Life & Style

Q Building, The University of Newcastle

University of Newcastle is here to help you level up your startup and get ready for growth

Have you been sitting on a startup idea, procrastinating on whether to move forward and invest, or just let it go? Wouldn’t it be ideal if you could get access to industry experts and leaders to help validate your idea giving you the confidence to move forward.

Good news is you can, and it’s right here in Newcastle! 

university of newcastle

I2N Accelerator has been built for ambitious founders headquartered in the Newcastle region who are leveraging tech to bring a new product or service to market.

The program will help you (and your founding team, if you have one) validate your business model and get you ready for your next phase of growth.

During the 10-week program, participants experience hands-on learning and high-quality support including: mentoring and coaching, weekly workshops with domain experts, $340k worth of I2N perk partner benefits and coworking space at I2N Hub Honeysuckle.

Best of all the program is free and you don’t need to be affiliated with the University of Newcastle to participate. 

q building university of newcastle nsw

I2N programs have been critical support for many of emerging entrepreneurs in the Hunter region for over five years, with one shining example being Lisa Winn’s real-time hydration testing innovation, Ihydrate. 

A former Marketing Director for Coca-Cola South Pacific, Lisa oversaw the R&D of countless products throughout her fifteen-year career. It was Lisa’s experience which led her to formulate the idea of Ihydrate identifying a gap in the market for a simple, non-intrusive way to measure hydration. 

university of newcastle nsw

Established in July 2021 Lisa is now working closely with the Australian Institute of Sport, professional athletes, medical professionals, industry groups and the elderly to help reduce dehydration across the community and eliminate the risks which accompany it, such as impaired cognitive function and reduced physical performance.

university of newcastle

Whilst we are all aware of the importance of drinking lots of fluids, Lisa wanted to stop dehydration in its tracks – an issue particularly relevant for elite athletes whose performance can start to be negatively impacted by as little as a one per cent drop in hydration.

Speaking with Lisa she explained in more detail, 

"Ihydrate takes the guesswork out of a common problem, how to tell if you are properly hydrated."

"My team and I are in the process of developing a convenient, portable, saliva based test for managing hydration as there are many instances when monitoring hydration is critical, in workers especially those in hot conditions or wearing PPE or in vulnerable groups such as the elderly or those suffering chronic illness."

university of newcastle

"In sport teams and athletes hydration plays a very important role in optimising performance. Even small % drops in hydration can have a big impact on sports performance. Endurance athletes have told us that it is often trial and error getting fluid and hydration levels optimised."

"Current methods to monitor hydration are invasive or complex such as blood or urine tests. The Ihydrate system being developed is simple to use, convenient and portable."

As an I2N program alumna, Lisa was guided via the peer-to-peer learning experience and the cohort companies sharing their own challenges, providing invaluable advice and direction.

university of newcastle nsw

"The I2N program was amazing. The content was really practical, focusing on all the topics and issues startups encounter. The content was delivered by a range of startup specialists both from within Newcastle and far beyond. The practical components were very useful from techniques to understand customers more deeply, investment strategies, IP support and much more."

"The networking opportunities were extremely valuable. I found the support from working with other founders wonderful and the connection I2N has with the broader Newcastle community was invaluable."

With Ihydrate in the final stages of calibrating the test unit, Lisa and the team are really excited about how it is coming together, 

"We are currently looking for partners in the Newcastle/Hunter area to be the first to test Ihydrate. In particular, we are keen to hear from sporting and heavy industry organisations who would like to improve how they monitor hydration."

If you are an ambitious founder using technology to develop and scale a new product or service, the I2N Accelerator program can help you on your journey. Join the information session to learn more about the support participants will receive and have your questions answered before applications close on Sunday 14 August, 2022.

I2N Accelerator Information Session

Where: Online Event
When: Thursday 4th August
Time: 1pm - 2pm
Cost: Free
To Register: click here

For more information about I2N Accelerator visit

Applications close 14 August 2022.

Q Building, The University of Newcastle

16B Honeysuckle Dr, Newcastle NSW 2300