Our Moon Shot

Dear MAP community,

As 2013 concludes, we reflect on this year’s achievements and introduce you to our goals for next year.

2013 was MAP’s second year of operation.  Compared with our inaugural year, we received more than double the number of applications, increased the number of participating startups from 4 to 6, and secured support from the Faculty of Business and Economics and the Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health Sciences.

We intensified our community engagement by expanding our offering of events for staff, students, alumni and the public to include Master Classes, Public Forums and a partnership with the DICE lecture series.  We also introduced the Startup Velocity program to overwhelmingly positive feedback.  This program provided budding entrepreneurs with a practical and theoretical introduction to entrepreneurship, and will be an essential component of MAP in years to come.

MAP owes its success in 2013 to its network of supporters.  Our mentors, in particular, are the cornerstones of the MAP community.  They generously volunteer time and patience to help young entrepreneurs succeed; they share expertise and insights as guest speakers at our events, and tirelessly offer encouragement and direction to our management team.  To our mentors – ‘thank you’ is inadequate, but we want you to know that we recognise, appreciate and are honoured to receive your support.

Looking ahead into 2014, our goal is for MAP to become the best entrepreneurial program in the Asia-Pacific region.  To achieve this, we will focus on three things.

First, MAP operations will be defined into two branches.  The three month long MAP Accelerator Program will continue in an updated format.  In addition, MAP events will run from February to October to engage everybody in the entrepreneurial ecosystem in Melbourne.  As well as continuing our Master Class and Public Forum series, this will also include a specialist Feeder Program to be introduced in February 2014, and several Startup Velocity intakes throughout the year.  These events will provide opportunities to up-skill potential applicants to the Accelerator Program.

Second, mentor engagement will be revamped to include both vertical and horizontal engagement.  Vertical engagement will ensure MAP startups progress adequately over the course of the program via accountability to a board of advisors.  Each startup will establish its own board at the beginning of the program through a series of meets-and-greets. Each board will constitute a Super Mentor, a Domain Expert and an Operational Mentor.  Horizontal engagement will expose MAP startups to inspiring and relevant mentors they may not otherwise come across.  This will be achieved by inviting top mentors to share their stories, learnings and insights with the MAP startups in a regular and informal setting.

Third, we will apply the best practices of accelerator programs around the world to MAP operations.  Our Manager, Rohan Workman, visited many leading universities in the US this October (blog post to come in the new year) and saw similarities between some of their best programs and MAP.  Operational and strategic tips were also picked up to enhance the MAP program even further in 2014.

MAP is itself a startup.  We have learnt and evolved a lot in the past two years, and our growth will only accelerate from here.  Our goal for 2014 is to become the leading entrepreneurial program in the Asia-Pacific region.  Our ultimate aspiration – our moon shot – is to become the leading entrepreneurial program worldwide.  We are excited by this challenge, and we believe that with your support MAP can become a rocket ship for many people.  We look forward to travelling this journey with you.

This post was contributed by Wen Xi, MAP Associate. Follow her on Twitter @Wen_Xi_