SA’s new entrepreneurship model

A new model for entrepreneurship has been announced today that will give South Australians with imagination and initiative the opportunity to bring ideas to market and build businesses that can go global.


In line with the South Australian Government’s new approach to economic growth and entrepreneurship, a Chief Entrepreneur has been appointed and an Entrepreneurship Advisory Board will soon be appointed.

“I am pleased to announce that Jim Whalley has been appointed as South Australia’s Chief Entrepreneur,” said Minister for Industry and Skills David Pisoni.

“Jim is the Chairman and co-founder of innovative defence industry company Nova Systems and a former fighter pilot.

“He is an outstanding business person with the right skills to help raise the profile of South Australia as the best state in the nation to start and grow a successful business.

“I look forward to working with Jim to develop our state’s entrepreneurial capacity.”

The new board will have oversight for the Innovation, Incubation, Start-up and Growth Hub at Lot Fourteen and be supported by a newly established Office of the Chief Entrepreneur, also located at the Hub.

To assist in implementation of this new model, TechInSA will be wound up in the coming months and South Australia’s Chief Innovator will not continue in his role.

Importantly, the services and support for entrepreneurs and start-ups provided by TechInSA will be transitioned into the Office of the Chief Entrepreneur and expanded in collaboration with private sector providers and the Department for Industry and Skills.

Tenancies of companies located in the Thebarton Incubator and Tech Hub will continue as per relevant agreements and all grants awarded to companies that have been administered by TechInSA, will be honoured.

Minister Pisoni praised TechInSA for its valuable support for a section of South Australia’s bioscience and high-tech community but said that a new model will help raise the profile of entrepreneurship in South Australia.

“I thank the team at TechInSA for their work in assisting Biotechnology and other technology businesses through the programs, networking and business development activities undertaken over the years,” said Minister Pisoni.

Minister Pisoni further acknowledged the important contribution that Dr Tom Hajdu has made in his role as Chief Innovator.

“Tom has successfully raised the profile of South Australia’s innovative business capabilities and become a champion of our innovation ecosystem in South Australia,” said Minister Pisoni.

“Tom’s instrumental role in the establishment, design and development of the Gig City Adelaide initiative was a particular highlight, along with his work that enabled Adelaide to become the first city outside the United States to join the US Ignite Smart Gigabit Communities program.

“Under the Gig City Adelaide initiative, fourteen innovation precincts across the State can now access affordable, symmetrical gigabit speed broadband, with over 200 local businesses utilising this outstanding service with a further fourteen innovation precincts planned.

“We wish Tom all the best in his future endeavours and we look forward to his ongoing contribution to South Australia.”

Dr Tom Hajdu thanked the South Australian Government and the people of South Australia for the opportunity to serve them as Chief Innovator. 

“The world is rapidly changing; the economy and the jobs of today are far different from the economy and jobs of the future,” said Dr Hajdu.

“Digital technology is transforming the way we live, work and do business and I support the new Government’s approach to supporting our next generation of entrepreneurs and innovators and wish everyone the very best as they forge a pathway to future success and prosperity.

“I am proud to have contributed to the transformation of the South Australian economy through my work as Chief Innovator. 

“I wish the Government of South Australia, and the South Australian community, every success.”

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