program, which facilitates workshops and upskills its entrepreneurs to deal with strategic, managerial, and financial hurdles involved in the startup scene.
Ron Guan, founder of PicPac and a software PhD in video processing, entered the program with a stop-motion animation
app he had built from scratch. Starting with a modest user base of 20,000, use of his app has more than doubled during his time spent with INCUBATE catapulting the app to No. 3, in its field, on the Google Play Store.
“[But PicPac] is not a one-product company,” he clarified. Guan told the audience he wanted to build a “suite of apps, with a strong focus on animation.”
Similarly, Jacqueline Ariston came into the program as a single founder without any background in tech, and managed to assemble a team in a matter of weeks. Her company, Covet – an online shopping tool designed to give its users comprehensive breakdowns of prices, stock-lists, and available items – is now teeming with software developers and is set to launch a smartphone app in December.
Flipping the script on popular notions of social platforms, Promise or Pay came into the room with skin in the game. Founder Jay Boolkin said the team had themselves invested $100,000 into product development for the project.
It’s fitting given Promise or Pay aims to incentivise its users to stick to their commitments. “If I keep my promise, my supporters donate,” Boolkin explained to the audience. “If I break my promise, I donate.”
The startup’s main selling point is within the self-improvement market, a $6.6bn industry according to Boolkin. When asked by the panel what kind of promises were most regularly made, Boolkin pointed to health and fitness: “exercise, running, meditation and healthy eating.”
The night was not entirely dominated by tech upstarts, however, with a pair of startups targeting public health concerns. The research teams behind Breathe Well and Meerkat Gear identified problems in their fields and proposed carefully-scaffolded solutions, based on their own expertise and observations.
Breathe Well, led by a group of Stanford and Sydney University researchers, sought to improve cancer treatment by stabilising patients’ breathing as they undergo radiotherapy.
Using non-invasive audio-visual prompts, the team sought just over $300,000 to obtain regulatory approval in Australia, Europe, and the UK after having already conducted extensive, in-hospital clinical trials.
Meerkat Gear, pitched a versatile, all-in-one pram and upright carrier to stave off the threat of reflux and flathead in infants. The team, a mix of public health professionals, doctors and biotech engineers estimated with a growing market of 136,000 new mothers each year, they had the potential to tap into a billion dollar industry.
Though still very much in its infancy, INCUBATE Mentor and Managing Director of Blackbird Venture Rick Baker said the program’s Demo Day pitches were “getting better and better every year.”
When asked what kind of pitches were the most attractive to the program, Baker said: “Thinking big and having an idea that people get really excited… is really important. There are a lot of Australian founders who tend not to think big enough.”
Article written by Justin Pen
INCUBATE is building a network of partner universities dedicated to fostering entrepreneurship. There are a limited number of places available for Universities interested in running the Incubate Accelerator Program on their campus this summer. Contact email@example.com for more details
Winter 2014 Startups:
What do we look for in applications to the INCUBATE Program? Common questions answered in this presentation from our recent on-campus information session. James Alexander, Program Manager and Shane Herft, our In-House Mentor, also share their application insights in these articles:
- Why 80% of Startups Fail – The Loop
- Five Reasons Why Startups are Rejected from Accelerator Programs – Medium
INCUBATE will accept up to eight startup teams for our summer program that runs over December to March. Please check our Startup Themes for example startups and apply page for more answers about the program.
Startups from Researchers & Postdoctoral Students
Researchers, doctoral and post-doctoral students are encouraged to considering applying if they believe their research has potential commercial applications.
INCUBATE strongly encourages entrepreneurial researchers who are passionate about bringing their invention and innovations to the real-world to apply.
Key attributes we look for in researchers:
- Strong entrepreneurial drive – applicants are interested in becoming co-founders of the startup company
- Clear vision as to the potential product or service they wish to create
- Willingness to conduct prototyping and business development during the 3 month accelerator program
- Willingness to learn how to market and pitch their startup to industry and investors
Staff and students working on University-owned IP may also be eligible to apply for up to $50k Proof-of-Concept funding from Commercial Development and Industry Partnerships (CDIP).
If you are interested in this route, the first step is to tell CDIP about your idea here. INCUBATE works closely with CDIP on any startups that utilise University IP, to assist them in coordinating licensing and commercialisation discussions with The University of Sydney.
“Incubate helped me to find the right people and the right path to accelerate the commercialisation of my research project.” – Ali Fathi, founder TrimphGel
Frequently Asked Questions
What’s the difference between Genesis and INCUBATE?
Genesis is a business pitching competition, organised by the Business School at the University of Sydney. We encourage anyone thinking of apply to INCUBATE but still not sure about their idea to apply for Genesis first. Genesis runs over semester and is a great way to help validate your idea. Startups that have gone through Genesis have a better chance of being accepted into INCUBATE. http://sydney.edu.au/business/genesis
Will doing an entrepreneurship course before I apply help my chances?
