UNSW takes on start-ups for Venture Incubator Space
Thursday, March 22, 2012/
Incentivised social health platform Vimcore is one of three start-ups to be accepted into the new Venture Incubator Space at the University of New South Wales, along with Mijura and Shop2.
Located in the university’s School of Computer Science and Engineering, VIS will provide the student start-ups with the space and support they need to build their businesses.
Earlier this month, the start-ups pitched their business plan in a 10 to 15-minute presentation to a panel including academics, the CSE business development officer, and industry representatives.
The three start-ups chosen for the program are incentivised social health platform Vimcore, productivity software developer Mijura, and personalised shopping catalogue Shop2.
All three will be offered a lease of up to 12 months, with a possibility of a six-month extension. The first six months of rent are free, with subsidised rates for the remaining period.
In addition to access to an incubator space, including the free use of a desk, phone and internet, the start-ups can also turn to the university’s resources for help.
The program has also been set up so that students will retain ownership of any intellectual property they develop inside the space or as part of their business venture.
Vimcore, founded by past and present UNSW students and their external partners, aims to make it attractive for companies to invest in their employees’ health by promoting staff engagement.
“Our solution is an online incentivised platform – with a mission of motivating staff to improve their health and productivity together,” Vimcore co-founder Tyler Evans says.
“We want companies to see a real return on their investment.”
Alan Noble, director of engineering at Google Australia, and one of the judges on the panel, said he was “pleasantly surprised” by the quality of Vimcore’s pitch.
“Vimcore had interesting ideas that were sufficiently thought out to warrant participation,” Noble said in a statement.
Noble said it was promising to see universities such as UNSW establishing incubators in order to help transition students into start-ups, and it will be interesting to see how they evolve.
According to CSE head Maurice Pagnucco, the start-ups that participate in VIS will be able to seek advice from academics at the university in addition to other students.
“The university has this commercialisation arm called NewSouth Innovations and… they’re a sort of a centre for innovation and entrepreneurship,” Pagnucco told TechWorld Australia.
“We’ve also been approached by a lot of start-up groups external to the university, willing to offer things like mentoring and getting students involved in other parts of activities.”
VIS will house four to eight student-run ventures. However, Pagnucco said that if the program proves successful, the university will look into expanding it.