Having seen applications double year on year, our LaunchHUB accelerator program has moved online to support its largest intake in the history of our program.
Powered by RMIT Activator – RMIT’s growth engine for venture creation – LaunchHUB will stay on schedule and support 11 startup teams in the March 2020 cohort.
In another first, Activator in Melbourne will join forces with Activator Vietnam to deliver two LaunchHUB programs across the Asia Pacific region concurrently. This makes LaunchHUB the first Australian university accelerator program to run in conjunction with their overseas campus in Asia.
“The fact that we’re supporting two LaunchHUB cohorts across the Asia-Pacific region shows how truly global RMIT is,” said Karen Rieschiek, Manager of RMIT Activator Vietnam.
“Our startup coaches are based in France, Singapore, Vietnam and Australia – bringing more diversity and opportunity to our cohorts.”
In Melbourne, we welcome Ian Wong, Vice-President at Circular Economy Victoria, as a LaunchHUB coach alongside Darren Sutton (The Common Purpose Collective) and James Lolicato (Pride Cup Australia).
They will form the core group of experts who will support startups to achieve program goals associated with personal and venture growth.
Both the Melbourne and Vietnam cohorts are inducting a diverse range of businesses.
“Almost everyone in this LaunchHUB cohort in Vietnam is working on community-based problem solving, which is so relevant to our times,” said Karen.
“They’re a very socially-minded bunch of people and that commonality is really important for building a strong community.”
Down under, our Melbourne cohort is focused on delivering a wide variety of solutions in B2B, social innovation, FinTech, health tech and agriculture.
These are also challenging times for startups. Studies have shown that entrepreneurs are 50 per cent more likely to report having a mental health condition - a statistic that may worsen in light of tough market conditions.
As such, we are taking extra care to focus on the mental health of our startups, starting with a founder well-being workshop in the second week of the program to ensure that founders embark on their LaunchHUB journey with an optimal headspace.
While virtual delivery has posed a challenge for a program whose secret sauce is based on strong community and high-touch coaching delivery, we have introduced a new system and infrastructure that does not compromise on human touch and experiential learning.
“We want to keep everyone connected in this time of isolation,” said April Bjork, Delivery Lead of Startup Programs at Activator.
“It may be challenging, but we have a strong team who has put a lot of consideration into this program. I am confident that we’ll deliver great results while keeping it fun.”
These new LaunchHUB features include:
· Open Forum – fortnightly Q&A sessions featuring special guests and startup founders
· Buddy system – pairing current participants with LaunchHUB alumni to share ideas, and get informal support on their entrepreneurial journey
· Digital Startup Journey Platform – founders can access key content and work through challenges that will set them up for a successful funding pitch (covering Market Opportunity Analysis, Customer Discovery, Value Proposition Design, Lean Experiments and Validation, Lean Resourcing, finances and legal and more)
“We’re practicing what we preach by trying lots of new things and being entrepreneurial ourselves,” said Dan Sleeman, Head of Product & Education at Activator.
“While we’re committed to supporting this cohort, it’s also an opportunity to grow and develop alongside them, which is really exciting.”
“They’re coming on a journey with us as much as we’re going on a journey with them.”
RMIT Activator is the entrepreneurial heart of RMIT University. We are passionate about developing an entrepreneurial mindset and supporting new venture creations through experiential learning. Follow us on Facebook, LinkedIn and Instagram.
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