Yes. Doing any entrepreneurship related course, particularly courses like Technology Venture Creation (ELEC5701), will help your chances in being accepted into INCUBATE.
What can I spend the $5,000 Grant money on?
Anything related to helping you build your business and first product. Startups that are accepted will receive guidance from INCUBATE but generally most teams spend the money on product development, contractors and sometimes a contribution towards founders salaries.
Can I just get help from INCUBATE’s Mentors?
At this stage no, but we recommend you attend our public events where we often invite mentors to attend or speak. We have no ability to coordinate external mentoring sessions but we do offer startup advice on-campus to aspiring entrepreneurs. Please get in touch: https://incubate.org.au/contact
I don’t have an idea, but can I join an INCUBATE startup?
Yes. Register your skills and interest here: http://bit.ly/joinincubatestartup
I’m a single founder with no technical skills but a great idea, should I still apply?
Yes. We welcome startup founders with limited technical skills but we want to see them become experts in their industry area and have a plan for building their first product within the program time frame.
Can I apply with an idea for a creative project, cafe or consulting company?
No. We only accept startup ideas that are innovative and based on scalable products or services. Creative projects are encouraged to apply to Kickstart: http://www.usu.edu.au/Get-Involved/Kickstart.aspx
Some selected articles from the INCUBATE team:
- Entrepreneur Inspiration: Videos, services and recent news articles for aspiring entrepreneurs
- Forget ‘the Cloud’; ‘the Fog’ Is Tech’s Future
- Marc Andreessen on the Future of Silicon Valley(s), and the Next Big Technology
- Australia, the Valley of Robotics?
INCUBATE Startups are creating social change and solving diverse business and community problems. Meerkat is designing a solution to prevent flat-head syndrome in children while PicPac has 1000 daily active users making stop-motion videos, Promise or Pay is keeping people true to their word with the power of Social Media. These startups are among eight (list below) from The University of Sydney Union’s (USU) INCUBATE accelerator program, (incubate.org.au), creating a buzz with their early product offerings.In a snapshot:
- More women: 50% of the startups have women co-founders
- More entrepreneurial researchers: 2 of the 8 startups involve researchers – bringing their solutions to the real-world
- More traction: 3 of the 8 startups have revenue and first customers, and PicPac has had over 20,000 downloads on the Android store
Startup Meerkat are a collaborative team of talented medical practitioners, public health officials and industrial engineers developing the first ever stroller designed with the combined safety, health and development of the child as its top priority. They are working with the University of Sydney’s Commercial Development and Industry Partnerships team. “The dynamic energy of working alongside fellow startups in INCUBATE as well as the focused direction of the program provided by the mentors, creates an atmosphere directed towards success on a myriad of levels for our budding ideas to take flight” says Michelle Lee, Product Development Coordinator for Meerkat.
Jay Boolkin, Founder of Promise or Pay is on a mission to keep people true to their word and get them to deliver on a commitment they keep making and breaking – or pay up to charity. He has an active user base who are accountable for meeting goals they have set themselves. Anything from ‘drink a litre of water a day’, to ‘complete a half marathon’ to ‘switch off my smart phone every night’.
“INCUBATE is a fantastic opportunity to work elbow-to-elbow with aspiring entrepreneurs and experienced mentors in a focused and energised community environment. I am already benefiting from the support of being around like-minded individuals” says Jay.
PicPac is the highest-rated Stop Motion app for Android. It has packed 5,000,000+ pictures into 60,000+ videos so far, and has 1000+ daily active users says Founder, Ron Genliang Guan. “A successful startup comes from a good idea plus a good team plus INCUBATE, where the I’m finding the help from mentors and other entrepreneurs is tremendous”.
Mahesh Muralidhar, Founder of UReferJobs, acknowledges that the recruitment market is a tough one to shake up, but recruitment is an area where many companies still struggle to get the right talent at the right time. Using individuals networks and rewarding them for referring is what UReferJobs is all about. “We have 10+ companies using our recruitment solution. On average we have saved organisation’s 80% on their costs, delivering top quality candidates. Our platform will be a free, easy to setup, internal referral system. We have beta customers on board and are looking for others – this is an opportunity for organisations to significantly reduce their recruitment costs. We are also in conversations with investors.”
James Alexander, INCUBATE’s Program Manager says “We considered over 40 applications for this intake, it is always a competitive process, we look for diversity and early-stage companies with scalable innovations that are able to offer real solutions to acute problems”.
The program is based at the University of Sydney but is growing and looking for partnerships with other universities wanting to run the accelerator program at their campuses this summer.
In 2013 INCUBATE Summer Accelerator was run at three partner universities. INCUBATE welcomes enquiries from potential partner universities who would be interested in running the program on their campus this summer, please get in touch on firstname.lastname@example.org
Industry and investors interested in coming to Demo Day can register here: http://bit.ly/WIuWaY
Winter Startups 2014
An interactive medical device to assist lung cancer patients to breathe well, facilitating stable lung tumour motion for accurate radiation delivery during cancer treatment.
