28 November 2014
Young students with a vision of entrepreneurial success will be mentored by industry professionals through a new accelerator network launched at the University of Sydney.
The Sydney Accelerator Network (SAN) based in the University's School of Information Technologies will also provide funding along with office space, the latest IT infrastructure, and exceptional networking opportunities through our alumni and industry partners.
Joseph Davis, Professor of Information Systems and Services and co-ordinator of SAN said participants in the accelerator program will have access to a panel of successful entrepreneurs and venture capitalists that will provide guidance and mentorship in what can be a complex start-up environment.
"SAN will accommodate and support three or four start-up companies at any given time,"says Professor Davis.
"The start-up projects will initially be selected from current University students as well as from a pool of projects that have completed 12 weeks of development at The University of Sydney Union's Incubate.
"We have also established working networks with other innovation hubs in Sydney such as ATP Innovations and Westpac's The Hive,"Professor Davies said.
Among the first cohort of student start-ups offered space at SAN are Allen Liao and Michael Sutton, both double degree students at the University.
Allen who is studying a Bachelor of Electrical Engineering and Bachelor of Commerce degree and Michael a Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Commerce student have designed what they believe are the world's first unloseable sunglasses.
The budding entrepreneurs have spent months developing and creating their unique sunglass range known as Tzukuri.
Allen, the product architect who has just returned from a University initiative in Silicon Valley says "Tzukuri sunglasses are almost impossible to lose thanks to the combination of Apple's iBeacon technology and the world's smallest solar panel that allows the glasses to be tracked via an iPhone app.
"Tzukuri uses Bluetooth low energy, a new technology that draws very little power. This means the solar cells can keep it charged and using the app won't drain your iPhone's battery," explains Allen.
Co-founder, Michael says people take a lot of time considering the design, look and feel of their eyewear and their purchase is an investment in not only how they look, but also protection from the harshness of the Australian sun.
"The opportunity to participate in the SAN initiative will help us open new doors in the business and engineering worlds. It will also help develop our business acumen, such as negotiating with senior company representatives. Basically, it will help us move our fledging wearable tech business to the next level," states Michael.
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