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A new group of entrepreneurs and small business start-ups are emerging at Runway Geelong headquarters in North Geelong.
The City’s Enterprise Geelong team is supporting small businesses in an entrepreneur and start-up program aimed at developing and establishing a new start-up business sector in our region, creating new employment opportunities and attracting more investment into Geelong.
The City funded a six month program for nine start-ups in 2017 after the businesses successfully pitched their business ideas to a panel of experts. The program provided the successful applicants, across a range of industries, with access to business coaching, mentors and investors as well as a purpose built co-working space in Geelong.
One of those businesses was ecokit: a sustainable, eco-friendly, DIY kit home company suitable for owner builders. Ecokit founder Camilla Novotna has spent the past three years developing an energy efficient kit-home that uses natural and recyclable materials.
She said after spending years developing the product she realized they didn’t know how to develop the business itself. “Runway Geelong helped us define the target market, test it and gave us a firm direction. The mentoring and support from management, mentors, council and the other start-ups was invaluable,” she said.
Runway also helped Camilla correctly restructure the company and improve marketing and business strategies. After preparing their prototype for almost a year, Camilla said they were currently manufacturing it would be building it in the next few months. “We have a lot of interest and 2018 looks very positive so far.”
A further group of businesses will be eligible to pitch for City funding through Runway Geelong from July 2018. Runway Geelong is funded by the Victorian Government’s LaunchVic initiative.