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South Australian incubator named best in Asia Pacific


A university incubator based in Australia’s first innovation hub has been named ‘Top Challenger in Asia-Pacific’ in a leading ranking study.

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The UBI World Benchmark Study is the world’s most extensive ranking exercise for university-linked business incubators and accelerators.

Flinders University’s New Venture Institute outperformed the top 10 per cent of incubation programs worldwide in the category of talent retention and performed well above the global average for economic impact, startup creation and post-incubation performance.

Based in the South Australian capital Adelaide, NVI began in 2013 and also achieved an above average score regarding access to networks and program attractiveness.

“These results are exceptional considering NVI’s comparatively young age, and are testament to the world-class training and inspirational climate we have fostered at Flinders as the university’s home of entrepreneurship,” said NVI Director Matt Salier.

Founded in 2013, NVI is situated in the Tonsley Innovation Hub and has helped create 232 startups and trained more than 2,000 people in innovation and enterprise.

It has also generated Australia’s largest pre-accelerator program for aspiring entrepreneurs, its award-winning Venture Dorm initiative.

Chosen from 1370 incubation programs around the world to be benchmarked, NVI beat a shortlist of 259 programs from 53 countries to achieve the award for the Asia-Pacific region.

“This latest accolade puts NVI on the world map and is further evidence of the relevance and quality of our programs,” Salier said.

“We are the only hybrid incubator/accelerator program in Australia to receive two incubator support grants under the National Innovation and Science Agenda, and now we are recognised as a global leader in our field.

“Knowing that NVI produces more successful graduates than the Global Top Average of the world’s best incubation programs is a real boon and reflects the level of strategic investment that Flinders University has made in us.”

A high number of NVI alumni entrepreneurs locate their operations at the Tonsley Innovation Precinct upon graduation, where they can access world-class research, training and networks.

“The immersive experience we are able to provide at NVI by being based at Tonsley enables our clients to develop their capacity to leverage disruption and pursue valuable business opportunities in an educated, fearless way,” Salier said.

Voxon Photonics graduated from NVI’s Venture Dorm program in 2014 and has gone on to secure more than $1 million in investment from Australian investors.

Their 3D Volumetric Display Technology is now being developed out of the eNVIsion space at Tonsley, where Voxon employs six full-time staff and enjoys sales across multiple markets.

Voxon CEO Will Tamblyn said the Venture Dorm program took them to the United States where they met Silicon value company founders, pitched at SXSW and visit major New York institutions.

“Being part of the New Venture Institute has connected us to a great network of entrepreneurs and academics and allowed us to demonstrate our technology to the numerous visitors who frequent the Tonsley Innovation Precinct,” he said.

“Over the last few years, the business model that we pitched at Venture Dorm has been expanded and verified and we are now shipping our product around the world.”

The award winners in the 2017-2018 UBI World Benchmark Study were announced on 22 February at the World Incubation Summit in Toronto, Canada.

This is a Creative Commons story from The Lead South Australia, a news service providing stories about innovation in South Australia. Please feel free to use the story in any form of media. The story sources are linked in with the copy and all contacts are willing to talk further about the story.

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