From student startups to research commercialisation, University of Technology Sydney (UTS) is boosting its stake in entrepreneurship by signing agreements with Galileo Ventures and Main Sequence Ventures.
Galileo Ventures’ model combines seed funding of up to $200,000 with six months of structured support, complementing on-campus programs such as UTS Startups as gateway to later stage funding sources. Activity includes office hours, mentoring, pitch coaching and investor workshops.
UTS, Galileo’s first university partner in NSW, has committed $300,000 over three years. Applications will open once the fund closes, which is estimated to be in 2019 with a target of $20 million. UTS joins Monash University as the first national partners.
Galileo co-founder James Alexander says UTS is sending an important signal that “there is a revolution in entrepreneurship happening across Australia.”
“UTS is one of the universities at the epicentre, helping seed Australia’s startup boom. We see UTS Startups as an ambitious initiative to scale student entrepreneurship and we’re excited to help complete the journey with further support,” he says.
Main Sequence Ventures - connecting academics with venture capital
Main Sequence Ventures (MSEQ), the CSIRO’s Innovation Fund, will launch its Venture on Campus program at UTS in October, covering educational modules led by top VCs and aimed at researchers.
Researchers will benefit from VC internships, coaching, pitching preparation and feedback, partnership recommendations and the chance to pilot and/or commercialise research through existing startups. Ready enterprises can then make an investment proposal to the MSEQ fund, which closed at a total of $232 million.
Phil Morle, partner at MSEQ, says there is an immense opportunity in combining the momentum of startups with the deep curiosity of Australia’s research sector.
“We believe the next great cohort of disruptive companies will come from those scientists, technologists and creative thinkers who are prepared to challenge the status quo,” comments Morle.
“We believe that mission-driven founders are the key to building the best companies. It’s not necessary to have the right experience, but the right vision and drive, and the Venture on Campus program harnesses those qualities to create the next great enterprises.”
UTS - connecting ventures to investment is a crucial pathway
UTS Deputy Vice Chancellor for Innovation and Enterprise, Professor Glenn Wightwick, adds that connecting student and staff ventures to investment opportunities is a crucial part of the university’s commitment to entrepreneurship.
“On top of the support and pathways UTS is providing, these activities will need access to investment, in particular early stage venture capital from a variety of sources,” notes Professor Wightwick.
“Many of our startups and research endeavours have the potential to be commercially successful, and we want to ensure they achieve that success. Strategically, working with credible, experienced partners like Galileo Ventures and Main Sequence Ventures will provide the best outcomes for our students and staff. We’re delighted to be on board and look forward to what the future holds.”
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