So how do you grow your startup? Well there are lots of different ways which include bootstrapping (finding the money yourself) to securing money from an investor.
Before you get to that stage, you could consider an ‘incubator’ or an ‘accelerator’. These are designed to help startups grow, and put them in a better position to succeed, and potentially secure investment if that’s what you’re looking for.
The University of Wollongong has its own business Incubator called iAccelerate.
Incubate your business/start-up spaces
iAccelerate is a University of Wollongong business incubator program that can help you build and grow your business. It’s designed to support UOW students, staff and the greater Illawarra Community by building a successful innovative economy for the future of the region.
There is a lot of valuable information and articles on entrepreneurship and intrapreneurship on CareerHub Plus, and it’s continuously updated with current insights and ideas.
Migrant and refugee entrepreneurs
Here’s a success story from a UOW Alumus, who has been awarded Commonwealth Person of the Year by Prince Harry.
Catalysr in an incubator for early stage startups who run intensive entrepreneurship programs for high-performing migrant and refugee entrepreneurs who want to find success in Australia.
Catalysr is a place for people with fresh ideas who are ready to dream, to work hard and to challenge themselves to bring their big ideas to life.
Join a community of hackers, engineers, hustlers, scientists, thinkers, marketers, business moguls and do'ers in our collective mission to disrupt Australia.
"Catalysr played a huge role in my personal development as an entrepreneur and a professional by providing me with the tools to set and achieve high-level goals." Syed Mansoor, Founder of Water Democracy
If you’re looking for somewhere to work, but don’t want to setup a new office, you can consider co-working spaces. An example of co-working spaces are iAccelerate and Fishburners.
- iAccelerate has co-working spaces for its residents, and if you’re looking to see what this looks like you can book a tour and see for yourself.
- Fishburners is a not-for-profit that's also famous for its high quality startups and world-class community.
Directory of co-working spaces
There are lots of co-working spaces around Australia, and you can find one close to you, or search online.
Finding a partner to grow
Advantage SME is the University of Wollongong’s in-house industry matchmaker, helping businesses and researchers find their ideal partners and build beneficial relationships.
“In a competitive market, your business needs an edge. Innovation means doing things better and more easily. The latest research results and expert advice improve your decision-making. Technical services in well-equipped facilities expand your capabilities. Collaboration between UOW researchers and industry solves complex, real-world problems, helping businesses grow and prosper.
But finding the right partners for collaboration is a challenge. UOW is a big, complex organisation, so where do businesses start?
Right here. Advantage SME is your pathway into UOW. Tell us about your business and your needs and we’ll match you with an expert in your industry.”
Grants and assistance to fund your business
iAccelerate has a Seed Fund program that is an early stage venture capital fund that makes seed and follow-on investments in iAccelerate resident startups via an assessment process. The $10 million iAccelerate Seed Fund is delivered through iAccelerate.
Even though governments don’t usually provide funding to startups, there are areas that you may be able to access financial support. These include R&D, trade, innovation or employing staff. You can find out more here:
Investment capital supports entrepreneurs to grow their ideas into viable businesses.
Access to early-stage funding will allow entrepreneurs to better prepare their businesses and potentially to connect with further funding opportunities in the future.
The NSW Government has the following support in relation to grants.
“Jobs for NSW is focused on building a strong and supportive ecosystem for startups; we want them to thrive and prosper, and become the job-creating powerhouses of the future.
To achieve this, we’re offering grants to promising NSW startups to help them find their feet". For more details, visit their website.