Innovation in Entrepreneurship course to offer $50k in cash prizes

By Michelle Hammond
Tuesday, 24 January 2012

Start-ups are being encouraged to secure a spot in a 12-week course titled Innovation in Entrepreneurship, a national entrepreneurship program delivering $50,000 in cash prizes.


Innovation in Entrepreneurship aims to cover everything from intellectual property protection, marking and managing for growth through to capital raising options and exits.


Organised by E&I Business Consulting, the program is designed to close the knowledge gap for business owners who have spent years becoming experts in their fields.


Course facilitator Alex Stefan says while many entrepreneurs have spent years “studying their craft”, they often don’t have time to spend an additional three years studying business.


“They may employ expensive consultants and still not get the guidance they need because they don’t know what questions to ask,” Stefan says.


“Innovation in Entrepreneurship aggregates the world’s leading university programs on entrepreneurship.”


“[The program] is optimised to meet the needs of practical everyday businesspeople who have big aspirations but don’t want to hear academic mumbo jumbo.”


“Instead of getting a mark for your final assignment, our program delivers $50k in cash prizes. We are sure it will set many new ventures off on the right path.”

The program will be held in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth. It will take place one evening a week over 12 weeks, culminating in a $50,000 business plan prize pool.


A panel of VCs and angel investors will judge the presentations and award the prizes to the winning teams.


The winning team in each city will receive a $10,000 cash prize and may also be considered for actual investment by the VCs and angels.


All participants will receive the full contact details of every angel group and venture capital fund in Australia and New Zealand.


They will also gain direct international access to more than 600 angel groups, 35,000 accredited investors and 150 venture capital funds.


Throughout the actual program, guest speakers will include entrepreneurship author Dr Tom McKaskill, and Stewart Gow of the Australian Association of Angel Investors.


Also in attendance will be Paul Niederer of the Australian Small Scale Offerings Board, Doron Ben-Meir of Commercialisation Australia, and venture capitalist Chris Golis.


Additional speakers, including experienced entrepreneurs, will be announced for each workshop. Start-ups are being urged to book now, with bookings to close on February 29.


“In today’s rapidly changing business environment, having an excellent product or service is simply not good enough by itself,” E&I Business Consulting says on its website.


“It is also clear that hiring expensive business consultants does not guarantee results.”


“Entrepreneurs and business owners must be smarter than their business consultants [and] they must have a deeper understanding of entrepreneurship if they are to succeed.”


“The most important thing for an entrepreneur wishing to create a high-growth company is to be coached by entrepreneurs, angels and VCs that have an entrepreneur’s high-growth mindset as well as the right skills, qualifications and backgrounds, instead of being ‘coached’ by someone that is really just an employee working for wages, small business person or a franchisee.”


Meanwhile, the NSW Department of Trade and Investment has launched the Young Entrepreneurs Mentoring Program, which kicks off in February.


“This program is for business owners between 18-35 years old,” an event spokesperson says


“It is a combination of skills workshops, networking events and a personal mentor for each participant.”

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