Four University of Queensland (UQ) engineering students and alumni will be demonstrating their innovative web-based business ideas at ilab’s DemoDay on 3 May 2013, from 12.30 – 4.00 pm.

Taylah Hasaballah, Elliot Smith, Ariel Briner, and Eban Escott will represent four different emerging Queensland ventures when business incubator and technology accelerator ilab opens its doors to the public next month.

Initiated and funded by the Queensland Government, and now a division of UniQuest, ilab supports early stage, high-tech companies through the first few years of development. ilab is based at UQ’s Long Pocket site.

ilab Program Director Leigh Angus said DemoDay was to encourage the public, especially students, to tour the facilities and meet the residents.

“The day will showcase the business workings of the incubator and visitors can listen to business pitches from a number of ventures,” Ms Angus said.

“We really want aspiring entrepreneurs, students, business community members, Government, the public and the media to come and see the important role smart start-up businesses are playing in the growth of Queensland.

“We’re also running Mentor Blaze, where entrepreneurs can have short sessions with some ilab mentors for feedback and guidance on their ventures.”

Two participants of Mentor Blaze will be selected to participate in a conference call with Silicon Valley legend and pioneer of the ‘Lean Start-up’ movement, Eric Ries.

Taylah Hasaballah, who recently started her second year of a Software Engineering degree at UQ, runs an online clothing store, Tiger Temple. Social media-driven, the enterprise stocks featured designers and vintage one-off garments and accessories.  As an ilab Germinate program graduate and current incubatee, Tiger Temple has progressed from a home-based ‘cottage industry’ to a full scale online and logistics business.

“ilab has really boosted my knowledge about growing an online business.  What started as a facebook page has grown into a full scale business supporting emerging designers across the globe,” Ms Hasaballah said.

Newer to ilab, Engineering undergraduate Ariel Briner from Cartesian Co and Engineering PhD student Elliot Smith from HSK Instruments, said the program has helped them focus and crystallise what were playful ideas or student projects.

Cartesian is building a rapid prototyping electronics printer capable of producing PCBs (printed circuit boards). HSK Instruments is working on a Positive Expiratory Pressure (PEP) chest physiotherapy exercise for treating cystic fibrosis.

“ilab mentors were invaluable and have helped us with applying hard core business principles. We’re now focused not only on building a great product, but a great business,” Mr Smith said.

UQ Engineering graduate Eban Escott has recently entered ilab to develop his Crowdsites company.

“I’m very excited to see the university has such great resources available for both students and alumni,” said Dr Escott, who provides software and web development services via his WorkingMouse company.

“Access to facilities and knowledgeable people will be crucial to Crowdsites’ success in the future.”

The DemoDay program:

12.30-2.30 pm Student Session and Project Pitches Lunch and tour for students from local universities

12.30-3.30 pm Mentor Blaze ilab mentors give feedback guidance on business ventures to aspiring entrepreneurs either in person or via Skype

12:30 – 4.00 pm Meet the ilab Participant Businesses Germinate and Incubate program participants showcase their products and services during the day.  Visitors are invited to circulate and meet with some of the companies.

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