UReferJobs allows you to refer jobs to your peers, helping them and obtaining significant cash rewards.
Food Pod connects local farmers with pods of urban consumers, simplifying access to local produce and ensuring a fair return to the farmer.
PicPac is an android application to easily create stop motion videos without the need of a digital camera and a computer.
Meerkat is a convenient portable device to prevent and treat plagiocephaly and reflux in children.
Get the best price wherever you shop online.
Promise or Pay
Promise or Pay helps social media users stick to their goals and drive social change by donating money to charity if they don’t follow through.
Bringing simplicity back to guys through convenient and automated delivery of men’s essential products.
INCUBATE hosts events and discussion panels with leading founders, thinkers and experts on areas surrounding startup practices, innovation and technology. INCUBATE is dedicated to encouraging innovation through experiential education and aims to foster a wide community of entrepreneurs through it’s free workshops and events.
INCUBATE also co-hosts international keynotes and industry events on campus with the University of Sydney Venues Collection. Get in touch for co-hosting possibilities.
Demo Day for Class 8 – A celebration of student entrepreneurs
Tradition met innovation as Class 8 startups pitched at the iconic MacLaurin Hall, one of the most treasured sites at Australia’s oldest university.
Class 8 was one of the most diverse to date, outperforming industry standards* with 53% female founders and representation from six nationalities. Startups can achieve a lot in 14 weeks. WipeHero, a waterless car washing app, gained $20k monthly revenue during the program. Health Copilot introduced their weight management artificial intelligence, AIME – pseudonym for ‘AI for Me’, and already have over 200 users who’ve lost an average of seven kilograms.
In an ever-progressing world where future jobs lay in STEM, the nation faces a big problem with the decline in maths skills. Maths tutor Henry Kim tackles the issue head on with SeedTree, a maths tutoring platform helping young Australians learn at their own pace.
University of Sydney invests $1m into student entrepreneurship
Demo Day was also the platform for INCUBATE to announce their expansion plans. INCUBATE was founded by students at the University of Sydney Union in 2012, the additional university resourcing will enable its expansion. The University will provide a million dollars in funding over the next five years to increase the opportunities for entrepreneurs in the university community. This will include the development of pre-accelerator programs, increased places in the INCUBATE 14-week program and additional workshops and events.
“It sends a great signal to students, researchers and the broader entrepreneur community. We have big plans for the extra funding, and expect to significantly increase our scale and reach across campus over the coming years” said INCUBATE Program Manager, James Alexander.
Lenovo Choice Award
Managing Director Matt Codrington was on hand to present the Lenovo Choice Award; $10,000 worth of hardware to support the progress of the winning startup WipeHero. Matt congratulated the team onstage saying “Although we were short of water in 2009, we’re not short of ideas”
The Road So Far
As usual, Demo Day included a few highlights of the notable alumni achievements over the past few months
- $200,000 dollars raised in a seed funding for Uprise from Class 6
- $25,000 grant and $75,000 investment received by Iridium Dynamics from Class 7
- Sonder Design as the first Australian startup in Foxconn Accelerator
- $1.3m grant from NSW Medical Device Fund towards Breathe Well, Class 4
Demo Day Tweets:
Incubate (@SydneyIncubate) October 18, 2016
Incubate (@SydneyIncubate) October 18, 2016
Matt Codrington (@mattcodrington) October 18, 2016
Incubate (@SydneyIncubate) October 18, 2016
Incubate (@SydneyIncubate) October 18, 2016
"What if we could tell them what I wish I knew when I was a year 12 student?" @projectHUNI is making the transition from HS to Uni easier—
Incubate (@SydneyIncubate) October 18, 2016
Incubate (@SydneyIncubate) October 18, 2016
Incubate (@SydneyIncubate) October 18, 2016
Incubate (@SydneyIncubate) October 18, 2016
Incubate (@SydneyIncubate) October 18, 2016
Incubate (@SydneyIncubate) October 18, 2016
Incubate (@SydneyIncubate) October 18, 2016
*Source: key statistics, women entrepreneurs in Australia, industry.nsw.gov.au
The University of Sydney has announced it will provide significant financial support for on-campus startup accelerator INCUBATE, to help it double its size over the next five years.
The University has committed over $1m to the award-winning program, co-founded by two entrepreneurial students in 2012 and developed by the University of Sydney Union (USU). The funding injection is a major boost for the initiative.
Open to University of Sydney students, researchers and alumni, INCUBATE currently accepts two intakes of up to eight startups each year; this will increase to over 30 startups per year supported by INCUBATE by 2018.
The extra funding will also be used to develop new outreach and support activities, including programs for community mentoring, legal advice and development to assist teams to refine their innovative idea so they’re ready to apply for the INCUBATE accelerator program.
