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WA’s next big start-ups urged to nominate for Curtin Accelerate

Media release

Perth’s most promising entrepreneurs are being encouraged to nominate for the 2022 Curtin Accelerate, an intensive program that is helping turn brilliant ideas into booming businesses.

The Fibre Economy team - Shannon Itzstein, Molly Ryan and Claudi Janse Van Rensburg

The free, 10-week start-up program is producing a growing team of successful alumni including Fibre Economy – a Curtin trio that has created a non-profit enterprise by turning unwanted mine site clothing into sustainable fashion.

Australian Venture Consultants Partner Mr Larry Lopez, a former senior executive at Silicon Valley Bank and Director of Accelerating Commercialisation, has been appointed to lead Curtin Accelerate in 2022.

Curtin University Director of Commercialisation Mr Rohan McDougall said Curtin Accelerate had helped more than 50 businesses successfully attract investment funding and launch products and services.

“Curtin Accelerate works to nurture the next big ideas into the successful start-ups of the future and the calibre of these innovations continues to inspire us every year,” Mr McDougall said.

“By taking part in the program, participants will gain vital access to personalised mentoring and key industry networks that may help transform their idea.

“It’s also particularly exciting to have Larry Lopez on board again for 2022, with participants benefiting from his wealth of knowledge and connections in Silicon Valley and the commercialisation field.”

Curtin Accelerate offers participants a $5,000 equity-free grant, business start-up workshops, access to commercialisation experts, investors and potential partners, personalised mentoring from specialists in digital marketing, business growth, intellectual property and finance, and free registration to the West Tech Fest 2021 conference.

Mr McDougall said the Curtin team behind Fibre Economy – fashion designers Molly Ryan and Claudi Janse Van Rensburg alongside Shannon Itzstein who works in WA’s North-West – was a fine example of the success of the program.

“After taking part in Curtin Accelerate, the team of Curtin fashion graduates and a mine worker has helped steer WA toward a circular fashion and textile model, establishing Second Life Workwear, a clothing recycling initiative that facilitates the redistribution of unwanted high vis mine site workwear,” Mr McDougall said.

Applicants must be a Curtin student, staff member or graduate – and projects that align to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals are encouraged to apply.

Nominations for next year’s Curtin Accelerate close on November 1, 2021.

Curtin Accelerate will run in Curtin’s new entrepreneurship hub, which forms part of the University’s Exchange project, an industry-connected innovation precinct.

For more information about the Fibre Economy, visit here.

For more information about Curtin Accelerate, visit here.