Matthews Steer Accountants and Advisors will team up with some of
Melbourne’s most innovative entrepreneurs to help them take their ideas from concept to reality under a new training and mentoring program for Melbourne manufacturing start-ups.
Designed to teach high impact design, prototyping and business skills to the founders of 50 outstanding product start-ups, the ‘Bench 2 Business Training Program’ is designed for individual hardware start-up founders, emerging product developers and designers, and is being run by Coburg product development incubator, Space Tank Studio, and funded by a LaunchVic Government grant.
Led by Associate Charith Mandadige, Matthews Steer will play two roles within the program, running a series of evening classes and presentations for participants on topics including financial management, corporate structures, and how to start and manage a business, and providing one-on-one coaching and mentoring to 10 of the 50 chosen businesses.
Mandadige says that his firm’s involvement in the Bench 2 Business Training Program extends Matthews Steer’s track record of supporting Victorian entrepreneurship.
“There is a vast array of innovative manufacturers in Victoria and in recent years we have supported them through programs such as NORTHLink and the Victorian Manufacturing Showcase,” said Mandadige. “Supporting entrepreneurship and providing local entrepreneurs with a business services
partner they can work with and rely on is one of our firm’s strategic intentions.
“At Matthews Steer we understand that in the early stages entrepreneurship is a scary path to walk down, but we believe in the value mentoring brings, and know that the support we provide can give the businesses we work with confidence as they are starting out.”
The 50 successful candidates for the Bench to Business have now been chosen and the program will start in early September but Space Tank is still letting startups submit applications to build a waiting list in order to fill any vacancies that may occur during the course. Startups can choose any or all of the classes offered under the training program.
“We’re looking for startups that are interested in pursuing new to market products with export potential, who are passionate about what they do, and are willing to give something new a go in the name of advancing their ideas,” said Mandadige.
“The 50 businesses selected for the program will receive 360-degree support, and will get to work with a group of coaches and mentors who can help set their start-ups on the path to success, plus they will have access to the network of fellow participants - other entrepreneurs undertaking similar journeys – with whom they can share their experiences, frustrations and learnings.”
Open to start-ups in fields as diverse as health care devices, food and agriculture, aerospace, sport and leisure, smart furniture and clean tech, the program, which is valued at $7650 per participant, will provide 50 Victorian start-ups access to 30 evening classes across user-centred design, prototyping and business modules for free.
Mandadige said he is looking forward to sharing the experiences and knowledge he’s learned through past support he’s provided to entrepreneurial clients at Matthews Steer. “It’s about sharing and giving back from the range of resources and knowledge we have,” he said. “I personally get a kick out of
hearing innovative ideas you don’t come across on a day to day basis, and I’m looking forward to working with some of this country’s creative and pioneering minds.”
To be eligible for the Bench 2 Business Training Program start-ups must be located in Victoria, product development based, have a product idea or prototype, commit to attending the training program at Space Tank in North Coburg, Melbourne, and intend to take their product to market. Space Tank will consider applications from start-ups who have not yet registered a business or company.
To get on the waiting list for the Bench 2 Business Training Program, which will take place between September 2018 and April 2019, click here; where you can download course descriptions, a course calendar, and complete an application.