IACT19 launch recap & tips from the community

Awais Bhattee and Neem Pillai from the IACT19 Committee were on the scene at InnovationACT Launch Night, chatting to the community and to provide us with a recap of the evening.

“It takes a village to raise a child”

This is just one of many quotes that embody the spirit and culture of InnovationACT, and just one of many quotes that we’ll share in this post, the first blog update of IACT19!

Just as a child learns from many different experiences and places, guided by the wisdom of those around them, so do entrepreneurs working on a new venture. The theme of ‘community’ was one that ran strong throughout InnovationACT 2019: Launch Night, earlier this week. Not only did hundreds of like-minded individuals from the local innovation community come along to help kick off this year’s program, but they got to meet some of the innovative initiatives that support (and/or are supported by) the community, and also heard about the generous network of mentors, alumni, judges, and support organisations, who make InnovationACT possible each year.

The event was one of those nights where you wish you could freeze and rewind time, over and over again, just to get the chance to have endless conversations with the group of people, from a diverse range of backgrounds, industries and experiences, who joined us from the broader Canberra innovation community.

With that in mind, the IACT19 Committee took to the room to try to capture some of the expertise and experience from the community, with the following question:

Do you have a tip for those starting their entrepreneurial journey?

“Don’t be afraid to ask for help…
People want to help you!”

– ANU Rocketry

“Don’t feel restricted by what you are studying and put yourself out there.”

– 180 Degrees Consulting ANU

“Make yourself as many networks as possible. Especially when finding a mentor in the area you want to work in.”

– Wildlife Drones

“Have a go…it doesn’t hurt to start. Stuffing up fast is better than not starting at all.”

– Square One ANU

“Define and understand clarity in what you want to do. And then identify the gaps you have.”


“Attend everything, because you never know where a piece of info or a person that will make all the difference will appear.”

– Entry 29

“Don’t be easily deterred. Find motivation where you can find it. Understand your ecosystem of support”.

– ANU TechLauncher

“Ideas are not only the most important thing. Focus on refining your team. It’s the people who make the product.”

– Tailored Accounts

“An innovation community needs all types…”

– Jayden Castillo, InnovationACT

“Listen. To the mentors and more importantly listen to your customers.”

– Petr Adámek, Canberra Innovation Network

“There is an opportunity cost the longer you wait… so it’s great to see so many young people in the room”

– Professor Michael Cardew-Hall, ANU

This is just a small sample that the IACT Committee gathered over a short time at Launch Night, so one can only imagine the wealth of advice and wisdom that IACT19 participants will gain over the next ten weeks, not just directly through the InnovationACT program, but from the wider Canberra ecosystem.

We’d love to take this opportunity to that the community, particularly our program Partners, Supporters, judges, and mentors, whose collective generosity allows us to continue supporting hundreds of up-and-coming entrepreneurs each year.

To all the teams participating in IACT19, best of luck, and we can’t wait to see how your ideas develop. To the rest of the community, please do continue supporting these bright, young minds – you can follow along on their progress via our newsletter, or on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram using the #IACT19 hashtag.

Game on.