UniSA's Innovation & Collaboration Centre appoints first entrepreneur in residenceAugust 06 2018
The Innovation & Collaboration Centre (ICC) at UniSA has appointed Kirk Drage as their inaugural entrepreneur in residence until July 2019.
Drage is the Chief Executive and Co-founder of LeapSheep, a subscription advisory and startup building support platform that aims to revolutionise the rate of startup success.
After 12 years at Microsoft holding many roles, including Head of Entrepreneurship and Venture Capital Relations for Asia Pacific based in Singapore, Drage spent time in Silicon Valley developing Artificial Intelligence products and services before returning home to Adelaide in 2015.
Drage wants to support passionate and committed entrepreneurs with disruptive business ideas to create the next generation of hyper-growth startups.
“What’s not to love about this role?” Drage says.
“Supporting early stage startups has developed into a real passion. As an entrepreneur and investor, I’ve made my fair share of rookie mistakes, it’s both highly challenging and rewarding to help founders avoid these common pitfalls.
“If we can focus on making brand new mistakes, we’ll either have a chance of running the gauntlet to success or at the very least, we’ll have a potential book project titled the ‘Innovative New Ways to Kill Your Startup’,” Drage says.
Drage met ICC Manager Jasmine Vreugdenburg after returning from the US and says he “seeks out” people like Jasmine who have “both a ‘pay it forward’ and ‘power connector’ mindset - fundamental elements to nurture the collaborative culture needed to support early stage companies”.
Vreugdenburg says Drage brings global experience and perspective to Adelaide, critical to helping new founders who are wanting to grow a globally successful and competitive business.
“By growing founders here, we hope to build and maintain a culture of globally successful entrepreneurs in South Australia.
“Kirk understands the bigger picture and the global environment that current startups are competing in.
“He brings great awareness and his key networks to the startups we support in the ICC."
Drage hopes to “support the development of investable startup companies and inspire serial founders” during his residency.
“Our state needs to compete on the world stage to create the next wave of industry defining companies – the kind of companies that bring outsized benefits in terms of social impact, wealth creation and an entire ecosystem of jobs.”
Media contact: Georgia Minarelli email Georgia.Minarelli@unisa.edu.au mobile: 0413 314 726
Areas of study and research
- Health Research
- Alliance for Research in Exercise, Nutrition and Activity (ARENA)
- Centre for Cancer Biology
- Centre for Drug Discovery and Development
- Centre for Population Health Research
- Centre of Research Excellence for the Prevention of Chronic Conditions in Rural and Remote High Risk Populations
- International Centre for Allied Health Evidence
- Medicine and Device Surveillance CRE
- Quality Use of Medicines and Pharmacy Research Centre
and Social Sciences
- Art, Architecture and Design
- Communication, International Studies and Languages
- Psychology, Social Work and Social Policy
- Hawke Research Institute
- Asia Pacific Centre for Work Health and Safety
- Australian Centre for Child Protection
- Barbara Hardy Institute
- Centre for Research in Education
- Hawke EU Jean Monnet Centre of Excellence
- Centre for Islamic Thought and Education
- International Centre for Muslim and non-Muslim Understanding
- Research Centre for Languages and Cultures
- Zero Waste SA Research Centre for Sustainable Design and Behaviour (sd+b)
IT, Engineering and
- Future Industries Institute
- UniSA College