Bond University has ramped up its Entrepreneurial portfolio with the launch of a second program for young business start-ups.
‘Bond Business Accelerator’ is offering six teams of budding entrepreneurs with innovative business start-up ideas the opportunity to win $5,000, receive expert mentoring and also take part in a tour to Silicon Valley in the US later this year.
The new program, which is open to Bond University students and graduates, will be run in collaboration with the Start Up Really Fast (S.U.R.F.) accelerator run by local not-for-profit Silicon Lakes. The Bond Business Accelerator is funded by Bond’s Bond Business School.
Bond Business Accelerator Program Manager, Tres West, said the initiative was a structured commercialisation program coupled with expert mentoring, networking and pitching opportunities.
He said the collaboration with Silicon Lakes’ S.U.R.F. provided participants with exposure to experienced mentors, access to their commercial start-up program and the chance to share the company’s working space.
“Over a 12 week period, the start-ups who have qualified to be part of the Bond Business Accelerator evolve and then pitch their ideas and business plan to a panel of mentors and experts, with the one thought to have the greatest chance of success receiving $5,000 to enable that team to progress their business further,” he said.
“There are also a lot of other non-monetary benefits for all the participants, including the chance to join the Australian start-up contingent travelling to Silicon Valley and San Francisco this December.”
Mr West said the current program had evolved from the successful INCUBATE program which ran at Bond earlier this year in partnership with The University of Sydney Union and Google for Entrepreneurs.
“The INCUBATE program was a huge success, with many of our participants now up-and-running, attracting funding and turning a profit,” he said.
“We gained some excellent learnings through our participation in INCUBATE, which we’ll capitalise on with our new program.
“The Bond Business Accelerator curriculum will be more structured and provide more and richer educational content for participants. Our Bondies will also be more engaged with the local start-up community and be exposed to more learning opportunities, including internships.”
One of the six participants in the Bond Business Accelerator program, Jackson Johnston, has established a business, Global Agricultural Exports, which has partnered with Australia’s leading camel exporters and is currently facilitating the development of a sustainable camel industry in Australia that satisfies domestic and international demand for camel products. Globalex operations also support Australian business, indigenous employment and education and efficient livestock solutions that create economic benefits for stakeholders.
In addition to Global Agricultural Exports, the five other teams involved in Bond Business Accelerator include:
- VirtuReal – The brainchild of Master’s student Jeremy Orr, VirtuReal is developing a platform that combines existing virtual reality peripherals (such as head-mounted-displays and full-body motion tracking & translocation hardware) in order to provide completely immersive, full-body virtual reality experiences. VirtuReal is currently targeting the PC & console gaming markets as well as educational and training enterprises for the purposes of providing entertainment and simulation.
- Best Deal – This online service removes the need for car buyers to shop around and waste valuable time and energy negotiating with salesmen in their search for the best deal on their new car purchase and/or vehicle trade-in. Bond alumnus David Crane and his brother Lachlan say Best Deal is a new and competitive approach to buying a new vehicle, which they believe will dramatically change the way in which buyers do business with car dealerships. Unlike other online selling, valuation or brokerage services Best Deal is free for customers to list their vehicle.
- Sprout – Alumnus Mitch Pierias created Sprout, which is a social network focused on staying connected through interactions. Based on the belief that ‘quality is better than quantity’ Sprout continually reshapes each user’s network around their social activity.
- Service - www.service.com.au is a trade and services based website and directory that offers users multiple quotes on a single job to save time and money. It matches website users to trustworthy local businesses offering good value for money and was developed by Bond MBA student Edwin Horwood and his associates, Daniel Kerr, Jacob Banks and Dexter Devlin.
- Asha the Label – This socially minded, student-led business that makes sustainable bikinis was established by alumnus Samantha Bradbury. It specialises in bikinis for fuller-busted women and hard-to-find sizes. The concept of this start-up is to create a sustainable revenue stream that continues to be sustainable after the sale by investing in small communities and local initiatives. A goal of its founder is to recognise and foster the artistic contributions of young Indian women allowing them to reach their full potential.