iAccelerate’s International Symposium on Regional Innovation Ecosystems




noun: symposium; plural noun: symposia; plural noun: symposiums

1. a conference or meeting to discuss a particular subject.

2. a collection of essays or papers on a particular subject by a number of contributors.

3. a drinking party or convivial discussion, especially as held in ancient Greece after a banquet (and notable as the title of a work by Plato).



iAccelerate has supported over 57 companies and created over 119 new jobs out of its current 70 seat iAccelerate Hub in the last two years. 46% of iAccelerate companies have female co-founders. In June 2016 iAccelerate will open its $18M purpose built Centre which will house 280 entrepreneurs that will transform the economic future of the Illawarra.

To continue the information sharing and mutual support that has characterized our growth to date, iAccelerate is hosting an invite-only focused discussion amongst the leaders of international innovation ecosystems July 12-14th 2016. The purpose of the symposium is to learn from each other best practices for transforming the future of local and national economies. The focus will be on regional and university centred ecosystems.




In addition to invited guests, members of the iAccelerate community are invited to attend the conference for a nominal fee. Ticket options include access to the 3 Day Symposium for $295 + booking fees or tickets to individual sessions starting from $95 + booking fees. Secure your ticket to the iAccelerate Symposium via EventbritePlease note the after hours events are by invitation only. The 3 Day ticket does not provide access to these events. 




Jerry Engel


Adjunct Professor Emeritus, Haas School of Business, University of California Berkeley, UC Berkeley Centre for Executive Education, National Science Foundation, Adaptive Insights

Jerry Engel is a leader in entrepreneurship education, venture capital, corporate innovation and regional economic development. A veteran of Silicon Valley, Engel joined the University of California at Berkeley in 1991 to found the Lester Center for Entrepreneurship. As an adjunct professor at the Haas School of Business he has instructed in both the School's MBA and Executive Education programs specializing in Entrepreneurship, New Venture Finance, Corporate Innovation, and Venture Capital.

Jerry is a leader in the Lean Startup movement. Collaborating closely with Steve Blank, chief architect of the Lean LaunchPad method, he helped develop the curriculum and co-authored the LaunchPad Educators Guide. 

He has taught the Lean LaunchPad at U.C. Berkeley and across the U.S. Additionally, as Faculty Director of a highly rated faculty development program in the U.S., conducted a Berkeley, Stanford and Columbia, he has trained several hundred faculty in the method.

Professor Engel is also co-founder and General Partner of Monitor Venture Partners, a venture capital firm investing in early stage technology ventures.

Engel’s most recent research and publications focus on the nature of innovation processes in firms, communities and global networks, capstoned by the publication of his book Global Clusters of Innovation.

Recently Published

Global Clusters of Innovation: Entrepreneurial Engines of Economic Growth around the World


Joe Steensma, EdD, MPH, CIH


Professor of Practice, Environmental Health and Social Entrepreneurship

George W. Brown School of Social Work

Scholar, Institute for Public Health

Washington University in St. Louis

Sr. Scholar, Global Good Fund

A successful entrepreneur who has led thriving public health focused businesses, Dr. Steensma joined the Brown School and received an appointment to  the position of Full Professor of Practice, Public Health and Social Entrepreneurship, in fall of 2014. Previously Dr. Steensma served as a professor at the Keith Busse School of Business and Entrepreneurial Leadership and in the graduate program in Environmental Science at the University of Saint Francis in Fort Wayne, Ind (USA), where he has also served as the Director of Entrepreneurship Programs. 

At the Brown School, he is teaching classes in biostatistics, environmental health and social entrepreneurship; he is also helping the school to commercialize some of the innovative products and services that have been developed there. He is especially interested in social entrepreneurism, sustainability and the role enterprise plays in advancing societies.

Dr. Steensma he founded Industrial Solutions Group, which grew to become one of the premier occupational and environmental health companies in the U.S. before being sold to Concentra (Humana) in 2007. He continues to be very active in entrepreneurial endeavors, having been the founder or co-founder of five other companies. He has been active on many non-profit boards and has served as the President of the Fort Wayne/Allen County Board of Health from 2008-2014. ?

He also loves the outdoors and writes often about birds. His latest project is a book about the birds of Bahamas titled “A Field Guide to the Birds of North Andros Island”.


Munya Andrews


Munya is an Indigenous woman, originally from the Kimberley region of Western Australia.

Her diverse 30 plus year career from being an author, university lecturer and effective senior public servant to a successful barrister, attest to Munya’s strong sense of resilience and her capacity to adapt and innovate. This success has been borne from a background of relatively high disadvantage, social exclusion and other challenges such as being removed from her birth mother at a tender age to being cared for by another Indigenous family, being hearing impaired and having not spoken until 5 years of age.

