Get ready to learn a new way of translating ideas into impact.

I2N’s Navigator is our early stage program that equips you with the skills and mindset to discover the massive potential of your  invention or research project. This 2-day face-to-face experience will familiarise you with practical tools and an action plan for turning ideas into impact.

You will be introduced to powerful tools and frameworks that shine new light on your pathway to impact. This includes giving you time to 'get out of the building’ and gather information about:

  • The potential market for your idea;
  • The people that have the problem you are trying to solve;
  • The most important aspects of the solution to develop; and
  • The first versions of your value proposition

You will come away with the ability to confidently present your impact potential to stakeholders and have a clear direction for likely pathways to impact for your idea. Get ready for some challenging, but highly rewarding few days.

For more information on the Navigator and Validator program register for the I2N Programs Info Session where you'll hear the first hand experience of researchers and founders from previous cohorts.

"An invaluable experience for any emerging entrepreneur or innovator that brings focus and understanding to an already in place business, or ideas in the initial period of contemplation." Maggie H.

"I have gained a lot of insight into how to approach my research passion... The program has given me the tools to find real solutions to provide to my stakeholders." Emmalee F.

"Exceeded my expectations. I was grateful that the teaching could be adapted to social enterprises as well as money-making startups." Patricia P.

Important dates

Applications open now

Applications close 11:59 PM Sunday 6 June 2021

The program runs from 1-2 July 2021.

Learn essential skills
  • Develop and refine your impact story
  • Articulate and iterate the unique value proposition of your idea
  • Identify and validate the potential impact of your idea through the lens of end-users, beneficiaries and stakeholders
  • Present your idea that's focused on the problem you are solving
Who should attend
  • Honours and postgraduate students
  • PhD students
  • Early and mid-career researchers

The next cohort of Navigator (1-2 Jul) is focused on serving researchers centred around the translation of research into real-world outcomes.

What you will experience

This highly interactive 2-day program will see you get hands-on with the various components of exploring the impact potential of your idea or research. You will participate in simulations and work on your own idea under the guidance of an expert facilitator at I2N Hub Honeysuckle. Gain strategies and access to tools for identifying and validating the impact of your idea, including:

  • Leveraging the experience and skills of yourself and those around you
  • Applying tools derived from lean startup, innovation, and design thinking
  • Understanding how to speak to customers to gain insights
  • Progressing your idea towards relevance and value
  • Effectively communicating the problem you are solving and the impact of your idea
Program schedule
Day 1 - Thu 1 July 2021 Day 2 - Fri 2 July 2021

Face-to-face workshop
(2.5 hours)

  • Program introduction
  • Making impact happen
  • Solving problems that matter

Face-to-face workshop
(2.5 hours)

  • Customer interview insights
  • Early adopters pyramid
  • Communicating your idea

Face-to-face workshop
(1.5 hours)

  • Preparing for stakeholder conversations

Face-to-face workshop
(1.5 hours)

  • Playback preparation

Face-to-face workshop
(2 hours)
12:30PM - 2:30PM

  • Critical assumptions
  • Group coaching

Face-to-face workshop
(2 hours)
12:30PM - 2:30PM

  • Action plan and next steps
  • Reflections and insights

(1 hour)

  • End of day presentation from guest speaker

Day end


Emily Chang has led the design and execution of pre-accelerator and acceleration programs in Australia, including CSIRO ON. She is an organisational and capability development professional with experience working across the private industry, government, and the research sector. Her core strengths are facilitation, experimental learning program design and management, leadership development, and change management.

Jonathan Lacey has a background as a researcher in photonics at the University of Melbourne. After 10 years in Silicon Valley working with a Fortune 500 company and a number of startups, Jonathan led a Monash University spin-out as CEO. An experienced business leader and researcher, Jonathan understands the value of commercialisation having worked more recently at CSIRO in business development and as a CSIRO ON facilitator.


University of Newcastle staff, students, and alumni receive complimentary access to the program.

For participants with no affiliation to the University, there is a $990 fee payable prior to commencement of the program.


All workshops and coaching will take place at I2N Hub Honeysuckle, Q Building, Cnr of Worth Place and Honeysuckle Drive.

Participants who attend all sessions and demonstrate minimum customer discovery will receive a certificate of achievement.

The program has a limited number of participants to ensure a personal experience and is a competitive process.

Applications are reviewed with offers made to applicants who have best attempted to articulate the problem they are working on.

Why I2N?

The University of Newcastle's I2N works with individuals and organisations from across the Hunter region and beyond to turn ideas and challenges into opportunities. As a leading driver of economic and business growth, the I2N cultivates an entrepreneurial mindset that is behind many of the region's most innovative businesses and leaders.

Our programs are more than theory. They are about action and equipping you with practical tools and strategies necessary to have an immediate impact on your innovation journey.

Make an application Navigator

The University of Newcastle acknowledges the traditional custodians of the lands within our footprint areas: Awabakal, Darkinjung, Biripai, Worimi, Wonnarua, and Eora Nations. We also pay respect to the wisdom of our Elders past and present.