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New innovation hub in Whyalla to nurture regional startups

By Georgia Minarelli

Regional UniSA Campus UniSA’s Innovation & Collaboration Centre (ICC) has opened a regional base at the University’s Whyalla campus

UniSA’s Innovation & Collaboration Centre (ICC) has opened a regional base at the University’s Whyalla campus – a new Whyalla innovation hub underpinned by a government grant of $500,000 through the federal Department of Industry and Skills’ Entrepreneurs’ Programme.

Industry, Science and Technology Minister Karen Andrews announced the grant as part of the Federal Government’s $23 million Incubator Support Initiative.

UniSA Vice Chancellor Professor David Lloyd says the new Whyalla hub highlights UniSA’s long-term commitment to regional engagement and to building hubs of learning, innovation and enterprise beyond the CBD.

“Creativity and innovation know no geographic boundaries and by providing expert support for entrepreneurs in-situ in places like Whyalla we can make the most of the talent and ideas that exists across the whole State,” Prof Lloyd says.

“We are delighted with the Federal Government’s recognition and support of this initiative and look forward to seeing the longer-term results of regionally-based support for innovations.” 

The ICC Whyalla will create a dynamic pathway for innovative startups to reach their global capacity by providing educational programs, expert mentors and fast gigabit network speeds to set them on a path to success.

UniSA’s ICC director in Adelaide, Jasmine Vreudgenburg, talks to entrepreneurs at the launch in WhyallaUniSA’s ICC director in Adelaide, Jasmine Vreudgenburg, talks to entrepreneurs at the launch in Whyalla

In addition to startup activity, the new hub will give support to local businesses looking to grow, by providing access to a global network and a series of workshops, programs and other development activities.

The hub will deliver a range of programs, events and activities including:

  • Hackathons to inspire the local community and nurture business thinking
  • Startup incubator support programs such as Venture Catalyst which provides structured business advice, co-working support and mentoring to founders
  • Founder Talks and community events to develop a healthy and vibrant business development ecosystem where knowledge and experience can be shared and transferred.

Whyalla resident Peter Borda has been appointed as UniSA’s Community Manager of the ICC Whyalla to engage the region’s stakeholders and develop the products and services that the hub will deliver to entrepreneurs and startups.

UniSA’s ICC director in Adelaide, Jasmine Vreudgenburg, says the regional hub will help local startups develop their capabilities and support them on the path to commercial success.

“ICC’s innovation hub in Whyalla will connect the community with a range of services, programs and activities designed to inspire would-be founders about the startup process and provide guidance on what is required to get a business idea off the ground,” she says.

“Whyalla is already innovating and attracting new industries and businesses to the region, so this is the perfect time to open our innovation hub and provide the right spaces, services and enterprising community to encourage entrepreneurs and innovators.”