Innovation to grow in Melbourne with Australia Post partnership

November 15 / 170

Australia Post Managing Director Ahmed Fahour & University of Melbourne Vice-Chancellor Professor Glyn Davis launching the collaboration. Photo: Peter Casamento
Australia Post Managing Director Ahmed Fahour & University of Melbourne Vice-Chancellor Professor Glyn Davis launching the collaboration. Photo: Peter Casamento

A three-year, $1 million partnership between Australia Post and the University of Melbourne is set to provide greater opportunities for the next generation of innovators.

The funding will provide two new places in the Melbourne Accelerator Program (MAP) specific to eCommerce business ideas, as well as an annual scholarship to the Wade Institute for Entrepreneurship.

There will also be specific outreach programs targeting regional and rural areas, women and social entrepreneurs. The partnership is part of Australia Post’s $20 million eCommerce capital fund.

Vice-Chancellor Glyn Davis said he was honoured Australia Post has chosen the University as its first innovation fund partner.

“We believe universities don’t just educate our future generations; they are a production line of ideas for new entrepreneurs and new businesses,” Professor Davis said.

“Harnessing the current mood around Australia’s innovation agenda is important, and this investment will go a long way to ensuring start-up cultures continue to have a prominent role at the University.

“This is an investment in the future of entrepreneurship skills development at the University, and will add to our larger push to expand the innovation eco-system across the University and in this city.”

MAP is the University’s flagship entrepreneurship program. In 2015, entrepreneurship-related events on campus will have attracted over 5,000 attendees, in a year in which MAP received over eight applications for every place available.

Sixteen alumni companies from the Accelerator program’s first three years have already raised over $10 million in funding, generated over $5 million in revenue, and created over 120 jobs, with MAP recently ranked world’s 13th best University accelerator program.

Australia Post Managing Director and Group CEO Ahmed Fahour said the program was intended to have far-reaching impact.

“We will work with our people, customers, partners and the community to identify new opportunities and emerging, disruptive eCommerce businesses we can accelerate,” Mr Fahour said.

“Throughout our 207 years of serving the Australian community we’ve always innovated in response to social and technology changes. Innovation is essential to remaining relevant to our customers as their behaviour and expectations change.”

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