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Flinders University Director Nabs Best Entrepreneurial Educator Award as school serves up new opportunities for startups – could yours be next?


Few of us are born knowing how to operate a business. That means we turn to mentors and educators to learn to navigate the world of entrepreneurship.

In Australia, many would-be entrepreneurs have turned to South Australia’s Flinders University to learn the ins-and-outs of entrepreneurship. In fact, it’s likely that many of you reading this are Flinders alums. Flinders has been adding to the richness (in more ways than one) of the Aussie business community for a long time.

Now, one member of the Flinders team is being recognised.

And the award goes to…

Anthony Francis, Managing Director of the University’s commercialisation arm, Flinders Partners, has been named Best Entrepreneurial Educator of the Year at the 2013 B-HERT (Business/Higher Education Round Table) Awards.

The aim of the Award, presented on Thursday 7 November 2013 at a ceremony at the Melbourne Convention & Exhibition Centre, is to recognise the importance of education in the process of developing and nurturing entrepreneurs, as well as to showcase best practice in entrepreneurial education.

Francis’s rightly awesome leadership of the development and delivery of three innovative programs , namely Venture Dorm, Research to Outcome, Entrepreneurs in Conversation, has earned him a trophy and a travel voucher valued at $1000.

Francis said “In addition to maximising the value of the University’s research and spinning out a number of successful companies, Flinders Partners also devises and delivers events and training in commercialisation and entrepreneurship locally, nationally and internationally.”

How to get involved with Flinders

Research to Outcome is a one-day program for anyone interested in learning more about the commercialisation process. The workshop is suited to researchers, research managers and government and industry partners.

Entrepreneurs in Conversation is a new event courtesy New Venture Institute (NVI) at Flinders University, which sees Anthony Francis interview successful entrepreneurs, such as Poh Ling Yeow of MasterChef and Maggie Beer from Maggie Beer Foods on the real stories of their journeys in becoming successful entrepreneurs.

The interview is taped in front of a live audience. Budding entrepreneurs (okay, old ones too) are invited to come along and be a part of the audience and hear our speakers share their stories of fear, strength, humour, resilience and hopes for the future.

Venture Dorm, now run by NVI, provides an experiential educational environment for people to learn how entrepreneurs build new ventures and then create one of their own. Participants will test a business idea through validation of customer interest, determination of market size, assessment of distribution and partnership options to develop a business model which is scalable and sustainable. The will be guided one-on-one weekly by experienced individuals who have built successful companies or fund them.

Oh, one more thing…

In addition to celebrating Francis’s win, Flinders also announces the opening of applications for the 2nd Venture Dorm intake through the NVI website which begins in February 2014.

So, make a note of it. This could be your time to shine.