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Venture Dorm graduates first class and plans to send a pair of students to Austin, Texas USA. Keep it weird, people!


As we previously reported, Venture Dorm is an educational program, operating in connection with Flinders University, that provides training and entrepreneurial education for businesses around Adelaide.

The course uses a mentoring system to guide entrepreneurs with budding business ideas through the initial stages of commercial feasibility, development and investment.

What is happening at Venture Dorm?

The first group of novel products and services looking to go commercial ranged from a ‘plot to plate’ vegetable garden planning service, to a mobile app that helps small businesses to comply with workplace health and safety requirements.

Flinders Partners Managing Director, Mr Anthony Francis, says Venture Dorm emphasises the practical over the theoretical, and offers practical objectives to its participants.

“Venture Dorm is all about creating a culture of bravery and a commercial “lab” where folk can test their ideas, interact with experienced entrepreneurs, and gain fantastic “mates” in creating their new venture, Mr Francis said.

“The first group all had a great time building their business cases – some ideas even got scrapped early on. This is not a place for following blindly, but more a place to challenge, get suggestions and grow.”

What are Venture Dorm participants saying?

Mr Josh Morony of ZenChain, who is looking to market an application that will assist tertiary students in managing their study, was enthusiastic about the course.

“Having done Venture Dorm, I’m now on the road to executing a validated idea, with potential to make profit. I would recommend it to any people interested in start-ups who have not already created a successful one.”

Ms Nadine Saadi, founder of SMEOSH, said that her mentor had brought an ‘atmosphere of Silicon Valley.’

“Venture Dorm did a great job of finding mentors and pushing us out of our comfort zones,” she says.

“Venture Dorm provides a great environment for collective learning and idea sharing,” she concludes.

Head ‘em up, move ‘em out!

Two lucky participants – Penny Curtis and Trevor Stafford – will bring their concepts to Austin, Texas on a fully paid Venture Dorm scholarship later this year.

While in Texas, the pair will enjoy all the Capital of the Lone Star State has to offer: like Guitartown, Esther’s Follies, shopping in the SoCo District, and the Violet Crown Cinema. All of which are regularly assigned adjectives like ‘weird,’ ‘quirky,’ and ‘eclectic,’ the latter of which is only used when ‘putting it mildly.’

Well, Penny and Travis, enjoy your trip, and, please, keep Austin weird. Also keep in mind that, as they say in Texas, never trust a cowboy who cannot lie to his horse.

Ante up, cowpoke

Venture Dorm’s second intake will commence in early 2014. Say, do you have a great business idea? Could you see yourself in somewhere like Austin? Well, stop dilly dallying and mosey on over to Venture Dorm to see if you will fit in.

Thanks to KE Meyers for the main image.