Flinders Partners, the commercialisation wing of Flinders University, is setting up a new course to assist South Australia’s budding entrepreneurs.
Commencing in 2013, the Venture Dorm course will provide much needed entrepreneurial education and training for businesses based in Adelaide’s southern region.
Flinders Partners Managing Director, Mr Anthony Francis, said the new course, which has State Government support, will offer a high level of practical outcomes in terms of financing and networking.
“Our focus will be around networks and sales – the chief aim of the course will be to help bring business plans to life,” Mr Francis said.
“The emphasis will be very much on the practical, rather than the theoretical. With the momentum around the new development at Tonsley Park, it is a very good time to step up assistance to emerging and existing SMEs in the South.”
The course will be run in collaboration with MEGA, a State Government managed program aimed at creating opportunities for new products and services. Participants will also make use of Strategiize software to help identify key strategies to follow up in the short term.
“In a sense, the course will be self-designed,” Mr Francis said – participants will set goals and report regularly on their progress to a mentoring entrepreneur from a local company.
Mr Francis said Venture Dorm will draw extensively on Flinders Partners’ own experience of setting up numerous successful spin-off companies.
“These are high-tech, high growth companies, so we can point to these as a track record,” he said.
Mr Francis said the course will also benefit from expertise within the Flinders Business School and from existing business and enterprise topics taught within the University’s science and engineering degree programs.
One distinctive feature of the course will be a field trip to visit a United States business incubator group specialising in new ventures. Mr Francis said the US visit would encourage entrepreneurs to “think big” by providing insights into international finance, investment and marketing opportunities for business ideas.