Chancellor Belinda Hutchinson AM said: “Since its formation I have been impressed by INCUBATE and its achievements, in particular its commitment to ensuring strong partnerships with industry and genuine diversity amongst its entrepreneurial intake.”
“The University of Sydney is proud to be associated with this program that has demonstrated positive impact and supports the broader University community to develop and realise bold and innovative ideas.”
– Chancellor Belinda Hutchinson AM
Tyrone Carlin, Deputy Vice Chancellor (Registrar), said: “The University considers INCUBATE a first-rate program for its track record in bringing together teams of people from different disciplines to work collaboratively on challenging projects. We congratulate the USU for developing such a terrific initiative.”
“Our strategy commits us to ensuring students have the opportunity to undertake project work, and entrepreneurship is a vital component of this endeavour. INCUBATE neatly aligns with this strategy and provides an invaluable opportunity for our students to develop their skills and engage with the business and investing community.”
James Alexander, INCUBATE Program Manager and co-founder, said: “The USU is grateful for the University’s support and belief in our vision for fostering more entrepreneurs. It sends a great signal to students and researchers. We have big plans for the extra funding, and expect to significantly increase our scale and reach across campus over the coming years.”
As well as direct financial support, the University will also provide new co-working space for the expanded program in the Wentworth Building on City Road.
“This will enable all INCUBATE staff and startup teams to be located in the same area aiding collaboration and development,” Alexander said.
The announcement comes as Startups Class 8 prepare to present their projects at the Demo Day tonight.
Following a 14 week incubation program – including the receipt of $5,000 seed funding; working space on campus; mentoring, advice and guidance from some of Australia’s most experienced mentors; and access to professional networks of the University and supporting organisations – the budding entrepreneurs will pitch their startups to an audience made up of investors, entrepreneurs, students and graduates.
Rose Hartley, co-founder of startup ProjectHUNI that supports graduating high school students to make decisions about their future, said of her time with INCUBATE: “It’s been an intense and rewarding few months and ProjectHUNI is a much stronger proposition because of it. The ready access to experienced mentors and advice has been incredible – and we’ve loved having the time and space to really focus on our offer and define the problem we need to solve.”
The Class 8 Startups and the issues they’re addressing:
People usually discover breast cancer when it is already at a late stage and more complicated to treat.
Weight loss and maintaining a healthy body can be difficult with daily lifestyle and activity being completely different for each person in addition to everyone having a unique body.
There is a shortage of mathematics educators in Australia and students are slipping behind in mathematics skills.
40% of Year 12 students are found to have anxiety of clinical concerns. Graduating high school students lack the support and knowledge in making the right choices.
The Sorting Hat
Chinese students are dissatisfied with commission-driven agents and their lack of knowledge in actual details about study programs in Australia.
Social media advertising can be tedious with every segment being manually composed in each platform, repeatedly for different campaigns.
Traditional car washes are inefficient, requiring plumbing connection or massive water storage in addition to wasting 150 – 200 litres of water per wash.
5.45-8.45pm, Tuesday 18 October
MacLaurin Hall, The Main Quadrangle, University of Sydney
INUBATE’s eighth Demo Day, open to industry and students, will showcase seven early-stage startups founded by the top student and researcher entrepreneurs from the University of Sydney.
Media welcome, on request.
INCUBATE Class 9:
INCUBATE is now receiving applications for its Class 9 Accelerator program. Apply here.
Rachel Fergus, 02 9351 2261, 0478 316 809 email@example.com
August 22, 2016
Our new startups from Class 8 are busy growing their businesses and are looking to recruit. Read on to find out how you can get involved!
- Business & Operations Casual, Health Copilot
- Marketing Junior, Seedtree
- Junior Software Engineer, Flobox
- Front-end Developer, WipeHero
- Web Designer, The Sorting Hat
- Back-end Developer, Project Huni
Business & Operations, Casual
Health Copilot is a platform that helps sufferers of chronic disease better manage risk factors and improved clinical outcomes. It brings together consumer health tracking technology (IoT), big data clinical analytics, expert systems (AI) to provide an interactive companion. We give chronic disease patients simple, easy-to-follow feedback on activities that influence their conditions.
We’re seeking a self-motivated business & operations intern to join our startup team on a casual basis. Tasks will include:
- Invoicing, processing orders
- Customer support and troubleshooting
- Platform testing to identify issues
- General web skills
- Microsoft office
- Interest in fitness or healthcare will be highly regarded
- Interest in improving businesses
Send your cover letter and CV to firstname.lastname@example.org
Check out our website at http://health-copilot.com
Marketing Junior, Casual
Seedtree has redesigned the maths curriculum and eliminated the inefficient structures of traditional textbooks which are divided by year level, not actual student understanding. Under Seedtree’s concept-indexing system, all exercises and sections are based on concepts and individual progress.
