23 March to 7 April 2023 I Bega Valley and Wollongong

From 29 to 31 March 2023, the Bega Valley Commemorative Civic Centre hosted the Regional Innovation Summit for Entrepreneurs (RISE), where entrepreneurs, business owners, and problem solvers will gather to advance ideas, build connections, and support the growth of regional businesses. UOW iAccelerate, which received $999,570 from the Bushfire Local Economic Recovery Fund (BLER) in 2021, presented the Summit in 10 bushfire-affected regions, including four Local Aboriginal Land Council areas. As a result of the RISE initiative, education programs have been provided to assist promising entrepreneurs and business owners in creating new jobs in bushfire-affected areas.

RISE has garnered the participation of speakers from the local, national, and international scenes who are adept in various aspects of entrepreneurship and supporting entrepreneurs. RISE had a dual focus, with one stream tailored for entrepreneurs, featuring panel discussions on securing investment and acquiring customers. The other stream was designed for individuals supporting regional entrepreneurs, with panel discussions on regional trends in the local and global context, as well as a conversation centred on circularity.

Iulia also had the pleasure of touring the University of Wollongong's state-of-the-art research facilities and met with several faculty members who are at the forefront of their fields and leading groundbreaking research initiatives. She witnessed firsthand the collaborative efforts taking place between researchers and industry partners. Clearly, the university's Innovation and Commercial Research Unit is committed to fostering an environment of innovation and entrepreneurship and is actively working to bridge the gap between academia and industry.

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