MOUNT Gambier entrepreneurs Caitlan Zukauskas and Tamara Seeley will travel to San Francisco, Silicon Valley and Austin after taking out the majority of a prize package worth more than $60,000 at the second Limestone Coast eNVIe awards event.
Ms Zukauskas and Ms Seeley will embark on the 10-day tour of the United States in March next year, joining other business founders and previous eNVIe winners to attend more than 30 events, pitch competitions, site visits and networking opportunities.
Winning the gold and silver eNVIe awards respectively, Ms Zukauskas is the founder of Luxe Glamping, while Ms Seeley has launched the popular Limoncello Caravan Bar.
The pair were among eight graduates from the second semester of the New Venture Institute Venture Dorm program competing at this year’s eNVIEs.
The aspiring entrepreneurs pitched their ideas during the award ceremony at the Main Corner on Thursday night.
With sponsorship from organisations including PIRSA, AWS and The Border Watch, the awards night was the culmination of seven weeks of practical learning with personalised mentors.
Other Venture Dorm graduates include people’s choice award winner Rosangela Crispino, Les Wright, Tammy Flier, Marika Gazzard, Ilana Adams and Narella Marcus.
Venture Dorm provides hands-on training for people who want to learn how entrepreneurs build and market new ventures and either create one themselves or lift their existing business to greater success.
The aim is to take an idea and establish a viable business model that can be scaled up and repeated in just seven weeks.
NVI director Matt Salier said in addition to the networks Ms Zukauskas will visit in the United States, such as Tech Ranch Global, the institute had relationships with a number of international investors and groups that participants can benefit from.
The Venture Dorm program is run out of the eNVISion hub on James Street and facilitated by community manager Ben Deering.
The program is now seeking expressions of interest for its next program in early 2019.
The eNVIes, the eNVIsion hub and the Venture Dorm program have been made possible through the Federal Government’s Incubator Support Program, together with funding from Mount Gambier City Council, State Government and the Department of Primary Industries and Regions (PIRSA).