IACT17 is officially underway! We held our official Launch Night for the InnovationACT 2017 program earlier this week at the John Curtin School of Medical Research at The Australian National University.
Around 200 IACT alumni, potential participants, and supporters of Canberra’s innovation and entrepreneurship ecosystem turned out to welcome in this year’s IACT program, an extra special year for the program as it is our tenth anniversary.
The venue filled out early in the evening, giving this year’s participants the opportunity to mingle with past IACT teams, key players within the Canberra innovation community, and robots (!) with our innovation showcase.
The night’s presentations began with a talk from the part of the original IACT founding team, Dr Fiona Beck, Dr Priscilla Kan John, and Dr Lachlan Blackhall. The audience were told of the program’s humble beginnings in the Purple Pickle Café on ANU campus, and the growth from around 20 people at the opening night in 2008, to the significant turnout that was witnessed on Tuesday, all in the very same lecture theatre. IACT quite literally wouldn’t be here today if it weren’t for the founding team, so we hope we have made them proud!
The presentation was followed by Professor Michael Cardew-Hall from ANU and Diane Phillips from UC, speaking of the broader innovation community and the collaboration that occurs between tertiary institutions, both within the ACT and beyond.
Glen Hassett from ACT Government and Casey Martone from IP Australia also rose to offer words of encouragement to this year’s cohort of budding entrepreneurs.
The presentations also featured IACT16 alumni Raj Mann and Roz Wallace, who both inspired the crowd by speaking of what the IACT program has meant for them, their ventures and their personal entrepreneurial journeys. Raj’s StakOne platform is being rolled out in service businesses in Australia and New Zealand, while Roz’s Wildlife Drones project is preparing to test its first commercial drone in the coming weeks.
Finally, IACT Convenor, Camilo Potocnjak-Oxman, gave a rundown of the structure of this year’s program and tips on being successful and officially opened this year’s program.
You don’t have to be the most intelligent person in the room. You have to be the last person in the room.
Raj Mann, IACT alumni and founder of StakOne
And so begins ten intensive weeks ahead for our IACT17 cohort. This year’s program is shaping up to be another massive year, with over 40 teams already registered to take part in the experience.
Those who are yet to sign up have until Saturday 19th August to get their team on board, you can register via the IACT website. If you want to get involved in the program, join us for Workshop 1 – The Business Model this Saturday.
InnovationACT is a proud initiative of The Australian National University, and we would like to take this opportunity to extend a huge thank you to our Major Partners, the University of Canberra, ACT Government and IP Australia, and our many Supporters. The program would not be where it is today without your continued support.
Good luck to all the teams participating in this year’s program. We can’t wait to meet you all and hear about your great ideas. This is just the start of your entrepreneurial journey.