Saturday, May 31st, 2014

Innovyz START, the company behind the ANZ Innovyz START accelerator program, today announced a number of organisational changes.

Dr Jana Matthews, who has been the Managing Director and Program Director since the program’s inception in February 2012, is leaving to become a Professor and Director of the newly created Centre for Business Growth at the University of South Australia.

Dr Matthews will continue to advise the ANZ Innovyz START portfolio companies, which include startups like Bluedot which has raised $600k and has a $6 million valuation, Be Intent (New Zealand) which has raised $560k and has a $5 million valuation, and Beneath the Ink (USA) which has raised $575k and has a $4 million valuation.

Dr Matthews commented: “I came to Adelaide in 2012 to direct one ANZ Innovyz START program and ended up directing four! Many Australian startups and emerging companies have huge potential, but often falter when it comes to funding, choosing people, marketing and sales, and going global. Business growth is an enduring challenge for all companies, and my new role will allow me to focus my expertise in this area for the benefit of Australian companies and their CEOs.”

Innovyz START Chairman Philip Vafiadis will take over from Dr Matthews, assisted by directors Stuart Douglas and Brett Jackson.

Mr Vafiadis said that the ANZ Innovyz START accelerator has had a significant impact on the startup ecosystem since it began in 2012.

“We’ve been honored to bring Dr Jana Matthews to Australia, and to have had the opportunity to work closely with her in the transformation of Adelaide’s startup scene. These changes are about all of us evolving this important work – Innovyz START with programs that help new companies to grow, and Jana with the Centre for Business Growth,” he said.

“In just two years, the ANZ Innovyz START accelerator has graduated 33 companies who went on to raise over $3 million in funding, and today have a combined valuation of over $40 million. We have some exciting plans in the pipeline to evolve this work and will be announcing new programs shortly.”

Keywords

entrepreneur training, startups, UniSA, Adelaide

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