Deakin’s ManuFutures delivers manufacturing innovation expertise to Bendigo and Warrnambool

Media release

03 October 2022

Deakin University’s ManuFutures is scouting for entrepreneurs, innovators and start-ups in Bendigo and Warrnambool to join its FREE ManuFutures Ignite program. The 12-week manufacturing business pre-acceleration program helps individuals learn how to grow their product-based ideas into a successful start-up business.

The ManuFutures Ignite program will run at Deakin's Waurn Ponds campus from 24 October, with all sessions live streamed to new participants located in Bendigo, at Bendigo TAFE, as well as in Warrnambool at Deakin's South-West campus.

The free program will support participants to fast track their business idea, from concept through to a commercial advanced manufacturing pathway, with access to Deakin resources, skills, and research. Participants can also qualify for up to $10,000 of product engineering services from ManuFutures to help their business succeed.

The expanded Ignite program will be led by Deakin's Director of Regional Manufacturing, Mark Curnow, supported by expert input across business, engineering and manufacturing.

Mr Curnow said the ManuFutures team was excited to partner with Bendigo industry bodies to facilitate the expansion of the program into the Bendigo region.

"Our first ManuFutures Ignite program was a huge success with the inaugural cohort graduating in August. Many participants are now taking the next steps to become market-ready start-ups, after working on accelerating their ideas and entrepreneurial ventures over 12 weeks," Mr Curnow said.

"This second intake will allow us to not only increase participant numbers but offer sessions in regional areas such as Bendigo and Warrnambool, to support goals of reviving Victoria’s manufacturing industry. We are thankful to the team at Bendigo TAFE for supporting our vision." Mr Curnow said.

Bendigo TAFE's Higher Education Pathway Partnerships Manager, Selda Koc, said partnering with Deakin's ManuFutures was an exciting move for Bendigo that would offer an opportunity not previously seen in the region.

"Bendigo TAFE is delighted to offer learning spaces for ManuFutures Ignite participants who may find it challenging to attend Deakin's Geelong Waurn Ponds Campus in-person," Ms Koc said.

ManuFutures is Australia’s unique advanced manufacturing innovation hub, boasting tenancy opportunities, manufacturing incubator programs and product engineering services. The facility has doubled its footprint with a new $20 million ManuFutures 2 hub scheduled to open later this year due to funding co-contributions from the Victorian Higher Education State Investment Fund (VHESIF).

The ManuFutures Ignite program starts on 24 October 2022. To learn more or apply for the program:

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