UQ’s startup generator fosters future entrepreneurs

The next big global startup success story could be in the early stages of development at The University of Queensland’s leading innovation incubator – ilab at UQ.

The intensive three-month Germinate Program is assisting a rich mix of future entrepreneurs grow their diverse business startup ideas which range from lifesaving devices to life-enhancing programs.

ilab at UQ Director Bernie Woodcroft said the business accelerator was a hub for startups, providing a supportive environment for founders, and mentoring them through the early stage of business development.

“The key to success isn’t just a good idea. It’s also about the business execution, and these aspiring entrepreneurs can plug into ilab’s Germinate Program and access support which can increase their chances of success,” Mr Woodcroft said.

“We’re consistently blown away by the creativity and diversity of business ideas being developed and nurtured through the intensive program, and the current crop is no exception.

“The ten startups include an aid for the visually impaired, a robotic education system, genomic-based healthcare system, augmented television and crop spray optimisation system for more efficient and safer agrochemical spraying.

“Another startup under development is an automatic lifesaving device – designed specifically for surf lifesavers competing in ocean events – which is an intelligent inflatable lifejacket that activates when needed.”

ilab was established by the Queensland Government in 2000, originally as a business incubator to support early stage, high-tech companies through the first few years of development.

Since UQ assumed operational responsibility for ilab in 2012, more than 130 startup companies and its founders have been supported by ilab’s programs, and raised in excess of $17 million in early stage capital in the past two years alone.

“With ilab’s history, we’re able engage our extensive network of mentors, industry and startup connections to ensure the journey for these new UQ founders is a practical, customer centric entrepreneurial experience,” Mr Woodcroft said.

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