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La Trobe University Venture Capital Funds

Discuss how La Trobe University can leverage its assets to help the community and existing businesses in Melbourne

La Trobe University continues to generate profits and revenues from education. The aim of the institution is to advance the requirements of the society and community through programs and projects to champion innovation, creativity and supporting research and development. To fulfill these numerous requirements, La Trobe University Venture Capital Funds would contribute to the development and research capabilities of the society. La Trobe University allocates a given percentage of yearly revenues on the project and may source additional funds from the society e.g. business partners and other stakeholders.

What are the market opportunities for this entrepreneurial based venture?

Motivation and creation of development opportunities are important but financing and appropriate support is a challenge. The Venture Capital Fund is targeted at the students, research facilities and other professionals from the institution who are ready to develop a product or a service. The opportunity for the funds is high because it is not a loan scheme rather an investment scheme to encourage research and development. Students and graduates face challenges in accessing funds to support research and development, and the fund would support such projects. The numerous technological start-ups trace its history to colleges and learning institutions: if these students and graduates are provided with resources and financing, it is easier for these individuals to develop the project. Hence, the project will improve the capability of students, graduates and institution research and development to develop products and services.

La Trobe University offers numerous courses and subject specialization meaning different sectors require funds. Some of the community members can also be targeted through the creation of incubation centre within the campuses. The purpose is to ensure the start-ups have the conducive environment and can collaborate with different individuals in developing the product or service. The incubation centre will have persons who provide guidance and enable the developers to engage with persons across the world in the development of the product or service. It enables bringing individuals from different fields in contributing towards creating the product. For example, health equipment that utilizes power needs an individual who has some backgrounds in electronics, another in mechanisms and another in medicine. The incubation centre and the university are able to avail an environment in which these different individuals can improve ideas. The success of these processes depends on funds, and through the Venture Capital fund, the students, graduates and society can benefit.

The individuals allocated the funds would have support from the institutional professions. The support would come in the form of consultants and the professors, and instructors of the institution will be encouraged to provide advice and guidelines. For example, the technical engineering departments can assist in developing the product while the professors teaching marketing can advice on marketing strategy. La Trobe University offers numerous courses ranging from medical based to business, meaning the persons allocated the funds receive appropriate advice and assistance. In addition, these professionals and experts enable the business or project avoid numerous pitfalls associated with start-ups or new projects. Therefore, the advice and guidance are integral to the success of projects.

How does it relate to La Trobe University’s mission and values statement?

La Trobe University mission and values are to encourage sustainability, development, creativity and target the society in generation and creation of ideas, which improves the society. All these are possible through the provision of appropriate resources and guidance. In teaching matters, the lecturers provide guidance and approaches of starting a project; most lecturers are ready to provide advice and direction in running projects, and this requirement can be used to engage the project developers in improving the projects. Therefore, the Venture Capital Fund would continue advancing the vision and mission of La Trobe University.

What resources are needed for the venture and what are the advantages/disadvantages to this entrepreneurial based venture?

The following are some of the resources required:

  • Allocation of funds and management of funds – the strategy that is normally employed is capital is given to the developers of a project and if the project generates income, the sponsor (in this case the University) gets a percentage of the profits and returns. However, accessing the original funds may be a problem and adjustment of internal expenses is required to release some funds to support the entrepreneurship requirement. In addition, the management of the funds and determination of viable projects may create additional challenges. It means a team has to be created to assess the projects and audit resource allocation. These processes require a team or a framework, which ensures the aims and objectives of the fund are achieved.

  • Advice, consultants, and experts – start-ups are numerous faced with numerous challenges and individuals providing advice and direction are important. Engagement with different experts and professors is integral in providing advice and guidelines to the funded projects or the targeted individuals. The consultants and experts would be requested to provide the services for free and should be viewed as a corporate social responsibility. However, determining the appropriate experts and consultants may be a challenge during start up of the program but with time, the program would become efficient and fulfill the expected outcomes.

  • Business sector and incubation centre – engagement with the community is important because the business society will provide avenues of selling and marketing the products. The society would also support the project through utilizing resources obtained in the incubation centers. The incubation centre needs different equipment and resources, and provision of these resources would improve the entrepreneurship capability.

  • Students/persons requiring the funds/society – these individuals are required t accomplish the requirements of the project. These stakeholders are supposed to understand the benefits of the project and be ready to support the project.

Generally, numerous resources are required to ensure the project comes to fruition. The different stakeholders are required to collaborate and support each other in ensuring the needs and requirements of the entrepreneurs are championed.