We’re seeking a university student or junior, preferably with a background in marketing or business development, who would assist us to:
- Develop and manage our marketing and social media campaigns
- Expand our business and increase our brand presence
- Excellent writing communication skills
- Familiar with wide range of social media platforms Facebook and Google Adworks
- Ideally, possesses an interest in maths and expanding a business through engaging marketing campaigns
Send your CV and cover letter to email@example.com
Junior Software Engineer, Part-time
An intelligent segmenting and retargeting tool for advertising marketers, we use a simple Drag-and-Drop interface to make sure anyone, from newbies to professionals, can build and develop their own advertising funnel.
We’re seeking a software engineering junior who is 2nd year or above in a Computer Science, Software Engineering or Design-related degree. We are a team of 3 developers and looking for an extra hand. Tasks will include:
- Working with the developer team to produce quality software
- Design and implementation of front end development
- Software, Design, UI/UX
- Ability to work well in a team context
Send your CV and short brief/portfolio of your previous works to firstname.lastname@example.org
Check out our website at http://www.flobox.io
Front-end Developer, Part-time
Wipehero is providing the world its first waterless car “wash and wax” technology so that car owners can have on-demand car washes anytime, anywhere. We save customer’s time and the environment up to 200 litres of water per wash!
We’re seeking a front end developer who would:
- Make sure our customers receive the best web experience possible
- Help scale our site to millions of users
- Create matching algorithms to connect clients & service providers
- The ability to turn design and mockups and into a beautiful and responsive web experience
- A keen eye for detail
Send your CV and short brief/portfolio of your previous works to Farid@wipehero.com
THE SORTING HAT
Web Developer, Part-time
The Sorting Hat is a WeChat app for students in China to access accurate information about overseas schools, programs and real reviews from alumni. We provide students who are looking to study abroad information to help them make the best decisions.
We’re seeking a web developer who would assist us in:
- Website development
- Potential iOS app
- Wechat app development
- Bachelor or Masters in IT
- Familiar with WordPress
- Chinese native speaker
Send your CV and short brief/portfolio of your previous works to email@example.com
Back-end/Full-stack Development, Part-time
Project Huni is a startup embracing student-to-student interaction to make the transition from high school to university a whole lot easier.
We’re ideally looking for a full-stack developer who has proficient experience in back-end development. We also have a junior position open for those willing to learn. Tasks will include:
- Building the MVP (website) in NodeJS, MongoDB and Google Material Design
- Communicating on Slack
- Have to be able to use NodeJS, MongoD, UI through Google Material Design, Github, Waffle.io
- Familiar with Amazon Web Services
Send your CV and short brief/portfolio of your previous works to firstname.lastname@example.org
Check out our website at http://www.projecthuni.com/
Brought together by a mutual passion for supporting the next generation of disruptive innovation, Lenovo Australia and New Zealand are excited to continue to partner with INCUBATE into 2017.
By sponsoring the university-based accelerator program, Lenovo provides the startups with the latest hardware (in the forms of high-end tablets and laptops), mentorship and publicity. Class 8 startups were given the ThinkPad X1, and the Yoga Tab 3 Pro, for each team to use throughout their startup journey. Both pieces of hardware are perennial to the Lenovo product range in both the business and consumer markets, worldwide. The partnership is designed to help INCUBATE startups develop and launch their businesses during the accelerator.
At the conclusion of each Demo Day at INCUBATE, Lenovo presents the most promising startup in the class with the Lenovo Choice Award, accompanied by $12,000 worth of its high-tech hardware to enable innovative-thinking on the go.
Past alumni, such as Class 7’s My Taste Guide, was chosen for its mobile application that delivers personalised nutrition plans for all weight loss, muscle gain and weight management goals by applying a unique scientific formula that is customised to each individual.
Fluid Education impressed Lenovo from Class 6 – an education application co-founded by two first-year University students. There was clear potential for these talented masterminds, Giorgio Doueihi and Declan Scott, to become the role models needed to show Australian students that entrepreneurship is a valid career path.
Since graduating from INCUBATE, Fluid Education has been given a place in muru-D, the global startup accelerator powered by Telstra. Only 20 years-old, Giorgio is also involved in three startup projects in addition to Fluid, assists in hackathons and supports the Sydney edutech meetup groups – no doubt, a budding serial entrepreneur in Australia’s startup community.
The Hustle – Startup Q&A with INCUBATE Alumni
Wednesday 3rd of August, 4 – 7pm
If you’ve ever wondered what a startup learns going through an accelerator this event is for you.
After 14 weeks in INCUBATE accelerator our Class 6 & 7 startups will tell you what they’ve learnt going to market – the insights, hacks, tips and tricks that helped them launch and get their first customers
PLUS: 4 Alumni startups now in Telstra-backed Accelerator Program Muru-D
Our startups cover multiple industries from robotics to health and social enterprise!
