In January iAccelerate welcomed its first ever Social Entrepreneurs In Residence.

iAccelerate is pleased to announce the appointment of Aly Khalifa and Jason Graham-Nye to the positions of Expert in Residence and Social Entrepreneur in Residence respectively.

With the appointment of Aly and Jason iAccelerate is strengthening its commitment to supporting our entrepreneurs to make real and lasting social impact.

Aly Khalifa is a design and engineering entrepreneur specialising in invention development. Aly believes that collaborating with experts across diverse disciplines leads to revolutionary new products, technologies and methodologies. Aly’s latest effort as a co-founder of Oceanworks is to capture ocean debris and transform it into purified and useful products for global brands across the spectrum.

Jason Graham-Nye is the founder & CEO of gDiapers a US and EU based environmentally friendly baby nappy company grounded in Cradle to Cradle design principles. He’s passionate about disruptive innovation, company culture and impact capital.


Global Experience

Aly and Jason bring valuable global experience to iAccelerate and continue to inspire people to change the world– from creating meaningful social change to innovating products with a reduced environmental impact.

The new EIR positions will provide the strategic leadership of the development of iAccelerate’s new social stream to be incorporated into the iAccelerate acceleration program in 2019. Aly is also set to embed Design Thinking and advanced manufacturing capability into the iAccelerate program.

Aly and Jason will also be undertaking a mentor role during their time at iAccelerate to further support our entrepreneurs and socialpreneurs on a one-to-one basis, and providing connections to global organisations and international markets.


Social Impact

For the past two years iAccelerate has invested in highlighting the importance of social impact in the innovation ecosystem, through the creation of the iAccelerate 4IMPACT conference held across the last two years. Social entrepreneurship has long been a passion of iAccelerate’s CEO Omar Khalifa:

“Social entrepreneurs are change makers, not simply money makers. They see creating profit as a means not an end. They work across sectors and while they may use many of the same approaches other startups would, there are very important differences in approach and funding too.”

“Motivated not by exits and financial windfalls, social entrepreneurs and the enterprises they commit themselves to, deliver meaningful impact by generating profits not for its own sake or to simply enrich themselves or others; but for re-investing in creating even more impact.”

Aly will join iAccelerate for 12months as part of the Australian Government’s Incubator Support Initiative, iAccelerate was successful in securing funding for an Expert In Residence.

Jason will join iAccelerate for 6 months with the assistance of funding from UOW Research and Innovation Division and the School of Health and Society. Jason’s partnership with the University will serve as a catalyst for the expertise within the School of Health and Society to train and equip UOW students who are passionate about social change through innovation & entrepreneurship. The partnership between iAccelerate and the School of Health and Society will also provide the groundwork for the development of a collaborative training & research platform to support future social entrepreneurs in the region.

About Aly

Aly Khalifa is a serial entrepreneur that combines his training in engineering and design to product innovation. He has launched products for some of the most exciting consumer brands and has garnered more than 2 dozen patents, been nominated for a Grammy Award and has exhibited in the Louvre. He has become an international voice for design entrepreneurship and social impact, leading to lectures at conferences worldwide. Aly believes that collaborating with experts across diverse disciplines leads to revolutionary new products, technologies and methodologies.

Trained as both a mechanical engineer and product designer, Aly has over 25 years of experience in designing, engineering and manufacturing unique technologies around the world. Aly is also currently a Social Entrepreneur-In-Residence at NC State University, North Carolina.

“I will be there to support entrepreneurs who want to forge ahead with their social impact projects/businesses and need mentorship in design thinking and advanced manufacturing.”

“I’m excited to be reunited with my brother, Omar, who heads up iAccelerate. I will also have some time to focus on my own startup, Oceanworks, which is growing a marketplace to harvest and repurpose plastic from our oceans. I will be growing our Asia Pacific operations there. Meanwhile Designbox will continue to operate with our awesome staff.”

Aly will be presenting two educate programs while at iAccelerate ‘Design Thinking: Creative Business Strategy’ and ‘Launching Products’. Additionally Aly plans to apply his various experiences in fostering Inventive Culture to the iAccelerate Community.

About Jason

After 10 years of running his own social impact company, gDiapers in the US, UK and Europe with his wife Kim, they have returned home to Sydney to raise their sons as Aussies. They continue to run the business and are finding ways to share all the things they have learned launching and running a triple-bottom line business that creates meaning and money.

gDiapers embraced Cradle to Cradle product design very early on and were one of the first certified B Corporations. As a teacher before launching the company, Jason was looking for ways to work with Australia’s next generation of social entrepreneurs and iAccelerate provided the perfect opportunity.

“My role is ‘Social Entrepreneur in Residence’ and I will be teaching a social stream made up of modules that offer Social Entrepreneurs the practical tools to develop their own leadership style, build an impactful, effective culture and gain key skills so they can raise capital from mission-aligned investors.”

“While teaching, my wife and I continue to run the business and will be able to share our ongoing, day to day learnings with our iAccelerate participants in real time.

As luck would have it, Aly and I worked together while we were living in the US so this is a great reunion for me.”


Welcome Aly and Jason to iAccelerate!

Share this story:

Next Post