The University of Newcastle, Australia

New workshops to help Hunter businesses and industry to innovate

Wednesday, 13 September 2017

A new program of half-day workshops aimed at budding entrepreneurs and corporate intrapreneurs to provide them with the basic building blocks they need to take their ideas to market in a quick and practical way.

Startups are disrupting our world. They are fast, agile and have the power to affect entire industries and economies on a global scale. The lean startup approach to innovation can quickly build high-growth businesses through flexible methods which bring new ideas and products to fruition faster and more efficiently than in many larger organisations.

UON’s I2N Lean Startup Workshops provide a program of three practical workshops which teach entrepreneurs and company intrapreneurs lean startup methodologies across three key stages of business development: Customer Validation, Business Model Generation and Product Design.

Delivered at the University of Newcastle’s Three76 Innovation Hub on Hunter Street, participants can take part in individual 3-hour workshops or attend all three workshops as a series. Participants get to experience what it feels like to be a part of an agile innovation team utilising a fast-paced ‘learn by doing’ approach.

UON Pro Vice-Chancellor (Industry Engagement & Innovation), Dr Sarah Pearson said UON is proud to be delivering key capability building initiatives such as the I2N Lean Startup Workshops to Hunter-based entrepreneurs and established companies, as part of its innovation agenda.

“What is really interesting about lean startup methods is they are increasingly being used by government agencies and large corporates to maintain relevance in a fast-changing world and remain on the front-foot of innovation,” she said. “I2N Lean Startup Workshops teach this methodology to emerging startups and established organisations, adding another essential element to the Hunter’s innovation ecosystem.”

During the workshops, collaborative teams work on case studies with the support of experienced facilitators, allowing diverse perspectives and team dynamics to enhance learning outcomes. The workshops are challenging however participants leave with practical methods to employ lean startup innovation in their everyday business practices.

The I2N Lean Startup Workshops build on UON’s existing activity in the local innovation ecosystem including the Hunter Innovation Project and Integrated Innovation Network (both partially-funded by the NSW State Government) and the recently launched Icon Regional Accelerator (delivered in partnership with Slingshot and the recipient of Federal Government Incubator Funding).

I2N Lean Startup Workshops at a glance:

  • Three workshops which can be delivered individually or as a series to government and corporate groups at Three76 Hub or business headquarters.
  • Customer Validation Workshop – 26 September
  • Business Models Workshop - 7 November
  • Product Design Workshop – 5 December
  • A discount of 50% for I2N Lean Startup Workshops is available to eligible individuals who have been assessed as committed to developing a high-growth potential startup.
  • A pilot of the workshops resulted in a net promoter score of 50.

What participants are saying:

  • “I2N Lean Startup Workshop was highly practical and effectively explained the importance of customer validation and methods to approach a problem through the lens of a customer. The industry experience shared by facilitators enriched the delivery and made for a highly insightful session.”
  • “The approach by the I2N Lean Startup Workshop facilitators was knowledgeable and fun and I would definitely recommend signing up if you want to delve deeper into your business idea.”
  • “I left the workshop with practical tools to help me discover whether my potential customers would pay to use my product. Two weeks on I have learnt a lot about my customer needs and tweaked my idea already. Priceless.”

For more information, visit or contact Siobhan Curran, Three76 Hub Operations Manager on 02 4921 6951.

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