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Launch Pad Prepared Founders for the Mission through New Startup Pre-accelerator Program ‘Pre-flight’

On 8-9 February 2022, Launch Pad’s first ever startup pre-accelerator program ‘Pre-flight’ was officially launched. For people who wanted to have a taste of our accelerator programs, ‘Pre-flight’ was an intensive two-day pre-accelerator experience that focused on a compressed version of what Launch Pad normally does in the Ignition program. 

Our experienced entrepreneur in residence (EIR) team Jamie Pride and Jonathon Wolfe, two entrepreneurs at heart, prepared a diverse cohort of 13 founders for the mission – through the modules of ideation, discovery and validation, the founders took their ideas through to their own version of a clickable prototype. 

“By the end of the program, we’d have substantially informed founders around our process to look at a structured way of commercialising your idea, and give them a taste of what their MVP looks like,” explained Jamie Pride, Launch Pad Chief EIR.  

These entrepreneurs had a chance to share and work on their ideas: under the theme of validation (and invalidation) – the single most important element of every startup, our founders learnt how to interrogate the market and gather evidence that may challenge their view of the world.   

Alifyah Murtaza, Co-founder of Noorix Digital Solutions, an event management system that also fulfills the purpose of email marketing, was excited to meet and interview Mabel Joe, our Community and Operations Officer, who has over 10 years of experience in the events industry.   

“Launch Pad has given me the basis and guidance to move ahead with a startup idea – You know what to do but don’t know how to do and that question of ‘don’t know’ is resolved by Launch Pad,” she elaborated. 

Alifyah was interviewing another founder as part of the Customer Interview - Validation exercise

After documenting all the assumptions that underpin their business in the canvases on Day One, founders moved on to the next part of validating their business ideas: reducing risks and uncertainty through experimentation.  

Everyone got a taster of Jamie Pride’s masterclass in prototyping – from a low-fidelity paper/whiteboard version to high-fidelity Keynotopia prototypes. 

Jamie Pride instructed founders in paper/whiteboard prototyping through his own CrickEats – UberEats for Cricket example.

Stressing the importance of experiment velocity and “getting out of the building”, Jonathon Wolfe, Launch Pad EIR, explained the process of taking assumptions through to facts, and building relationships with the potential early adopters during the process.   

This is part of what made Stephen Pascoe, Co-founder of Tabloom, believe that ‘Pre-flight’ is “an excellent introduction to the real world of startups”. 

“Its emphasis on real world experience from two excellent teachers sets it apart from all the other programs / ‘dreamgrams’ out there,” said Stephen. “Having teachers/mentors with real world scars and a genuine desire to help you succeed is just amazing.” 

“With Jamie and Jonathon I was able to clarify, crystallise and now focus on the next chapter,” Winston L. Reinboth from Go Drivin shared.  

“A great reality check. I came away refreshed and more enthusiastic with a belief that in following their guidance and direction one has a far greater opportunity for success and to mitigate risks,” he further added. Winston is very eager to continue his journey on to “Ignition and Beyond”. 

Gewargis Davidoff, Director of Comet Studios and a familiar face at Launch Pad’s new home Parramatta Engineering Innovation Hub (PEIH), was very happy about his experience at ‘Pre-flight’. 

“These 2 days had been an inspiring collection of presentations, workshops and discussions. I genuinely believe that the accelerator program will benefit anyone who dreams of big ideas and lives to make them a reality,” he explained. 

Smile for a 'Pre-flight' group photo!

‘Pre-flight’ isn’t about building ‘quick-hit’ startups – our purpose is to develop resilient founders, equip you with the skills, entrepreneurial capabilities and the right mindset to grow as a startup founder. 

Being the first and successful event of 2022 that was hosted in-person at our new space PEIH, ‘Pre-flight’ marked the new year of exciting changes at Launch Pad. We look forward to more exciting programs to come throughout the year to support more founders on their startup journey, and to support Western Sydney University’s commitment to drive innovation in the Western Sydney region.