Budding entrepreneurs will have greater access to industry, mentorship and facilities with innovation incubator ilab at UQ relocating to The University of Queensland’s St Lucia campus.
ilab at UQ, which previously operated at UQ’s Long Pocket site, is a business accelerator hub for startups which provides a supportive environment for entrepreneurs and mentors them through the early stage of business development.
UQ Deputy Vice-Chancellor (External Engagement) Professor Iain Watson said giving ilab a central location at UQ was part of the University’s commitment to expanding employability programs and providing students with industry experience and start-up opportunities.
“We know from the development of our Student Strategy that our students have a healthy appetite for developing entrepreneurial skills and UQ is working hard to meet the expectations of a connected and digitally minded generation,” Professor Watson said.
“Locating ilab at St Lucia provided better access to valuable resources that can assist our students, our researchers, our alumni and those in the community to develop and grow global startups.
“It contributes to an enhanced student experience by providing them with ongoing opportunities to be involved in entrepreneurial programs, whether that be as a founding member of a new business, as an intern assisting in development, or learning from advisors and mentors.”
Minister for Innovation, Science and the Digital Economy and Minister for Small Business Leeanne Enoch attended the official opening at the St Lucia campus last night.
“Innovation and entrepreneurialism are key economic drivers for our state now and into the future,” Ms Enoch said.
“Innovation incubators like ilab are an important part of helping students to develop the entrepreneurial skills that will not only advantage them in the future, but position our state as a global innovation and entrepreneurial hub.
“The impact these entrepreneurs and other innovative Queenslanders will have will not just be in new, hi-tech industries, but is also helping to revolutionise our traditional industries such as agriculture, tourism and health that is ensuring we remain globally competitive.”
ilab is currently hosting its intensive three-month Germinate Program to assist a rich mix of future entrepreneurs grow their diverse business startup ideas which range from lifesaving devices to a marketplace for coaches and a metagenomics-based gut health system.
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 more than $17 million in early stage capital has been raised in the past two years alone.
A full list of successful business and social enterprise startups currently participating in the program can be found here: http://www.ilabaccelerator.com/2016/12/diversityrules/
Listen to more about ilab and Backyard Coach on ABC Brisbane - Afternoons with Kelly Higgins-Devine.