With disruption comes innovation

What do Disney, Uber, WhatsApp, Instagram and Slack all have in common?

All came to light after a period of economic strain – the Global Economic Crisis or the Great Depression.

With the COVID-19 health crisis forcing entire industries to close, and pushing millions out of work, the world is facing unprecedented economic challenges right now.

However what history has shown us is that during times like this, green shoots can still push through, with many using the time to innovate and to think about starting that ‘side hustle’ that they’ve always wanted to start.

At least, that’s what the team at The Generator has found.

The Generator is Monash University’s central startup hub. It supports students, researchers and alumni with the tools to launch their ideas and scale them into companies and startups.

Since the COVID-19 health crisis hit, applications for The Generator’s now-online Validator program have seen a 79% increase.

Similarly, innovation research labs have seen a dramatic increase. Monash Innovation, the tech transfer, licencing and spinout department at the University has seen a record number of inventions since January.

Joel and Emily saw this as the perfect time to start their online wine club.
Joel and Emily saw this as the perfect time to start their online wine club.

Joel Ibrahim is a Monash Engineering graduate. Together with his partner Emily Guy, they saw this as the perfect time to pilot an idea that they had been thinking about since late 2019 - an online wine club named Sauvignon Blonde.

“We realised that lockdown can be an opportunity if you have the right idea and are willing to take the risk.”

Joel and Emily went through The Generator’s online Validator program during lockdown in April. “It helped us take the necessary steps to validate whether this was an idea worth pursuing and was accessible from home, so we could work on the idea around our day jobs.” says Joel.

Joel and Emily have now partnered up with a local bar that has transitioned their business to online sales and delivery, launching their pilot to the bar’s loyal customer base.

“Customers can get wine samples delivered to their door, and join an online education workshop led by Emily, a qualified Sommelier, to make wine tasting and education accessible to everyone, not just those who work in the hospitality industry,” explains Joel.

Have you got a start-up idea? The Generator is now looking for early stage Founders working on novel ideas and solving big problems for their upcoming online programs.

The programs are tailored to different stages of launch, from idea stage through to projects who have early customers and users. Under the guidance of experienced coaches and mentors, you'll work to build your product and grow your customer base towards having a viable startup.

Visit the website to find out more about the programs and how to get involved.