Calling all budding Bransons – it’s time.
As a past recipient of a scholarship to attend Curtin University’s 2017 Ignition program, I was excited to hear that The Town of Victoria Park are this year, for the first time, offering two fully funded scholarships to attend the 2018 Ignition course.
What is the Ignition program?
‘Ignition is a one week entrepreneurial program for aspiring entrepreneurs, academics and corporate innovators to trial and then prepare high growth business ideas for the commercial environment.’
For more information, click here and get on it stat as applications close shortly.
No idea is ever silly, trust me – if I can do it, anyone can.
My road to Ignition 2017.
I sleep with an ‘Ideas Book’ and pen next to my bed. Weird I know.
Stay with me.
It is not uncommon for me to scrawl random business ideas, life/fitness goals, quotes or marketing ideas in this book at all hours of the night.
Sometimes these random business ideas are shared with Derek. Other times not. He is affectionately labelled the ‘Dream Squasher’ in our household 😬
It has to be logical and researched. There is no tolerance when it comes to investing. The farm boy does not react well to risky business in any form.
Last year, one of these random business ideas was mentioned flippantly to him over our morning cuppa. Silence…then a single head nod ‘Lee, I like it’. I carefully explained the concept with drawings. Research papers were regurgitated verbatim, my target market discussed and although I had more research to do, I knew I had him.
It was by pure chance that Derek was listening to a radio interview on the ABC regarding Curtin University’s ‘Ignition’ program.
I attended the information session a few days later where all aspects of the program were discussed and a presentation by Marc Berryman, founder of Rhinohide, sealed the deal. What did I actually have to lose?
A number of scholarships to attend the course were on offer from local councils, businesses and private sponsors as the course comes with a hefty price tag. Despite the latter, the course is oversubscribed and worth every cent.
I finalised my application and hit the send button. My concept was based on what I saw as a major educational hole in the market and the belief that this simple device could make a difference to health outcomes globally.
Three weeks later, I received the email I was waiting for. I had applied for and was successful in receiving a scholarship to attend the 2017 Ignition course courtesy of the Hon. Simone McGurk MLA – Minister for Child Protection; Women’s Interests; Prevention of Family and Domestic Violence; Community Services.
What a week it was. Intensely challenging and exciting on every front – mentally, physically and emotionally.
You are putting your ‘baby’ out there for critique. Something you’ve spent months or years, researching and perfecting. Some attendees were already running viable businesses and were looking to take their next step (Darren Lomann from Greenbatch, Mel Langdon from BossMaMa check them out online – amazing, inspirational people) others were somewhere in between and then there were those with only the seed of an idea.
Many candidates faced ‘pivots’ – where your idea takes a different path following feedback, constructive criticism and a final pitch (think Shark Tank). Some dreams were shattered and others made.
Ignition gave me the tools and confidence to believe that what I was aiming to achieve, might just be possible.
I am currently at prototype stage with a graphic/industrial designer, following which we’ll print a 3D model to pitch to a potential investor/s in Australia or overseas. Patent research is in full swing and in the hands of patent lawyers.
Will it be a success? Who knows, my fingers are firmly crossed 😉
If you have a burning business idea, I implore you to throw your hat in the ring.
Irrespective of whether you are successful in gaining a scholarship or not, invest.
Invest in you. Back yourself, you just never know your luck.
Check out the Town of Victoria Park scholarship criteria here and if you’d like more information from a participant’s point of view, please email me via email@example.com
Cheers & good luck