Researchers leave with a stress tested business model, new industry contacts and knowledge of the next steps and where to take them. The next step for many of the attendees will be to start a business or, more likely given the shortened nature of this program, to enter a follow up program or work with a commercial Mentor.
“Start Something provides researcher staff and PhDs with their first introduction to the business modelling and technical knowledge skills necessary to focus their research and better engage with industry. We see it as a key feeder program for the CSIRO Accelerator.” David Burt, CSIRO Innovation Director
In 2017 Start Something programs were ran at Woodside OceanWorks FutureLabs, The University of Western Australia and Murdoch University. Programs already locked for 2018 are Curtin University Innovation Central, The University of Western Australia and Murdoch University.
Engagement with the target community includes a series of introductory sessions to raise interest in commercialisation and attendance to the workshops by those ready to move forward. The target audience of these sessions are those with an interest in the entrepreneurial potential and path for the idea or research. Engagement also includes Deliberate Creative Thinking workshops.
Lean Commercialisation Workshop Program
The core skills development and industry collaboration program comprises of 4 x 2 hour workshops each with takeaway work to strengthen the commercialisation start-up plan. The latter workshops are focused on industry-researcher engagement. Week 5 is a full pitch session.
The target audience of the workshop program are those from the engagement sessions that have an idea or research outcomes and strong interest in investigating whether that can be developed within the next 6 - 12 months. Attendees are required to commit to the full 10 hours of attendance plus a minimum of 2 hours of external work in each of the first two weeks.
Next Steps Prizes and Awards
Acknowledging the importance of this initiative, prizes are awarded and acknowledged. Judging criteria include readiness for to proceed, viability, potential social impact or commercial demand and others. Prizes are support services and mentoring to help promising research commercialisation projects move forward faster to the next stage.