Department of State Development

14 Feb 2019 Hi-tech

First entrepreneur visa paves the way for more ahead

A former sommelier and hospitality manager, Italian Simone Berliat, has become the first recipient of the Supporting Innovation in South Australia (SISA) entrepreneur visa trial.

The Entrepreneur Visa is part of an innovative national program being piloted in South Australia by the Marshall Liberal Government to grow start-up businesses by encouraging new skills, ideas and innovation to the state.

The SISA scheme was launched in November by Premier Steven Marshall with a $400,000 funding commitment over four years to support the program.

South Australia’s Minister for Industry and Skills David Pisoni said Mr Berliat represents the first of many international entrepreneurs who will bring creativity, passion and business opportunities to South Australia under the visa trial.

“Simone Berliat whose application for an entrepreneur visa was endorsed by Adelaide tech start-up The Moonshine Lab, is hoping to revolutionise the way agritourism businesses are promoted,” he said.

“The immediate response to this visa initiative has been impressive, with quality applications from across the globe currently being processed by the Office of the Chief Entrepreneur and the Australian Department for Home Affairs.”

The Entrepreneur Visa program is also being supported by four incubator partners - The Moonshine Lab, University of Adelaide’s ThincLab, UniSA’s Innovation and Collaboration Centre and Flinders University’s New Venture Institute.

“Hosting entrepreneurs like Mr Berliat, brings fresh ideas and great value to the local innovation eco-system, it creates jobs and makes a significant contribution to the state’s economy,” Minister Pisoni said.

“Each SISA visa recipient also brings knowledge and networks from their own country, assisting the Marshall Liberal Government in its goal of fostering ties between our start-up community and those of other regions, while also helping local businesses to access global markets.”

Mr Berliat said he was employed on a rural property in Bulgaria when he realised agricultural tourism businesses were not properly represented in marketplaces across the globe.

“As a solution, ​I hope to develop a physical and digital platform for this niche, where agritourism businesses can easily source both customers and suppliers,” he said.

"South Australia is wine country and I first came here to be around the best-known producers but with my student visa ending, I had no choice but to prepare to return to Europe and develop the business there.

"In my situation this new entrepreneur visa, is perfect!

"I see this as a great opportunity, not only in terms of business and the economy, but for community development and the environment.”

More information on the SISA entrepreneur visa program is available online.

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