Light snacks and drinks will be provided.
Meet the Hustlers
Dr. Tom Hu
A hardware tech startup went from being researchers in Physics to selling globally
Sam Henderson & Henry Wells
A social enterprise startup launched having partnerships with at least 5 large not-for-profit organisations
A platform for startups to manage their equity. Built on the same technology that powers Bitcoin.
The Early Learning Room
Helping parents as first eductors provide the best learning environment for their young ones at the most crucial age window.
PLUS: Featuring 4 Alumni startups now in Telstra-backed Accelerator Program Muru-D
Nasir Ahsan & Masood Naqshbandi
An autonomous aquatic drone startup secured the trust of government deals.
Dr. Jay Spence
A mental health startup signed up one of Australia’s largest companies.
Founder at 18, now active in three different startups and supporting the Sydney EduTech community.
Olga Oleinikova & Kyrylo Medvediev
A payments startup went from SME partnerships to securing corporate deals and global users.
INCUBATE is happy to share the startup co-working space – completely free! If you’re working on your business while on-campus, having a quiet place to sit and hustle may exactly be what you’re looking for.
Availability is seasonal and only when the INCUBATE accelerator program is at break.
CURRENT SEASON AVAILABILITY
Available: Anytime now!
End: June 26, 2016
- Kitchen facilities and equipment
- Office space (may be shared with another group or individual)
- Printing facilities
- Unlimited internet
- Plus you get you work in the same space as our awesome team!
Duration and Availability
- Individuals and groups can apply any time but no guarantee of workspace. If they fit the criteria, but space is not available, they will be on the priority list when space becomes available
- The space is available between INCUBATE cycles or at partner spaces on-campus as advised
- Must have an ACCESS card
- Must be a current student or alumni of the University of Sydney
- Must be applying for the intent of using the space for startup business
- Each member of a team using the space must complete the application form
- Applicants will be required to provide a copy of a valid ID
- Swipe cards to access the space are issued at a returnable deposit of $50
We caught up with INCUBATE alumni Persollo Co-Founder, Olga so you can hear it straight from someone who went through the program!
What’s do you find to be the most valuable aspect of INCUBATE?
I think it’s definitely the network of mentors and the media coverage. It helped us build this presence. The startup cohort of Muru-D (Telstra-backed accelerator program) where we’re in now already knew about us and what we were doing.
In a snapshot, what did you accomplish in the program?
We were committed to deadlines and goals on a weekly basis. We had a basic idea when we entered and the program helped us build a whole product from MVP to a proper one. They helped us get the first clients and we’re able to get valuable feedback in making the product work. INCUBATE actually facilitated the development of the product and launch to market.
What are you doing now?
I’m now part of Muru-D, building Persollo further. We’re progressing the product and it’s being used in 9 different countries. We got to test our product with small merchants and now moving to bigger markets and building B2B partnerships.
Message to other startups on-campus?
To go and do it. Don’t wait until it’s ready. Go try the MVP version and test your idea.
From bright idea to budding business, INCUBATE has a strong track record of seeding successful start-ups.
This article was originally posted by The University of Sydney, Sydney Alumni Magazine (SAM) More than a persistent buzzword, “innovation” is hailed as the key to Australia’s future: the knowledge-fuelled cash cow to which the Turnbull government has pledged its identity and resources.
A growing and enthusiastic group of alumni, students and staff at INCUBATE began taking advantage of the mood for innovation in 2012. INCUBATE is a 14-week start-up program for gifted students, staff and recent alumni of the University that transforms innovative ideas into viable start-ups. The program was founded by two entrepreneurial students and developed by the University of Sydney Union.
Just a few years later, INCUBATE-assisted start-ups are collectively worth more than $25 million. “We look for the most talented entrepreneurial students who have innovative, technology-based ideas and want to build a business,” says INCUBATE Co-founder and Program Manager James Alexander (BCST (Hons) ’13).
Hundreds of applications are whittled down to eight for each INCUBATE session. Each receives $5000 of seed funding, working space on campus, advice from industry experts and mentoring from some of Australia’s most experienced business minds and University of Sydney alumni.
“We see students who have very innovative ideas but lack the support to take them to market,” Alexander explains. “A big problem in Australia is that we don’t have extensive support networks for entrepreneurs. Often the advice budding entrepreneurs get is dubious because it comes from the perspective of people who have no experience in building businesses.”
INCUBATE, one of only a handful of university-based start-up accelerator programs in the world, now counts more than 100 mentors as part of its team; they provide professional expertise, networking opportunities and guidance.
“We want our start-ups to make new mistakes, not the same mistakes,” Alexander says. “We want our mentors to tell them what to avoid.”
INCUBATE has already spurred the success of a broad diversity of start-ups, from Tzukuri’s unlosable sunglasses to Abyss Solutions’ underwater robots, Fluid Education’s school-scheduling software, Breathewell’s interactive medical device for lung cancer patients and Persollo’s single-click payment tool.
