Business is built on innovation.
The wheel was only invented once, but thanks to a few competitors over a few thousand years, people are now able to drive safer than ever before. It’s the same with your business. Really focus on what aspects of your competitor’s product is giving you the creeps. Are they offering the same design or service? Then it’s time to move on.
As hard as it is to let go of a tried and true strategy that you’ve found successful, there are rarely any businesses that look and feel the same as they did when they first began. It’s those improvements that could make you a better and bigger business and drive the change that your industry needs to evolve and develop.
Apple wasn’t the first company to play with music file sharing; it was just one of the first to do it well with their software, iTunes. A few years ago, Samsung knew that people loved watching videos on their smartphones so they made a minor adjustment and added dual-front speakers to their handsets.
Funding for startups up for grabs from muru-D
Telstra-backed start-up accelerator program muru-D, offers 6-month programs with upfront seed funding, industry connections and institutional resources to help businesses kick-start new ventures.
Since launching in 2013 they’ve grown to become Australia’s largest start-up accelerator – with programs across the country and access to mentors like Annie Parker, Co-founder of muru-D’s co-founder who is now Global Head of Startups at Microsoft.
“Success is many things – customer numbers, revenue, number of employees, international growth,” said Parker.
“Our key measure for muru-D is growing the digital start-up scene in Australia and I believe we have made a great start.”
Recent alumni include startups like Smart Paddock, an agri-tech business that produces tracking devices to help farmers monitor live stock.
2. Getting local support: Brisbane
Muru-D is partnered with Brisbane co-working community River City Labs, which has helped over 700 startups since launching in 2012.
Steve Baxter, founder of River City Labs and current CEO of Transition Level Investments, said the initiative is a positive contributor in the local economy.
"Queensland has the ability to become Australia’s leading start-up state in the coming decade. If we take positive control of the growth of our entrepreneurial community, the returns to Queensland and Australia could be enormous. The Crossroads Report by StartupAUS identified that high-growth tech start-ups could account for around $109 billion and 540,000 new jobs by 2033 – and we want to see Queensland attracting as many of these jobs as we can,” says Baxter.
3. Education: Macquarie University’s entrepreneurship major
Macquarie University includes an entrepreneurship major in their Bachelor of Commerce program as a way to to develop the next breed of business leaders.
The major teaches tomorrow’s entrepreneurs to assess the market, create innovative solutions and take risks, leading to standout businesses.
Developed by the Faculty of Business and Economics, the Entrepreneurship major combines theory and practice through experimentation and application of theoretical knowledge in industry-based simulations and projects.
Professor Mark Gabbott, former executive dean of the Faculty of Business and Economics and current dean of business at the University of Wollongong in Dubai said, "Australian businesses need to strike the right balance between entrepreneurship and intrapreneurship in order to capitalise on the market. (An intrapreneur is someone who utilises their skills to create something useful for someone else.) Innovation by entrepreneurs can come from outside an organisation and within; corporate intrapreneurship also has a place in delivering a competitive advantage.
“To keep businesses in Australia and sustain economic growth, business schools need to start teaching broader business skills to equip students with the necessary expertise to identify opportunities and show commercial awareness for new economic activity while remaining credible and authentic,” says Gabbott.
Areas of study include the foundations of entrepreneurship and new venture management, business models and organisation structure, finance and regulation for new ventures, plus an entrepreneurship project.
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Originally published 25th August 2014. Updated 5th August 2019.