Have a business idea but not a resident? South Australia wants you!

Pictured (L to R): Domenic Saporito (Outcome.Life), Manon Beauchamp-Tardieu (Little Green Panda), Usman Iftikhar (Catalysr), Natanael Yan Setiawan (Pencil Rocket) and Benjemen Elengovan (MySafetyBot).

In November, Outcome.Life collaborated with Spark Deakin, a young entrepreneur support and mentoring service by Deakin University, to host a very insightful panel discussion with several young international entrepreneurs.

These former international students were courageous enough to follow their own dreams rather than someone else’s, by starting their businesses to solve some of our world’s biggest problems.

Interestingly, two of the four founders have chosen to take advantage of a new initiative by the South Australian Government. The program provides a fast-tracked pathway to permanent residency via entrepreneurship.

Supporting Innovation in South Australia (SISA) is a 3-year pilot looking to drive entrepreneurship and innovation in South Australia with accelerated migration as an incentive.
The program encourages internationals with a new business concept to start in South Australia with support from the State Government. The benefits include networking opportunities with other local and international business people, mentoring programs and a business support network in South Australia. In return, a healthy start-up ecosystem is being built in South Australia, as well as the potential for employment growth.

Daniel Tan and Natanael Yan Setiawan, founders of video production & social media startup Pencil Rocket explained, “The application process was fairly straightforward once we received support from NVI”. NVI, or New Venture Institute, is an award-winning accelerator program and one of four accredited accelerators working with South Australia’s universities.

Daniel picked up his life and moved to Adelaide to satisfy the requirements of the program. When asked how was the change from living in Melbourne to Adelaide, Daniel responded, “It’s certainly a little quieter. But the fewer people means I have been able to develop deeper relationships with other businesses founders.”

He added, “I am also leading a healthier lifestyle as there is not the pressure to work late and skip healthy meals”. When asked if moving to Adelaide has adversely affected his business, Daniel replied “Not really, there is still plenty of work out there for us”.

Usman Iftikhar of Catalysr, a pre-accelerator run for migrants & refugees, spoke of the growing awareness of the SISA initiative amongst international students, migrants & refugees, “More and more Australian migrant entrepreneurs are contemplating a move to Adelaide. I hope the other states get on board soon.”

The founder of MySafetyBot, Benjemen Elengovan, also recently applied for the SISA program after completing his education in Melbourne as an international student. Benji’s startup assists businesses to record and prevent workplace injuries. Benji will be relocating himself and his business to Adelaide within weeks.

In contrast, Manon Beauchamp-Tardieu of Little Green Panda isn’t going anywhere. Her 15-month-old business, supplying eco-friendly drinking straws to retail and large hotel chains, is flying! The New Zealand resident also spoke about more traditional startup issues she faces: lack of time, resources and access to the funds necessary to fill her mounting orders.

Not everyone is suited for a corporate job in Australia. Just like locals, many international students and migrants would prefer to be self-employed. History shows that Australia’s economy and has been built on migrants arriving in Australia and starting businesses. But rarely has entrepreneurship been a basis for immigration into Australia.

So well done to South Australia! SISA is an exceptional initiative taken up by South Australia recognising the contribution international entrepreneurs can make to this country. If Victoria wants to continue to be seen as the most progressive entrepreneurial state, it is time for the Victorian government to follow in the footsteps of our footy-loving neighbour!

Outcome.Life is all set to run its own pre-accelerator program over summer in conjunction with La Trobe Accelerator Program (LAP). Last year, we had the pleasure of assisting 28 entrepreneurs, including 3 locals, to realise their business ideas. Many went on to commercialise their businesses and several joined conventional accelerator programs, including LAP.

If you have a business idea or early-stage business and are looking to validate and/or commercialise it, what are you waiting for? Find out more about our free pre-accelerator program here, or you can fill out an expression of interest form here!

You can also get in touch with us at Outcome.Life to learn more about our internship programs.

Domenic Saporito

Diversity matters: How five tech startups are improving workplace diversity

Creating diversity is a complex problem, particularly in specialised sectors like technology.

Education, government and media are key sectors in bringing about change. Business, while also being key, differs in that it needs diversity. As the consumer of diversity, businesses have the most to gain when we get diversity right.

Past TechDiversity Award Business category winners have proven just that. In creating innovative diversity programs, brands including REA Group, Vodafone and Avanade are using technology to foster diversity.

Five of these businesses talk through their processes.

To support #TechDiversity in your workplace, attend the Gala Awards Dinner and be inspired by the conversation of the positive that is happening in diversity.

Check your biases

As a global jobs network, Work180 advocates for working women across multiple companies and industries by providing job applicants with a transparent directory of endorsed employers supporting diversity, inclusion and equality.

This process begins by screening employers, asking them to share information around pay equity, flexible working, paid parental leave, equal opportunities and other criteria. This allows Work180 to assess employers’ acceptance of age, ability, ethnicity and sexual orientation before allowing them to join the network.

Even employers who don’t make it through this check then undergo the next steps to improving and developing workforce participation.

Create an inclusive community

Outcome-Hub is a co-working space between University of Melbourne and RMIT with an open-door policy for international students to visit, spend time, engage and even start a business. In 2018, Outcome-Hub welcomed over 4000 people and hosted 60 events to inspire internationals to participate in the local start-up community.

The core project is facilitating placements of international students into internships with startups in Australia. With well over 100 placements been made to date, these startups gain the advantage of a culturally diverse business while many interns become valuable long-term team members or start their own business.

This is supported by their digital marketplace, InternMatch, which helps to connect even more international students with start-ups.

Open specific opportunities

Envato’s in-house Apprentice Developer Program was created to tackle the industry-wide skill shortage and gender diversity challenge. The program is only open to female applicants and provides mentorship for apprentice developers, equipping them with the skills to become junior developers.

It aims to ensure capable female coders have a clearer pathway to entry in a highly skilled and technical job through a combination of classroom and immersive-style learning. As apprentices grow from programming real tasks with mentors to fully fledged engineering team members, Envato gains trusted employees while offering women opportunities to grow and network.

Invest in the future

Joko’s World, Cultural Infusion’s interactive learning apps for children aged 7-14, blend global music, geography and culture in an innovative and educational way to improve children’s cultural awareness and understanding.

By stimulating and engaging the next generation with unique customs and traditions around the world, the app develops multicultural appreciation and curiosity from a young age through a digital platform.

Cultural Infusion also developed Ancestry Atlas, a sophisticated tool that enables an organisation, school or group to map their cultural diversity. Partnering with the Australian National University (ANU), this app further encourages children to look at real word diversity.

Raise awareness

Women make over 85% of purchase decisions equating to $874 billion last year alone. Femeconomy’s mission is for women to shop female lead brands. Femeconomy researched over 2000 brands finding those with at least 30% of women on their Board of Directors or 50% female owned.

Currently over 800 brands meet Femeconomy’s approval criteria for an approval badge on the website. The goal is to map all businesses meeting this criteria in Australia, then the US and UK, in an effort to raise consumer awareness of gender equality in company leadership.

More women in leadership benefits business. Research from Peterson Institute of International Economics shows that moving from no women in corporate leadership to 30% is associated with a 15% increase in profitability.

 

*Source- Smartcompany