Untapped entrepreneurs learn to innovate, rebuilding Victorian economy

YBF and the Victorian Government partner to launch the YBF Startup Immersion Program – a pilot program focused on reskilling corporate talent for Victoria’s economic recovery.

2020 has seen immense changes to society, health, and the economy – more than most Victorians have seen in their lifetimes.

Over 500,000 people have been displaced from their jobs during COVID-19 in Victoria [source: IBISWorld] and a further three million Australian workers are looking for a post-COVID-19 career change [source: ING Future Focus Report].

Australia has long understood the importance of founding new startups and growing scaleup companies. Victorian startups and scaleups contributed $4.6b in revenue the last year [source: Launch Vic x Deloitte Access Economics], and the global startup economy grew three to four times faster than any other economy in 2019 [source: Startup Genome].

The startup and innovation space is ready and poised to welcome an army of upskilled innovators to lead the economic recovery and as Victoria looks toward the future and the post-coronavirus economic recovery, the nation’s leading tech and innovation hub, YBF and the Victorian Government, have formed a partnership to deliver a pilot program centred around upskilling corporate Victorians for the rebuilding of the economy.

The pilot program, called the Startup Immersion Program (SIP), will immerse experienced, corporate talent that has been displaced or is looking for a change. It is a first-of-its-kind program in Australia.

Australia’s growth hinges on innovation and more importantly, the individuals and families impacted by job loss. YBF and the Victorian Government are on a mission to accelerate job creation and the development of new startup businesses.

The pilot program’s primary focus is aimed at those who would like to begin the journey of a startup entrepreneur or for those who wish to acquire the skills to become stronger leaders of innovation within large organisations (intrapreneurship).

The curriculum, developed and delivered by YBF’s Executive Leadership Team – a team made up of former executives from GE, Motorola, BP, PwC, Ericsson, Wesfarmers – along with guest instructors from some of Australia’s leading startups and scaleups, will include foundation courses on operating startups and managing innovation, raising capital, facilitating innovation inside large organisations, marketing, enterprise sales, and building the right team.

The program has a limited number of placements and is free to qualified participants from a broad range of professional backgrounds. Experienced professionals, having 15 or more years of experience, are invited to apply to the program, provided that they can commit to the time to complete the courses and the immersion segment.

Throughout the program, participants will be considered full members of the YBF community and will have access to all facilities, community channels, founders’ network, and perks.

Kate Eriksson (pictured), who recently joined YBF as Chief Program Officer will be leading SIP. Kate is a former PwC Partner and Head of Disruption and previously ran telecommunications giant Ericsson’s innovation centre in Silicon Valley.

Kate said, “Some of the world’s greatest innovative breakthroughs occurred during or just after economic downturns. We’re excited to be working with the Victorian Government on this important pilot program to reposition professional Victorians to stimulate the growth of Australia’s new economy.”

Farley Blackman, CEO of YBF said, “The YBF Startup Immersion Program is so important for Victoria’s economic recovery. We’re excited to launch this pilot program in partnership with the Victorian Government – a program aimed at reinvigorating the ecosystem. Individuals looking to move into the startup space or those displaced by the pandemic will be fast-tracked along the road of entrepreneurship, eventually launching new tech startups into Victoria’s already thriving ecosystem. Importantly, this pilot will inform the future design of a new YBF program suite which will enable entrepreneurs and intrapreneurs to accelerate their impact as they generate real value in their fields of choice, ultimately underpinning job creation and economic growth.”

The pilot program is unlike any other program in Australia. One of the key highlights is the immersion component, where participants will have the opportunity to experience what it’s like to actually work in a high-growth company. Participants will have the opportunity to practice their newly-acquired skills within some of Victoria’s top startups and scaleups including Tradeplus24 Australia, July, Mr. Yum, Who Gives a Crap and Lucid Software.

Adam Lane, Managing Director of Tradeplus24 Australia said, “It’s great to support YBF as they help shape the post-pandemic recovery. Tradeplus24 Australia is delighted to be a Startup Immersion Program partner. There is a lot of talent in Victoria and getting them reskilled in entrepreneurship is crucial as we rebuild. We look forward to hosting participants from the initial pilot program.”

Justin Lafeen, Director of Sales, APAC for Lucid Software said, “Lucid chose Victoria as its APAC headquarters and we are committed to helping the state’s economic recovery in response to the global pandemic. Working with YBF on the pilot Startup Immersion Program and supplying reskilled professionals with an immersion experience will provide the practical tools needed to jumpstart a new wave of entrepreneurialism. We’re excited to be YBF’s partner!”

The Startup Immersion Program joins YBF’s existing innovation programs and hubs including the LawTech Hub (a partnership with Lander & Rogers); the PropTech Hub (a partnership with Honeywell); SquareGrape (a partnership with Treasury Wine Estates); and the YBF Fintech Hub (a partnership with the Victorian Government).

Visit the YBF Startup Immersion Program website here: ybfimmersion.com