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100% equity free

Discover more of our program features

One program. Three categories. Offered Regionally.

Venture Catalyst is a six-month program to develop founders with innovative ideas.

Participants accepted into the program will receive a tailored program of support designed to help early stage startup founders, plan and successfully execute their journey towards building a globally scalable and investment ready business.

Participants will also receive one-to-one mentoring from the ICC's two Entrepreneurs in Residence; Kirk Drage and his company LeapSheep; and serial entrepreneur and founder of Regency Food Services, Regency Staffing and Zen Energy, Richard Turner.

Applications for regional Venture Catalyst program in 2020 have now closed. Stay tuned for 2021 updates. Feel welcome to submit an expression of interest to venturecatalyst@unisa.edu.au in the meantime.


supported the University of South Australia

The General category is open to any industry sector and supports startups with the potential for high growth, who are developing new services, markets or business models that compete in global markets. Accepted applicants will receive a tailored program based on their current needs as well as the benefits mentioned above.

Applications are closed


supported the South Australian Space Industry Centre

The Space category, supported by the State Government's Space Innovation Fund, is the state's first program designed specifically for startups who are developing new services or products for the space industry. The program gives founders the support and tools they need to plan and successfully build a scalable and investment ready business.

Applications are closed

Social Enterprise

supported by the Pank Family

The Social Enterprise category is supported by Pank Family who support social innovation and enterprises developed by UniSA students or alumni. Through the Venture Catalyst program, the Pank Family have ensured that new ideas that come out of the University have the support and mentoring needed to set up a new and innovative social enterprise in South Australia.

Applications are closed

Program features

Frequently asked questions

2020 applications have now closed. Please stay tuned for 2021 updates.

If shortlisted, you are likely to be asked to attend a short (45 min) informal interview to expand on your idea and allow the Innovation & Collaboration Centre (ICC) to meet the key members of your team. This may be in person or online.

For regional startups, the program can be done at either the regional ICC in Whyalla or online. They will also have access to the metro ICC as part of the program.

The program is offered at the ICC Adelaide and the regional ICC. Regional applications will be accepted all year round.

This program is based on individual support and mentoring to help you get your idea off the ground. This is not a grant program.

This program is 100% equity free. You retain any and all of your equity and IP as a participant of this program.

Regional startups

AI company developing smart and innovative solutions for business

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Removing diseases and toxins from our farming soils and waterways

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Providing solutions for the power industry.

Reducing the impact of frost on livestock and crops

Buy local, sell global ecosystem, for all industries and businesses

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Green hydrogen power for communities and industry

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Removal and reuse of liquid waste

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Designing robust innovative farm machinery

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Improving the lives of separating families

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Electricity direct from solar farms in your community

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Improving road safety

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A specialised online platform delivering music, arts and entertainment

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What our regional startups are saying

Geoff Rayson

"(The program provides) a chance to work with like-minded people and receive professional mentoring and tuition at a reduced cost and help us avoid the lethal pitfalls of startups and give our new business the best possible start."

Geoff Rayson
Director, True Algae

About the Regional ICC

The Regional ICC was opened in early 2019 at the University of South Australia's Whyalla Campus underpinned by a grant through the Australian Government's Entrepreneurs’ Programme.

The new innovation hub provides a dynamic pathway for innovative startups to reach their global capacity by providing educational workshops combined with fast gigabit network speeds and injecting expert mentors.

The Whyalla business community will benefit from a suite of training forums led by professionals with a track record of driving a local innovation into an international market. In addition to startup activity the centre will provide support to local businesses looking to grow by providing a hub for their activity, with access to a global network and a series of workshops and other activities to support those businesses.

Supported by the Australian Government through the Entrepreneurs’ Programme.

Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources

whyalla city council

whyalla city council

Regional ICC news

Meet your Community Manager

Denni Russell has 10 years’ experience engaging regional communities. She has managed a range of programs including collaborating with not for profits, schools, local and state government, community organisations and Traditional Owner groups. Denni has a passion for regional communities and through her role as the Community Program Coordinator for the Regional ICC she aims to create a space to empower regional innovators to compete on a global scale.

Denni graduated from UniSA’s Bachelor of Sustainable Environments with Honours in 2012. Prior to this role she worked in natural resource management and state government sectors as a result she has lived and worked in some of the most beautiful parts of the country.

Contact us


Building L/111 Nicholson Ave
Whyalla Norrie, SA 5608

Hours: Monday - Friday 9am to 5pm

General enquiries

Innovation & Collaboration Centre


(08) 8302 7368

Media contact

Georgia Minarelli


0413 314 726

Region contact

Denni Russell


0431 233 679


South Australian Government

University of South Australia