WSU Launch Pad – 2020 April Newsletter

By Rebecca Pham, 6 May 2020

April has been a busy month for us! It marks the first month where all our staff and startups have been working outside of the incubator.

 We’re pleased to announce that we’ve now shifted 100% of our incubator activities to online which includes…

  • A new online service to help Small Business with managing COVID-19 called ‘Innovating Through Adversity’ in partnership with NAB and Microsoft for Startups
  • The launch of a new Virtual Community Hub called ‘Launch Pad Live’ for all of our members to keep connected
  • We also kicked off our first Urban Futures PropTech Accelerator Program, delivered in collaborations with Landcom and welcomed our new Entrepreneur in Residence
  • Our Bachelor of Entrepreneurship – Gaming Design & Simulation students battled the COVID19 blues by playing Jamaica (a pirate-themed) Board Game online

Read all about it in this April newsletter!

Launch Pad News

Innovating Through Adversity

If your small business is losing sales due to the current crisis, if you’re faced with challenges to change your focus, or struggling to expand to meet new demand, help is available.

Western Sydney University Launch Pad’s ‘Innovating Through Adversity’ advisory service delivered in partnership with NAB and Microsoft for Startups offers online learning and mentoring to small businesses in Western Sydney impacted by COVID-19. Click here to find out more.

‘Innovating Through Adversity’ Case Studies

We are currently working with two advanced manufacturing companies to explore ways to help protect our community through the development and production of innovative personal and protective equipment in response to COVID-19.

Aquacell, a manufacturer of high technology water recycling systems is working with Launch Pad to develop a new generation of environmentally sustainable medical face masks that apply virus removal technologies from their water recycling process.

STEMTera, a producer of STEM education training resources is exploring the opportunity to create a new supply chain model for the supply and distribution of hand sanitiser products.

Launch Pad Live – Our Virtual Community Hub

We took our incubator online in just a matter of weeks! 50+ of Launch Pad members have signed up within just a few days. It’s awesome to see everyone connecting and collaborating on this platform even without being present in the incubator spaces.

Landcom Urban Futures PropTech Accelerator Program has kicked off

This week, we welcomed 11 new startups with a virtual program induction. We got to know the cohort over zoom as we shared our favourite apps, movies, bands, and whether or not we enjoy pineapple on our pizzas – surprisingly, almost 100% of them do! We’ll be working closely with them over the coming months, and you’ll learn more about who they are soon. Stay tuned for that.

 Intro Jamie Pride, Entrepreneur in Residence (EIR)

We’re extremely excited to welcome and announce that Jamie Pride has joined us to be the EIR of our first Urban Futures Program. Jamie brings a wealth of startup and corporate experience. He has more than 20 years of leadership and consulting experience with international technology and digital media organisations, including leading and has founded over six technology startups. We know our startups are in good hands with his coaching.

Bachelor of Entrepreneurship News

“People do not buy goods & services. They buy relations, stories and magic” – Seth Godin

Beating COVID19 blues, the Gaming Design & Simulation students played Jamaica (a pirate themed) Board Game online. The whole team shared laughs, had fun and got a bit competitive for GOLD coins!!

The play test session was an exercise in Mapping Competitive Positioning & Unpacking Competitor’s Product for Arif who is launching a ‘Pirate Board Game’ in the market in 2020 as part of his Bachelor of Entrepreneurship.

Don Wright joined in on the #CatWestConversations

In conversation with Dr Andy Marks, Assistant Vice-Chancellor, Arup’s, NSW planning and design leader, Jo Carmichael and or very own Launch Pad head, Don Wright, weighed in on the CatWest Conversations. Together, they envisaged how radical innovations in planning, design and entrepreneurship will reshape Western Sydney during and after COVID-19. Watch it here

A quick update from the Launch Pad team!

While working from home does have its challenges, I think it’s fair to say that we’ve all managed to be quite productive and even manage to pick up a new hobby or two! Here are some of the team’s achievements over the last month of lockdown from our last ‘Friday Show and Tell Zoom’.