For mentor Dr Michelle Deaker (BSc ’88 MSc ’91), a tech entrepreneur who is Chief Executive and Managing Director of leading venture capital firm OneVentures, INCUBATE represents a major change in the culture of entrepreneurship in Australia.
“The world has really changed since I started as a young entrepreneur,” Deaker says. “At that time there was absolutely no infrastructure for entrepreneurs. People didn’t even really discuss what it was.”
INCUBATE mentor Rob McInnes (BSc ’86 LLB ’88), a leading intellectual property specialist and partner at law firm DibbsBarker, has also witnessed the cultural shift in entrepreneurship.
“It used to be that people would join a big organisation at 23 and be expected to retire at 65 with a gold watch,” McInnes says. “There wasn’t really a management or business track for science graduates, let alone a start-up track where you would start your own business straight out of university. Now I think it’s fantastic that becoming a business owner is seen as within the realm of possibility in the short term for a university graduate.”
According to Alexander, the University and its community are uniquely placed to take advantage of the Turnbull government’s “ideas boom”.
“We’re at a turning point in Australia’s history – our current government’s push on innovation and its emphasis for universities to be involved is a big opportunity,” he says.
“INCUBATE is part of a transformation at the University from a traditional education and research institution to one that takes these skills and creates a meaningful impact on society.”
By helping exceptional young people fast-track their ideas into thriving businesses, mentors at INCUBATE are giving a leg-up to both the next generation and the economy.
“In economics, innovation is the free kick. Innovative start-ups tend to create high-value jobs. We’re in an environment where jobs that don’t actually add value can be sent offshore or automated. So it’s more and more important that the jobs we create are high value.”
Deaker agrees: “Generally speaking it’s the new, up-and-coming businesses that are the net employers in this country,” she says. “Technology is disrupting so many jobs in our economy. We need disruptive businesses to come through and create new jobs, which is why entrepreneurship is so critical in Australia.”
McInnes and Deaker are also both quick to extol the personal benefits of mentoring at INCUBATE.
“Every time I go to INCUBATE, I come back energised,” Deaker says. “There is an enormous amount of satisfaction in contributing to a legacy of developing the next generation of entrepreneurs and businesses. It gives you an additional sense of purpose, and you’re continuing to develop and sustain your own professional career.”
“We’ve got to move beyond a resources-based economy,” says McInnes, who has also chaired an international working group on transferring technology between universities and industry.
McInnes agrees: “What INCUBATE has proved is that you don’t need a lot of resources and industry experience to come up with a great idea. You just need some modest but efficient support and help from people like me and the INCUBATE team.”
INCUBATE is looking for mentors to provide expertise to the next generation of start-ups. Find out more at incubate.org.au.
Here are just three of the many businesses, guided by alumni mentors, that have successfully taken the INCUBATE path.
Abyss Solutions uses state-of-the-art aquatic drones and data analytics to conduct underwater inspections of critical assets such as dams, bridges, boats and reservoirs.
“We were all academics – we’d been trained to look at a problem and solve it, but we didn’t really know how to do business,” says Co-founder and Chief Executive Nasir Ahsan (PhD 15). “INCUBATE helped us take our idea out of the research world and into the commercial world.”
The company now counts Sydney Water as a client and is in talks with other large companies in Australia and overseas.
Find out more at abysssolutions.com.au.
Persollo is a simple payment facility for anyone looking to sell something. It provides a link that can be shared anywhere, including on Facebook, Twitter, blogs or via text message. In a single click, customers can view products and process payment, with no need for elaborate frameworks or third party sites.
“We crafted Persollo to empower merchants, bloggers, freelancers, writers, developers and artists who want to sell their work directly to their audience anywhere, any time,” says Co-founder Olga Oleinikova (PhD ’16).
Persollo now has more than 100 active users in Australia, Japan, the US and the UK.
Find out more at persollo.com.
Fluid Education founder and current Bachelor of Arts student Giorgio Douehi conceived the company’s flagship product, Backpack, while still in high school. In his first year of university, Douehi took the idea to INCUBATE.
“Backpack is a scheduling platform for schools, built by students. It allows teachers to notify students and parents of upcoming events or activities, and can be seen from a simple feed anywhere.
“I found that parents were missing out on vital information at school, like upcoming exams or if sports were cancelled due to wet weather,” Douehi says.
“Backpack is unique because it was built by people who experienced first-hand the troubles of using the current education technologies.”
Find out more at fluideducation.com.
Other University resources helping new entrepreneurs:
Many INCUBATE participants started here. Genesis is a cross-faculty start-up program supported by the University of Sydney Business School. It has helped more than 700 first-time entrepreneurs, students and alumni focus their ideas so they’re ready for pitching to the marketplace.
It also runs in Indonesia, Myanmar and Vietnam in partnership with local education organisations.
