Program 1: ManuFutures Ignite

    A FREE 12-week workshop and mentoring program to kickstart your idea, design or product into a successful start-up business.

    Over 12 all-day sessions starting in May 2022 at Deakin’s Waurn Ponds campus in the Geelong region, you will:

    • Understand how to rapidly accelerate business ideas
    • Develop a business strategy based on market and competitor insights
    • Develop a robust commercialisation plan
    • Understand the importance of sound financial management
    • Become seed investment pitch ready.
    • Access ManuFutures workspace and infrastructure – Australia’s only advanced manufacturing facility of its type.
    • Tap into the expertise, mentoring, research and technology across Deakin University and its research centres.
    • Meet key industry players and experts as part of a growing advanced manufacturing community.

    The first round of ManuFutures Ignite participants will qualify for up to $10,000 of Deakin services in addition to the 12-week program.


    “The Ignite program is a doorway to the whole of Deakin University, connecting you to a robust network of mentors, academics and researchers and our growing industry network.”
    - Mark Curnow, Director Regional Manufacturing, Deakin Innovations

    Benefits of ManuFutures Ignite

    Develop your ideas
    You’ll enjoy a mix of content, training and practical tools that will help you bring your product, design and engineering ideas to life.

    Build your networks
    Not only will you build a robust network of mentors, academics and researchers across Deakin, but your external industry network will grow with the support of a team who will champion your commercial pathway.

    Enhance your commercial acumen
    You’ll learn how to develop a commercialisation plan to support your business strategy and product ideas.

    Meet the experts
    Work with a team with proven expertise in taking businesses from start-ups to multi-million-dollar ventures.
    Mark Curnow - Director Regional Manufacturing, Deakin Innovations.
    Sameer Deshpande - Venture Services Manager, Deakin Innovations.
    Tim Hanley - Manager Tenant Operations, ManuFutures.
    Plus professors, researchers and technology experts across Deakin and key external industry partners.

    Is ManuFutures Ignite right for you?

    This program is right for you if you:

    • are an entrepreneur or a product-based start-up business.
    • need support to build an entrepreneurial venture.
    • want to take your manufacturing, engineering, design ideas down a commercial pathway.
    • can commit to one day a week for 12 face-to-face sessions, as well as pre-reading and preparation.

    ManuFutures Ignite FAQ

    Does ManuFutures Ignite program cost anything?
    No, the 12-week program is free and includes a bonus voucher up to $10K to access Deakin services such as 3D printing and materials.

    Where is the program based?
    All face-to-face sessions will take place at the ManuFutures facility on Deakin University’s Waurn Ponds campus.

    Do I need to have an idea?
    Yes, the ManuFutures Ignite program is based on taking an engineering, design or manufacturing idea and developing a business strategy and commercial plan around this over 12 weeks

    Do I need to have a registered business?
    No, this is not required for the ManuFutures Ignite program.

    Session details

    1. Week 1: Business acceleration. Leadership & inspiring people. 26 May 2022, 9.30am-3.30pm

    2. Week 2: Business acceleration. Business strategy & innovation thinking. 2 June 2022, 9.30am-3.30pm

    3. Week 3: Business acceleration. Getting your house in order. 9 June 2022, 9.30am-3.30pm

    4. Week 4: Business acceleration. Markets, partners and networks. 16 June 2022, 9.30am-3.30pm

    5. Week 5: Workshop. Intro to advanced manufacturing technologies. 23 June 2022, 9.30am-3.30pm

    6. Week 6: Introduction to ICT & software in manufacturing business. 30 June 2022, 9.30am-3.30pm

    7. Week 7: Systems engineering, inventory & warehousing in production facility. 7 July 2022, 9.30am-3.30pm

    8. Week 8: Report presentations by participants. 14 July 2022, 9.30am-3.30pm

    9. Week 9: Design and engineering. Defining customer needs. 18 July 2022, 9.30am-3.30pm

    10. Week 10: Design and engineering. Design for manufacturing, design for assembly. 25 July 2022, 9.30am-3.30pm

    11. Week 11: Design and engineering. Design Verification plan. 1 August 2022, 9.30am-3.30pm

    12. Week 12: Design and engineering. Testing & validation. 8 August 2022, 9.30am-3.30pm

    Register your expression of interest

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    This project includes co-contributions from the Victorian Higher Education State Investment Fund (VHESIF).

    For further information on our other VHESIF funded projects please visit the links below.

    Contact us

    To find out how you can partner with us contact Deakin Research.