From the world’s first self-cleaning aquaponics system to a sustainable high performance surfboard, the Southern Cross Enterprise Lab has picked seven of the North Coast’s most innovative business ideas for its inaugural Startup in Residence program.
The startups have hit the ground running. Yesterday their first task was to pitch their businesses to David Thodey, ex-Telstra CEO and now Chair of Jobs for NSW, members of the Jobs for NSW board, NSW Member for Lismore Thomas George and the University’s Vice Chancellor of Engagement Ben Roche.
Mr Thodey was enthusiastic after seeing the potential in the Northern Rivers.
"The Board’s visit today is a fantastic opportunity to help us better understand the creative and business strengths of this region so we can find more opportunities to invest in high-potential, fast-growing, job-creating companies," he said.
Member for Lismore Thomas George was encouraging of the talent in the region.
"We have a fantastic environment for startup businesses and plenty of talent to showcase," Mr George said.
The Startup in Residence program is the first of its kind at the Enterprise Lab and after a competitive application process seven startups were selected to take part in the pilot. The program aims to foster the development of up-and-coming startups through providing resources, workshops, and co-working spaces for a six month period.
This unique opportunity gives the startups times to put their businesses in the spotlight while gaining valuable feedback and the chance to hone their skills.
Kylee Ingram, Expert in Residence at the Enterprise Lab, led a ‘boot camp’ and provides mentoring to the teams throughout the program.
“Through providing a space for reflection and equipping them with the business tools they require, we hope to help them reach their potential,” Ms Ingram said.
The seven startups participating in the inaugural Startup in Residence are:
- Dorsal – a wearable device that provides real-time shark alerts to users
- Uplift Swimwear – swimwear for women who have undergone a mastectomy
- Flo Gardens – the world’s first self-cleaning aquaponics system
- Lamina – a new surfboard that performs better for longer
- Aussie Digital – a cryptocurrency and trading platform
- MTS Travel Products – a ‘TripAdvisor’ style website for travel products
- Desert Pea Media – film and music to create conversations on social change
Tanya Egerton, manager of the Enterprise Lab, said she was looking forward to seeing the growth of entrepreneurship in the region.
“The program seeks to foster a culture of startups consistent with that of the region, one that is welcoming to new ideas and focused on social, environmental, cultural and economic opportunities.”
The Enterprise Lab is a part of the networked innovation system consisting of 12 NSW universities and the CSIRO. The program is funded by the NSW Government Boosting Business Innovation Program which aims to accelerate innovation in New South Wales.
Applications for round two of the Startup in Residence will open in June, 2018. Visit the Startup in Residence website for more information about the program.
For more information about Jobs for NSW, visit the website.
Media contact: Sharlene King 0429 661 349