Award-winning design one step closer to commercialisation

Victoria University of Wellington Master of Design student Steve Almond’s award-winning design is one step closer to a commercial reality thanks to Viclink’s Victoria Entrepreneur Bootcamp.

red fabric sofa with black metal frame designed by Steven Almond

Made from materials which enable easy repair and recycling, Steve’s modular sofa system recently won the 2019 L'affare Innovation in Sustainability Award at the ECC Student Craft and Design Awards.

Steve has now joined Viclink’s Victoria Entrepreneur Bootcamp to learn the business skills associated with commercialising the sofa system.

“All my experience is in design and even though I’ve been a freelance designer, I don’t have that wider business knowledge to grow a product like this,” says Steve.

“Bootcamp is enabling me to gather feedback on what might need to change with the design by reaching out and talking to potential customers about the sofa system,” he says.

Bootcamp provides 12 weeks of strategic guidance and mentoring over summer to enable students to explore and grow their business ideas.

“We have technical workshops with mentors coming in and coaching us on presenting, business canvas development and financial model development,” says Steve.

“After bootcamp I’ll be able to evaluate the sofa to see if I have a robust business model I can take to market.”

Viclink is Victoria University of Wellington’s commercialisation unit. To find out more about Victoria Entrepreneur Bootcamp, contact Emily Sullivan on 04 463 9604 or Emily.Sullivan@viclink.co.nz.