In the coming semester, the University of Adelaide will offer its new ‘ThIncLab Online Commercialisation Accelerator’ pilot scheme to students from any discipline who have research to commercialise, or a business concept for a new product or service.
The initiative is being developed by the University’s Entrepreneurship, Commercialisation and Innovation Centre, known for its Entrepreneurship and Innovation programs and the highly successful business plan competition, ZEN eChallenge.
ECIC is seeking interest from the business community, to provide additional services and support networks to help develop the initiative. The Centre hopes to engage mentors to enhance the exchange of knowledge and best practice.
“The Accelerator training gives students the direction they need to set up a business plan as a starting point towards commercialisation,” says ECIC Acting Director Allan O’Connor.
“The program will be offered free of charge to students during its pilot in Semester 2 this year and further options for ongoing support may include incubation at our ThIncLab Thebarton Campus and supplementary mentoring support services.”
The Commercialisation Accelerator offers fast and flexible practical training involving self-paced online learning and workshops facilitated by business experts. Topics will include creating a business plan, marketing plan, production and operational/financial plan, presenting and pitching ideas to investors and practical business considerations.
“There are a lot of ideas out there that never see the light of day in the business world,” says Dr O’Connor. “At the moment there are few readily available services to help students who want to commercialise their research, outside of our full degree programs.
“We will help them develop the basic skills they need and provide the support to take their idea forward and develop it into a commercially viable business.
“The main business services we seek are those who wish to volunteer their time for the service of others who are getting started in business. There is nothing quite like being able to learn from those who have been ‘through the mill’ so to speak.
“Mentors add great value through their experience and knowledge of an industry or helping start-ups with access to people who can help the fledgling firm.
“Other services that may also be useful are in terms of marketing, legal, accounting, design, etc and we would be interested to hear from those who may wish to provide workshops or other types of support in these areas to young cash-strapped businesses.”
The scheme is designed for students enrolled in programs of study and ECIC aims to create new businesses launched by those who wish to become employers rather than employees.
“We see it as a workforce pathway that is not the traditional get a degree, get a job model but rather get a degree and start a new venture,” Dr O’Connor says.
Applications are now open and students will be selected based on the submission and selection of a viable business initiative.
Further information is at http://ecic.adelaide.edu.au/industry/thinc/comm/ or contact Megan Llewellyn for more details about supporting the initiative on email@example.com
Updated 29 June 2012