Fishburners Introduces Its First Corporate Entrepreneurship Program To Support ‘In-Side Hustles’.

Ideate Up: Future-Proofing Roles and Corporate Relevance

Fishburners, Australia’s biggest community of startups, has opened its doors to corporate professionals for the first time with the Ideate Up program; to support corporate individuals go from idea to startup over a 4 week period. 

Commencing early March in partnership with Essential Shift  the once a week over four weeks public program is designed to bring the best-of-breed startup mindset and tools to intrapreneurs and entrepreneurs alike. The program is designed for corporations to educate their top talent to think like startup founders and build their capacity for innovation whilst enriching their careers with “in-side hustles.” 

Nicole O’Brien, CEO of Fishburners says Ideate Up responds to ongoing demand from corporates for talent retention and skills development. 

O’Brien says, “As companies continue to seek talent who can digitally transform their business models, products and services to fit the modern age, statistics show that instead employees are increasingly leaning into projects, businesses or side-hustles of their own.  

The key to capturing creativity and staying relevant for any business in today’s market is to encourage innovation from within. Yet authentic integration of employee passions, ideas and penchant for problem-solving remains a gap in most traditional workforces.” 

Corporates Can Keep Entrepreneurs In House 

Currently at least two thirds of Australians have a passion project they hope to turn into a ‘side hustle’ and research by NBN states that one in four already go online outside of their regular job to pursue a passion or earn extra income according to AMP Foundation research.  

Fishburners’ Ideate Up program works to train corporates to build innovation and entrepreneurial skill sets in house and integrate personal passions and problem-solving tenacity within existing roles. The program will empower participants to go from problem, to idea, to testing, to implementation of solutions and shifts. 

Laetitia Andrac, founder of Essential Shift  and facilitator for the IdeateUp program, said, “About 70% of people are disengaged at work and start a side hustle when corporate organisations could benefit from empowering the corporate rebel from within. Being a corporate rebel requires passion, courage, resilience & vulnerability that can be harnessed and realised through a community of like minded people that IdeateUP will offer.”

Retaining Entrepreneurial Staff Results In Greater Efficiency 

Fishburners member, Mellonie Francis left her corporate job at ANZ Bank to start a software development company, Rareiio in 2019. Mellonie says she would have stayed in her position longer if she had access to programs like Ideate Up and the ability to utilise her entrepreneurial ingenuity. 

Mellonie says “To stretch myself, I was doing lots of extra business efficiency projects when in corporate, like simplifying excel spreadsheets. This is really where I discovered my enthusiasm for problem-solving. While I was encouraged to continue, there weren’t any opportunities to integrate what I was creating with my actual role, nor were there many opportunities to learn how to do it better.” 

“If I knew then what I know now, how to put the spreadsheets into a web application, how to build simple software, I know I could have saved ANZ BANK so much money. So I really do encourage corporates to identify their entrepreneurial talent and executives, and send them to programs like Ideate Up. It’s time for corporations to shift their focus to foster mutually-beneficial projects within the existing teams of the organisation, or face falling behind in the innovation race.” 

“Entrepreneurial staff can help corporates achieve major business efficiencies. Empowering executives to problem-solve and build tech will completely move the dial for corporations. Whichever corporate jumps on the Ideate Up program first and sees the talent retention opportunity will win.” 

Mellonie Francis, founder of Rareiio

Mellonie says programs like Ideate Up will help corporates retain the best entrepreneurial talent and bring much needed innovation skills into the business. 

Registration for the intensive four-week Ideate Up program is now open. The program is coupled with Fishburner’s inaugural incubator Future Up, developed in partnership with the University of Technology. Also launching in March, the incubator provides new founders with the essentials to get their business off the ground with a bespoke 12-week online and face-to-face course, a desk membership at Fishburners and is a UTS accredited program towards eligible postgraduate courses including the MBA in Entrepreneurship.

O’Brien says, “We are incredibly excited to be working with both Essential Shift and UTS to bring these programs to our aspiring and operating entrepreneurs and intrapreneurs. Fishburners is committed to equipping founders and project teams with everything they need to get their startup and careers on the right path to success. We foresee a world where corporations and their employees can problem-solve side by side, while continuing on the journey of tech transformation alongside our booming startup sector. 

We know what’s involved in creating successful startups and we want to help ensure that we continue to grow the startup and technology community. This is critical if we are going to grow jobs and develop new solutions to some of our most pressing issues, particularly in relation to the environment and sustainability.” 

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