The Alexander Innovation Zone marked the successful completion of its first cycle of New Business Acceleration with a Demo Day and large public forum, entitled Grow2Market, featuring speakers from all three branches of the Triple Helix. Under the auspices of the Thessmart Innohub (part of the AIZ), the rigorous program provided 22 teams with specialized Coaching along with Masterclasses from Academics and Industry representatives throughout a 3-month period.
Reflecting the full-spectrum of local interests, the projects that participated were both scaleable startups and brick & mortar SME-type businesses, and covered sectors including Agriculture, Education, Tourism, Real Estate, Food & Beverage, Recycling, SaaS, IT, and more. Ultimately, 11 fledgling enterprises pitched their ideas to a panel of Investor Experts and received valuable feedback on the viability and completeness of their concepts and business models. Following the end of program, the teams were invited to give feedback and suggestions for the next phase of the Innohub’s operations, which are set to include incubation, and a second round of Acceleration for new teams.
The Alexander Innovation Zone, a new member of the THA, is committed to boosting innovative entrepreneurial development at all levels. Recognizing that the local ecosystem is still in a formative stage, the Innohub program makes a significant contribution to progressive economic change by providing a format to link triple helix stakeholders to new entrepreneurs who can benefit from their knowledge and experience. The guidance and information exchange fostered by an Acceleration program can be valuable to all who participate – both teams and experts – and a key factor in economic (re)generation.