The University of Wollongong’s (UOW) iAccelerate RISE program is set to continue its mission of supporting entrepreneurs in regional New South Wales, after receiving a $455,000 from the State Government, as part of the Accelerating Regional Innovation Fund (ARIF)

The iAccelerate business incubator and accelerator has created over 1,000 jobs and served as a launching pad for more than 300 companies over a decade. Those businesses have since generated $61.1 million in revenue and injected $33.6 million back into the economy.

The iAccelerate RISE Program, designed specifically to empower regional entrepreneurs, has proved instrumental in propelling economic growth in bushfire affected regions, with Program Director Dr Tamantha Stutchbury emphasising the significance of the funding in enabling the continuation of their impactful work and expanding accessibility to the program’s cutting-edge resources.

“About 18 months ago we were lucky to be rewarded some bushfire local economic recovery funding to launch a version of the iAccelerate program called RISE, which is focused on regional entrepreneurs, and we were able to provide entrepreneurship programs in ten bushfire affected regions, including four indigenous land councils,” Dr Stutchbury said. 

“That funding has just ended and we have luckily just been awarded this funding from the NSW Government to continue that great work.”

The newly secured funding will enable the delivery of the iAccelerate RISE program in the Bega Valley, Eurobodella, Wingecarribee, and Shoalhaven, providing education and mentorships to participant’s, whilst strategically targeting unique technology sectors in each region, to drive growth and foster economic development. 

“We provide support to entrepreneurs in lots of different ways, so we give them access to educational components to help them to develop their ideas and develop their business. We also provide them with a network to mentorship and provide them with access to funding to help them grow their companies,” Dr Stutchbury said. 

“In Bega we will be looking at the circular economy and tech-enabled primary industries. In Eurobodella, ecotourism, Shoalhaven, advanced manufacturing, and Wingecarribee, high quality foods.”

The iAccelerate RISE program will be made available in-person and online to all aspiring entrepreneurs in targeted sectors across New South Wales, ensuring access to ample opportunities for growth and success in today’s dynamic business landscape.