MIL-OSI Australia: SA startup accelerator a catalyst for personal and professional growth

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Source: University of South Australia

13 June 2024

The Innovation & Collaboration Centre welcomes six innovative startups to its 2024 Venture Catalyst program

A digital notebook for new business ideas, and professional services employment opportunities for people experiencing disadvantage, are among six new innovations breaking into South Australia’s entrepreneurial ecosystem with the Venture Catalyst acceleration program.

Delivered by the University of South Australia’s Innovation & Collaboration Centre (ICC), the six-month program bolsters startups with funding, resources and industry expertise to help them accelerate.

UniSA Deputy Director: Business Incubation Craig Jones says despite the program being in its ninth year, he continues to marvel at the creative scope of innovations the program attracts.

“I am constantly impressed by the multidisciplinary talent that comes through the Venture Catalyst program,” says Jones.
“This year’s cohort of six are no exception, solving complex challenges in diverse contexts like allied health, social health and sustainable employment, and management of complex data through three-dimensional navigation.

“Seeing these creative innovators come through in the early stages of their growth is exciting; there’s huge potential, and the appetite for growth is immense.”

Think It Do It (TIDI) founder Kelly Payne says she hopes to harness the Venture Catalyst program’s resources to refine her vision of supporting entrepreneurs via a mobile app that guides users through the stages of creating a new business.

“Success in the Venture Catalyst program means unlocking doors to new opportunities and collaborations, fostering TIDI’s expansion,” says Payne.

“I envision the Venture Catalyst program as a catalyst for personal and professional growth, nurturing TIDI’s journey towards excellence.”

Michael Brown is the founder of Critiqal Path, a profit-for-purpose social enterprise that recruits people experiencing disadvantage and barriers to employment to deliver the company’s specialist project management services to industry.

“Being part of the program means being part of an ecosystem of innovation, knowledge and support; it provides the tools necessary for success,” says Brown.

“Nurturing a startup is hard and being part of a network of co-founders means having access to a trusted source of advice,” he says.

As part of the ICC community, startups can access a pool of global industry experts to support their progress over the next six months, as well as a $10,000 stipend, tailored workshops, university resources and one-on-one mentoring.

The social enterprise component of the Venture Catalyst program is partly funded by the Pank Family, who support social innovation and enterprises developed by UniSA students, staff or alumni.

Innovation & Collaboration Centre’s 2024 Venture Catalyst cohort:

Social Enterprise category
Critiqal Path A profit-for-purpose social enterprise employing people experiencing disadvantage and barriers to employment, with the aim for this cohort to make up 95% of the company’s workforce. Critiqal Path provides specialist project management and associated services to industry.
Lumina Vista Guiding IT graduates towards successful careers by offering practical knowledge of IT functions, roles, responsibilities, job-ready training and career counselling.
General category
Think It Do It (TIDI)
pron. ‘tidy’
A mobile app for people starting a business offering practical, accessible step-by-step guidance on aspects like planning business ideas, managing finances and reaching customers.
Ardant Advantage As well as connecting allied health professionals with clients, Ardant Advantage’s digital health platform utilises AI and automation to navigate tasks like referrals, contracts, invoices, and dispute resolution to reduce administrative burden on therapists.
OnSite The OnSite platform enables visualisation of complex data sets within a three-dimensional digital environment, currently focusing on a phone app for 3D navigation of semi-permanent events incorporating ticketing, marketing, and social communication.
InnovateAI A tech startup with a user-centric approach to solving business problems with technology, so businesses can operate efficiently and effectively to reach their goals.

The 2024 participants began the six-month program in May, with a four-week induction featuring workshops from leading industry experts. Learn more about the program at icc.unisa.edu.au

Media Contact:

Leda Kalleske M: +61 412 175 805 E: Leda.kalleske@unisa.edu.au

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