In fact, an attempt to set a new Guinness World Record is the latest goal for the director of Flinders University’s New Venture Institute (NVI).
The Icebreaker16 event, from 5pm on October 19 at Flinders at Tonsley, is recruiting more than 1086 new and emerging entrepreneurs, along with leading business people, for a mass speed networking event.
Registrations are still open to all South Australians and visitors.
Over the past three years, Flinders NVI has helped more than 100 start-up ventures – many of them led by Flinders graduates or involving students.
“This state needs more entrepreneurs because, clearly, the economies of the future and the disruption we’re seeing with technology means we need people who are innovative, willing to be creative and work on new business and operating models,” Mr Salier says.
“We understand that some of the best ideas come from the most unlikely places.
“Who knows, the next big thing could start at our Guinness World Record attempt.”
Headlining the event, running as part of the State Government-backed Open State week (October 18-27), are three American leaders in turning small business into big business.
They are Kevin Koym, chief executive and founder of Tech Ranch Austin, Texas – a venture accelerator for early-stage technology companies; Kevin Ready, start-up adviser for Forbes, and Sidney Amster, a leading angel investor from Philadelphia and key adviser to the Fox School of Business, Flinders University’s newest partner in innovation and enterprise content development.
Subtitled ‘Transformation and Disruption are the new normal’, Icebreaker16 gets underway at 6pm with a wide range of speakers, information booths and food and beverage stalls under the main assembly building space at Tonsley, south of Adelaide.
“The ability to link into dynamic entrepreneurial global networks is critical,” Mr Salier says.
“This definitely helps students and the emerging businesses we support understand how things work, particularly in Europe, South-East Asia and the US, where Flinders has some strong affiliations.”
The rapidly changing job market and world economy have seen projections that up to 70 per cent of young Australian graduates will commence their careers in roles destined to substantially evolve or even become obsolete within two decades.
From next year, all Flinders University students will have the opportunity to gain innovation and entrepreneurial training as part of their course work under a recently signed agreement with the Fox School of Business. One of the largest business schools in the world, the Fox School of Business has a long tradition of preparing business leaders, professionals and entrepreneurs for successful careers.
Mr Salier says Flinders NVI will continue to give innovative people – from undergraduates and the university’s smartest researchers through to entrepreneurial community members – the training and support to create the ‘next big thing’.
“Icebreaker is like a business ‘speed-dating’ networking event, and it’s an attempt to break a Guinness World Record for business leaders, innovators, entrepreneurs, researchers, government officials and anyone else to meet. They can have a three to four-minute conversations with at least 20 different people.”
Organisers expect between 1200 and 1500 people will attend what is one of the special events continuing celebrations of Flinders University’s 50th anniversary.
Icebreaker16 will be held under the main assembly building (MAB) next to Flinders University at Tonsley, 1284 South Road, Clovelly Park – part of the Tonsley Innovation Precinct at the former Mitsubishi site.
The 8ha former main assembly area of the former auto factory is the largest undercover building in the Southern Hemisphere. Since car-making wound up in 2008, the 61ha site has become a technology park for research, training, education and startups to interact with established businesses in advanced manufacturing, green-tech or sustainable industries, medical devices, energy, software and more.
An extensive collection of profiles on Flinders University leaders, students, graduates, researchers, academics and supporters can be viewed online at the website here.
The souvenir picture book, The Investigator Transformed, can be purchased on the Flinders 50th Anniversary website.
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