RMIT projects aimed at giving entrepreneurs leadership training and innovation coaching have received funding from the first round of the State Government’s LaunchVIC program.
Bright Sparks, created by RMIT College of Business staffer Bri Johnstone, has received a grant that will help with its development and implementation.
Johnstone says Bright Sparks aims to inspire, connect and prepare the next generation of female entrepreneurs in Victoria.
The other RMIT-related project, Rocket Seeder, is a start-up accelerator program focusing on supporting innovation in agricultural technology.
Key adviser to Rocket Seeder, Dr Gerrit de Waal said it would support motivated agtech entrepreneurs with a comprehensive coaching program and connect them with mentors, industry partners, and investors.
“There will be a Melbourne-based hub with programs initially in Shepparton, Sale, Geelong, Bendigo, Ballarat, Colac, Horsham, Wondonga, Mildura and Warrnambool,” he said.
Renzo Scacco, Director of RMIT's Activator initiative, said Bright Sparks and Rocket Seeder were the latest examples of entrepreneurship within the RMIT community.
“We are increasing the flow of entrepreneurial talent by drawing on our large, diverse student and industry networks, expanding our established methods and building new partnerships.
“We thank LaunchVIC and the Minister for Small, Business, Innovation and Trade, Philip Dalidakis, for partnering with us to scale up innovative programs that increase the pipeline of talent for job-creating start-up and growth firms,” he said.
RMIT has numerous support programs, including the Indigenous Business Creation Scholarships, the New Enterprise Investment Fund (which provides interest-free loans to student start-ups), the Fast Track Innovation Program, The Prince's Lead Your Own Business Program for transitioning ADF personnel, and the Federal Government-funded New Enterprise Incentive Scheme (NEIS).
Bright Sparks and Rocket Seeder shared $775,000 and were among 18 recipients from the first round of LaunchVIC funding.
LaunchVic works in partnership with entrepreneurs, industry, business, the community and educational institutions to strengthen Victoria’s entrepreneurial and start-up ecosystem.
Story: Louise Handran