Like INCUBATE, the program uses mentors who share their real-world experience. The program itself is free, but has high expectations of those taking part.
INCUBATE participants who have a deep tech idea with international potential might be invited to join ATP Innovations (ATPi).
ATPi is a technology business incubator that is 25 percent owned by the University of Sydney. In return for a small equity share of up to 5 percent, ATPi partners with technology-based start-ups to help them grow, achieve success and find investment through in-house personalised assistance and mentoring.
Currently it is guiding 70 businesses that will step away from ATPi when they have developed their own momentum. ATPi was recently awarded Best Incubator in the World in a field of 2800 other incubators.
As INCUBATE grows we’re looking for a people to join the team with a passion for helping new entrepreneurs at one of the world’s leading universities. We’re on the hunt for experienced startup founders and operators to help us execute on our vision of being one the leading startup programs at university, globally.
Our current job opening is Resident Mentor, a 3 day a week commitment with opportunity for full-time, with more positions to be announced. Resident Mentor is a paid position.
Here are some examples for people we want to chat with:
- Founder/Entrepreneur, perhaps in-between companies, worked for or exited multiple startups and interested to give back and mentor ‘First Time Founders’ (part or full-time)
- Experienced operator or investor, worked with high-growth technology companies and interested in helping INCUBATE and the University of Sydney develop and execute its venture strategy
- Graduates with experience in a startup looking to help other students launch their entrepreneurial careers (casual to full-time)
If you know someone that fits the bill or someone with a background in academia and high-growth companies please do refer INCUBATE!
For interested parties, please email email@example.com
Applications are now open for INCUBATE’s Projects Co-ordinator for 2016. Working closely with INCUBATE team and our startups, we’re seeking talented and entrepreneurial minded student leaders to apply.
Applications close: 10am, Tuesday 26th April 2016. Interested students need to apply with the University of Sydney Union here.
Role Duration: Approximately 6 months, June – November 2016 with possible 6-month extension for the same role in the Summer Cycle.
Is this for me?
INCUBATE is seeking a person with an enthusiasm for supporting the on-campus startup community as well as excellent organisational, communication, social media and event planning skills.
The Incubate Program Co-ordinator is a Student Leadership volunteer role. The role offers valuable benefits to entrepreneurial students. It provides leadership opportunities, work and communications experience, opportunities to organise and attend entrepreneur events, meet Incubate program mentors and supporters, and build event management experience.
Please review the full Role Description (download here) for further details of the scope and requirements of this role.
Indigenous applicants are strongly encouraged to apply for this and all USU roles.
No holidays should be planned to coincide with the appointment period. Any potential holidays or exchange programs should be discussed with the Incubate Program Manager before you commit to them.
The Incubate Program Co-ordinator will be eligible for an honorarium of $5000. Honorarium payment is contingent on the Incubate Program Co-ordinator successfully fulfilling their responsibilities and meeting KPIs.
Short-listed Applicants must be available for an interview of approximately 20 minutes duration on the following dates:
- the Friday 6th May between 9am and 5pm
- Friday 13th May 2016 between 9am and 5pm
Essential Availability Criteria
- Current University of Sydney Student
- University of Sydney Union Membership (current Access Card holder) for the duration of your tenure in this role.
- Able to commit to at least 10 hours per week worked in the USU office to coordinate the Incubate Program (From June 2016 onwards)
Essential Competency Criteria
- Demonstrated interest or experience in start ups, entrepreneurism and innovative ideas
- Demonstrated understanding of appropriate behaviours around engaging with key external and internal business stakeholders, potential mentors and industry partners
- Demonstrated knowledge of the USU and its activities.
- Sound organisation, administration and planning skills, with a demonstrated ability to manage complex tasks, challenging projects and competing deadlines concurrently
- Ability to liaise, interact and communicate effectively and easily with a broad range of people, both internal and external to an organisation, in a professional and ethical manner
- Demonstrated ability to think creatively and strategically and to plan ahead
- High level of computer literacy, in particular in the Microsoft suite of applications
- Excellent communication (written and verbal) and interpersonal skills
- A positive and collaborative approach to team work
- Ability to commit to the time and workload involved
- Ability to develop and adhere to an allocated budget.
Desirable Competency Criteria
- Experience in management and delivery of events in accordance with a scheduled program
- Experience with editing, sending and creating online newsletters using MailChimp
- Experience with basic photo editing software such as Photoshop
- Experience in social media communications, specifically managing and curating Twitter posts and Facebook pages
- Experience in writing and publishing articles, specifically using WordPress
- Management of survey tools such as SurveyMonkey
- Management of an shared office space
- Demonstrated knowledge of the University, and its associated bodies.
- Demonstrated participation in the USU and its activities.
- Relevant tertiary qualifications
- Knowledge of WHS issues relevant to work activities and work area
- Knowledge of safe work procedures and WHS training relevant to work activities and work area