iAccelerate embarks on European tour
Five resident startups to explore European opportunities.
Establishing pathways for expansion into the European market will be the key focus of an upcoming trip by UOW business incubator iAccelerate and five of its resident companies.
iAccelerate is the University of Wollongong’s business accelerator and incubator facility, offering entrepreneurs a robust educational program, opportunities for investment and one-to-one mentoring.
iAccelerate Chief Executive Officer Omar Khalifa will be leaving for Europe this Sunday (10 June) and will be joined by iAccelerate residents BeerMogul, PhycoHealth, RoboMotion, Binary Beer and Me3D in various countries throughout June. The trip will focus on enhancing international connections, providing pitching opportunities and establishing pathways for expansion into the European market, with residents tailoring their trip according to individual business needs.
Mr Khalifa said the first-of-its-kind trip came about as part of iAccelerate’s commitment to growing networks for its residents and creating pathways within the region, across Australia and internationally.
“It has become evident to everyone that collaboration is without borders. In order for iAccelerate entrepreneurs to create and grow their businesses, they need access to other markets,” he said.
“We want to be able to create those networks from the Illawarra, rather than our residents having to transplant themselves elsewhere to have access to those markets.”
A key component of the trip will be a visit to the Berlin Landing Pad, part of the Australian Government’s National Innovation and Science Agenda. Located at co-working space betahaus, one of Berlin’s best known locations for startups, the Berlin Landing Pad provides opportunities for Australian startups to access Europe’s innovation and tech hub, network with other international startups and major German and European corporations, and gain access to investment opportunities.
“Our residents will be exposed to a full day of meetings, pitching and learning opportunities, including a visit by the Australian Ambassador to Germany,” Mr Khalifa said.
“Our ultimate goal is for our residents to find investors and customers on this trip, it would be great if they all came back with a real boost to drive their business forward.”
Binary Beer Chief Executive Officer, Michael Burton, hopes the trip will open doors for collaboration with likeminded businesses.
“We’re heading to Europe to build awareness for Smart Kegs while meeting with some of the world’s leaders in draught beer manufacture and technology,” he said.
“We’re looking for ways to incorporate our sensors into kegs right from their point of manufacture.”
Beer Mogul Chief Executive Officer Nathan Harper said the opportunity to network with a new market will be invaluable.
“We see this visit to Europe as an opportunity to get more exposure for our products and also to make connections that we can use to expand our exports from Australia,” he said.
Mr Khalifa will be joined by UOW Sydney Business School Dean, Associate Professor Grace McCarthy, to explore opportunities for program coordination with students at UOW Dubai and investigate accelerators in Dublin and Portugal.
“There are so many different models of accelerators out there and we want to see how they are doing business,” Mr Khalifa explained.
“This is a fantastic opportunity for us to look at how these accelerators are evolving and create connections that will give future iAccelerate residents the necessary links to work and expand throughout Europe.”
The trip has been made possible by a generous $20,000 donation from two UOW alumni and iAccelerate mentors, Matt Bullock from the Spinify Foundation and Aaron Shelley from Beachhead Venture.