Wednesday, June 27th, 2012
Australian company Innovyz, with key support from the ANZ bank, opened the inaugural ANZ Innovyz Start accelerator in Adelaide as a launch-pad to help grow the next generation of global businesses.

Innovyz Chairman Philip Vafiadis today said that the announcement by South Australia's Minister for Small Business, Manufacturing, Innovation and Trade Tom Koutsantonis that the Government will support Innovyz with funding of $600,000 recognises the relevance of this world class program.

“My partners, Stuart Douglas and Brett Jackson, and I recognised the need for a program that would accelerate business growth, but more than that, a program that would be recognised as globally relevant," Mr Vafiadis said. "We have succeeded in attracting innovators from around the world as well as cultivating the cream of local innovators.

"All the elements exist in Adelaide to build a thriving entrepreneurial ecosystem and our ANZ Innovyz Start program is already receiving global recognition for best practice.

"Our understanding is that our objectives align with State economic development objectives. This timely support from Government is of course welcomed, and will help us achieve our mission."

The ANZ Innovyz Start program has been global in its focus from the outset. The first class received 130 applicants from around the world, of which 10 were selected. All 10 companies, of which 5 are from Adelaide, co-locate in facilities provided by the program and run their businesses from the Adelaide based facility.

“As a world first for any such program anywhere, we were honoured to recruit Dr. Jana Matthews to design and deliver it," Mr Vafiadis said. "Dr Matthews is a world-famous expert on entrepreneurial growth. She was a member of the founding team of the Kauffman Centre for Entrepreneurial Leadership and has worked with governments, CEOs and enterprises around the world helping them grow businesses and build entrepreneurial communities.”

ANZ Innovyz Start Program Director Dr Jana Matthews said that she had studied the entrepreneurial landscape in Adelaide over a period of 10 years, likening it to US innovation centres such as Boulder and Seattle.

"I agreed to design and direct ANZ Innovyz START because I believe Adelaide is on the cusp of growth," Ms Matthews said. "The city has the elements required to be a thriving entrepreneurial community. Experience suggests that the leadership for robust communities needs to be provided by successful entrepreneurs, and that there needs to be a program and a space that brings the whole entrepreneurial community together -- inventors, innovators, entrepreneurs, entrepreneurial teams, universities, service providers, public policy makers, angel investors, equity investors and venture capitalists.

"Support from ANZ has enabled us to create a successful program. Funds from the Department of Manufacturing, Innovation, Trade, Resources and Energy (DMITRE) will enable us to create the space. We look forward to partnering with others and securing additional sponsors to join us in the development of this healthy, robust ecosystem in South Australia.”

Contact Profile


The ANZ Innovyz START program is an initiative of Innovyz and with key support from ANZ. Sponsors include the Adelaide City Council and ITEK.

For more information contact:

Philip Vafiadis, Chairman of Innovyz at [email protected]

Dr. Jana Matthews, Program Director of ANZ Innovyz Start at [email protected]
Dr Jana Matthews
P: 0414697071


All the elements exist in Adelaide to build a thriving entrepreneurial ecosystem...



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