Forwarded by the University of Melbourne as a ‘leading Australian thinker,’ Munya’s intellectual interests and pursuits are varied and eclectic. She is equally enthralled by science, mythology and comparative religions and is intrigued by the ways in which these three disciplines interact and inform the other. In her book, The Seven Sisters of the Pleiades she analyses several world myths on this famous star cluster to reveal our common humanity while also exploring the links between science and spirituality. Passionate about her Indigenous heritage, Munya teaches Aboriginal Dreamtime as a way of maintaining her people’s language and cultural traditions in a world where Indigenous peoples struggle to assert their Indigeneity.

Proving the common adage that all lawyers are frustrated thespians, when she is not parading in her horse wig and gown, Munya has been known to grace the stage on more than one occasion, including a performance at the Lincoln Center on Broadway. An accomplished, passionate public speaker, she moves, delights, informs, entertains and captivates her audience.



Symposium Agenda


Tuesday, 12 July


9.30 – 10.30am Welcome breakfast at iAccelerate Centre
10.30 – 11.30am Guided Tour of iAccelerate Facility
11.30 – 12.30pm Presentation “This iAccelerate Journey” by Dr Elizabeth Eastland, Founder, iAccelerate, CSIRO
12.30 – 1.45pm


1.45 – 2.00pm

Official opening of Symposium

2.00 – 3.00pm

Presentation – Startup Boot Camp 1: “Successful Entrepreneurship - Identifying, Assessing and   Exploiting Opportunities in the Technology Sector.” by Prof Jerry Engel, University of California Berkeley

3.00 – 4.00pm

Meet the Startups – Panel Discussion, Facilitated by Dr Elizabeth Eastland, CSIRO

4.00 –5.00pm

Presentation – Startup Boot Camp 2:by Prof Jerry Engel

5.30 – 8.00pm

iAccelerate Entrepreneur Club Meeting - Key Note Speaker, Prof Jerry Engel + Networking - Invitation Only


DINNER – iAccelerate Centre – Invitation Only

Wednesday, 13 July  


9:00-10:30am Clusters of Innovation – Regional Focus, Promoting Innovation & Entrepreneurship in Regions, Presented by Prof Jerry Engel, University of California Berkeley
11.00 – 1.00pm Symposium Participant Workshops / 2 greatest challenges and 2 challenges they have overcome. Topic areas nominated by participants. – Facilitated by Prof Jerry Engel
1.00 – 3.00pm LUNCH
3.00 – 4.30pm Peer to Peer Discussion – Working Groups, Facilitated by Prof Jerry Engel
6.00pm - Late DINNER + Official Cocktail Party– Destination Wollongong Official Sponsor – VIPs and Special Guest Speaker. North Beach Pavilion, North Wollongong - Invitation Only

Thursday, 14 July


7.30 – 7.45am Female Co-Founder Pitch
7.45 – 9.00am Women’s Entrepreneurial Breakfast Series – Guest Speaker Munya Andrews
Morning Session  1 Social Ventures
9.00 – 9.40am Social Entrepreneurship and Contemporary Challenges - Co-chaired by Prof Joe Steensma, Washington University and Prof Heather Yeatman, UOW.
9.40 – 10.15am Primer on the logic model of solving problems using enterprise, Prof Joe Steensma
10.15 – 10.45am COFFEE
10.45 – 11.30am Group Discussions - ALL
11.30 – 12.30pm Report back / Pitch Ideas – ALL
Morning Session 2 Parallel Session for Startups – Peer to Peer Learning – Building The Customer Base – led by Nathan Harper, Founder Beer Mogul Games, iAccelerate Company.
12.30 – 1.30pm LUNCH
Afternoon Session Women in Entrepreneurship
1.30pm - 2.00pm Female Participating in Entrepreneurship – Facilitated by Cara Rogers and MunyaAndrews, Evolve Communities.
2.00 – 3.00pm

Sharing Stories:

iAccelerate and Gender Balance, Presented by Dr Elizabeth Eastland, iAccelerate Founder, CSIRO

Robo Gals – Presented by Destiny Paris, Rachel Weine, University of Wollongong

3.00 – 4.30pm

Café Conversation and Marketplace to Invent / Share – Female participation in ecosystems –   Exploration of participant experience in ecosystems. – Facilitated by Evolve Communities.

4.30 – 5.30pm

WRAP UP – Change the World – ALL – Facilitated by Evolve Communities.

5.30 – 7.00pm

Drinks and Nibbles – Final Goodbyes on iAccelerate Terrace – Invitation Only




Department of Industry 



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For further information regarding the iAccelerate Symposium or to discuss Sponsorship Packages please contact Melissa Ryan mryan@uow.edu.au

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