As featured in The University of Sydney Business School, 17 October 2023.

Where the mantra ‘health is wealth’ underpins business productivity and resilience.

The Wellness Access Institute sponsorship of the Sydney Genesis program is a full circle moment.

Health and wellbeing are growing tenets in sustaining an active and resilient start-up, particularly in an industry that is constantly changing.

The Sydney Genesis program is pleased to welcome the Wellness Access Institute as key sponsors to the program for 2023-2024, a partnership underpinning the ongoing commitment to the spirit of sustainable entrepreneurship and fostering innovative achievements.

“Genesis serves the University’s students and alumni as the conduit between its entrepreneur community, product development, and the path to market and to customers,” says Matthew Bright, co-head of the Genesis program and its Entrepreneur-in-Residence.

“Wellness Access Institute is focused on developing knowledge and research in an emerging field, which also shares many of Genesis’ ambitions in fostering cutting-edge category creation and companies and products of the future.” – Matthew Bright, Entrepreneur-in-Residence, Co-Head, Sydney Genesis

Wellness Access Institute (WAI) founders, Greg Macpherson and Warren Liu, along with The Access Group founder, Livia Wang, have a shared history with the University of Sydney and were drawn to the idea of being able to showcase the role of wellness within business and support business talent.

“The Wellness Access Institute is a forward-thinking wellness innovation incubator that accelerates science to society,” explains Elle McCreary, Director of Development at the Wellness Access Institute. “The Institute was the natural choice to partner with Sydney University Business School’s Genesis program, due to a shared vision of supporting innovation and fostering achievement.”

Wellness in innovation

Sustainable innovation, particularly amidst burnout risks in the entrepreneurial community, has emerged to be one of the key factors in cultivating a supportive environment.

“When we started workshopping a potential collaboration together, we started at the core with founder wellness. Start-ups are demanding and many of our participants juggle young families and full-time work responsibilities during the program, for a chance at start-up success,” says Matt.

“There is a mantra in business circles that ‘health is wealth’ and it highlights that productivity and resilience is closely linked to wellbeing,” says Elle. “High level intellectual performance and focus take their toll, and ensuring that you’re obtaining good levels of nutrition, a healthy diet and some form of regular exercise can make a big difference.”

“Beyond Elle’s role on the advisory board of the Discipline of Strategy, Innovation and Entrepreneurship, having Elle back on deck as a mentor allows founders to benefit from her own operating expertise and facilitates Wellness Access Institute supporting founder journeys for the duration of the program.”

Partnership in action

Genesis prepares for its third goal night, prior to its pitch finale in late October, Matt explains wellness underpins not just founders, but their ventures and the social impact which they make.

“Thematically that includes the obvious categories of health and climate tech – but ultimately wellness also is critical to applications of generative AI and consumer products.”

As one of the guest mentors for the program, the WAI team have been impressed by the cohorts this year so far.

“I’ve been so encouraged by the breadth and diversity of start-ups in the Genesis Program, with ideas covering generative AI and healthcare to underwater drones and 3D printing from waste,” shares Elle.

“The goal nights provide a forum to learn about the challenges founders face, to help mentor and guide them but also to foster discussions about balance and wellbeing,” she says. “Self-care is important at any age and stage of life and particularly throughout the journey of a founder.”

“Judges of the Wellness Reimagined Award will factor wellness into their decision-making process this cohort,” says Matt. “We look forward to again showcasing our entrepreneurial community and ultimately in selecting a winner with a company that fits the broader business school’s new mantra of Innovative, Responsible, Sustainable.”

Explore the Sydney Genesis program, for start-up funding opportunities. Visit Wellness Access Institute