🌱 Don Wright , Head of Launch Pad, put extra care into his new home veggie garden – pics to come.
🎨 Inu Rana , Senior Business Advisor, reconnected with her creative side and started writing a children’s book with her son, Syon.
👶 Rebecca Pham , Program Manager, made a project out of digitising all her childhood photo albums.
🏠 Sarah Marks , Office Admin, is preparing for a move into her new home – congrats, Sarah!
🍷 John Scilly , Smart Manufacturing Coordinator, is slowly drinking his way through the wine cellar – d’Arenberg The Dead Arm Shiraz 2000 is his favourite!
🎣 Morgan Popely , Program Manager, got some new fishing lures. He’s caught lots of river weeds. No fish… yet! Maybe next newsletter.
We hope you and your team are doing well and being productive from home too! Don’t forget to check in on one another.

Western Sydney University News

Western ranked 3rd in the world for social, ecological and economic impact. Western Sydney University has secured its position amongst the world’s top universities, placing an impressive 3rd overall in the 2020 Times Higher Education (THE) University Impact Rankings. Western’s Glasshouse yields over 58 tonnes of donations to Foodbank


Western Sydney University and its research partners are leading the way when it comes to donating tonnes of fresh, healthy produce to Foodbank NSW and ACT to support families in need through COVID-19.


Western Sydney University’s CatalystWest report highlights equitable access to technology a key concern for leaders and innovators in western Sydney. For a breakdown on more of the findings and insights into the key issues for western Sydney, download the 2019 Catalyst West report here.

Upcoming Virtual Launch Pad Events

Live Webinar with Ahmed Khanji | Coronavirus: How Startups Can Remain Cyber Safe While Working at Home

May 7th | 10 – 11 am | We are limiting these sessions to a small group for a more intimate Q&A.


CatalystWest Conversations are a weekly virtual platform where we bring business and community leaders into a discussion about the social, cultural, political and economic issues and opportunities affecting Western Sydney. Upcoming sessions:

  • A conversation about the people and communities in our region, and new forms of social life.
  • A conversation about jobs, skills and education at the Aerotropolis, in a brave new world.
  • A conversation about wellbeing in the “stay at home” digital world

Register here >

Job Oppurtunities

We’re pleased that our startups are still hiring through COVID-19! Check out these roles:

🚀Kebloom is software that helps young people turn ideas into businesses. They are looking for a Computer Application Developer
🔧 Anility (Patrick Connolly) is a construction contractor management tool to minimise risk. They are recruiting for Back End & Front End Developers (PHP)
📈Mastt (Doug Vincent) provides better capital works portfolio management. They are recruiting for DevOps Engineers and Construction/Engineering Graduate

Helpful Resources around COVID-19

Here are some helpful resources we’ve curated for businesses managing COVID-19.

 Working from home essentials

198 Free Tools to help you through the coronavirus pandemic


CPA’s detailed tips for small businesses to prepare for COVID-19


Cybersecurity is essential when preparing for COVID-19 |

Coronavirus: How to Be Cyber Safe While Working at Home | Gridware


The NSW small business COVID-19 support grant of up to $10,000 is available to eligible NSW small business owners.

Enrolment for JobKeeper payments has been extended to 31st May

 Other Helpful Stuff

This weekly data report by AlphaBeta shows how COVID-19 is impacting the Australian Economy.

#InnovatingThroughAdversity Trends

We’ve also been tweeting stories with the #InnovatingThroughAdversity of businesses pivoting and adapting through COVID-19. Here are some of our favourite ones:

Thank you for tuning into our monthly newsletter! We hope you are all staying safe and well. If there’s anything we could do to assist you right now, please drop us a note. Just like many of the examples in this email, we are always open to learning and adapting to better support our community.

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  • Launch Pad Penrith 
    Suite 12, Ground Floor,14 Great Western Highway,
    Werrington NSW 2747

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    Ground Floor, 100 George Street, 
    Parramatta NSW 2500
  • 02 9678 7200