Spacecubed has been successful in securing an Australian Government Incubator Support initiative grant of $247,000 to support the rollout of two key pre-accelerator programs for 160 startups and entrepreneurs across Western Australia.
The program will be supporting founders from Perth and the regional hubs of Port Hedland, Geraldton & Bunbury, and has been formulated to assist start-ups in developing the capabilities required to achieve commercial success in international markets and realise their economic potential faster.
The programs being supported are Plus Eight Leap and Plus Eight Sprint, and Spacecubed has run them before with excellent feedback. Plus Eight Leap is the one-day bootcamp that equips founders with the skills they need to build their business, while Plus Eight Sprint is a pre-accelerator that is designed to lock down the groundwork needed to apply for the full Plus Eight accelerator. Sprint is a part-time program that lasts six weeks, and it supports entrepreneurs as they test their ideas. It gives them space to upskill as founders, tweak their product and build important connections in the startup ecosystem.
Community is key in the early stages
We asked founders who recently finished the Sprint program about the impact it had on their businesses. Ben Hart of iGrower had to highlight the support of the mentors, “and learning about the insights they gained from their journey.” Fellow Sprint graduate Nick Marouchek of Work Help agreed that he’d got value from “speaking to, and learning from, different mentors.” The program, he added, “was a great opportunity to form friendships with other founders, to help on this unpredictable startup journey.”
Starting out with any business can be a scary and uncertain process. Creating a community of like-minded students, the suite of Plus Eight programs provide entrepreneurs guidance and a social support system. These are invaluable tools, especially in such a geographically isolated ecosystem as WA.
Facilitating lightbulb moments
It’s not all socialising though – the programs can be tough. Hayley Rolfe & Naren Subramaniam of Ardea Waste also graduated the Sprint program. They reflected that “to get the most out of the program … you need to be prepared to go and talk to customers between sessions. It’s hard but worth it.” The sessions encouraged Nick to think about technical co-founders, and his lack of one. “After taking the advice of the mentors and my fellow classmates, I’ve managed to find a CTO. I did that a lot sooner than I had planned.” He said. “That’s just one out of many ah-ha moments I had.”
Whilst the Leap program takes place in one day, Sprint takes place over six weeks. There’s an on-site two hour session each week, and assignments for startups to complete between sessions. It’s designed to be flexible enough to fit around a person’s life, but to push them to achieve. “How much you get from the course is directly related to how much effort you put in,” Ben pointed out. Like most of his peers, it was the insights from customer interviews he found most useful.
These programs are outcomes-focused. Working with world-renowned methods, the Spacecubed facilitators pride themselves in equipping new startups with the strategy and connections they need to create exciting businesses. The recognition of the success of the program and broader contribution to the Australian startup ecosystem was key to being awarded this grant, and Spacecubed is excited to take this work to even more startups and founders across WA.
If you’d like to be involved in the next Plus Eight Leap, Sprint, or full accelerator please get in touch here.