RMIT is backing its startup alumni with interest-free investment loans

Lady Gaga during her artRave tour. Photo: Getty Images

Melbourne’s RMIT University is investing hundreds of thousands of dollars in its student and alumni community, providing six startups with interest-free loans to grow their businesses.

The financing will be distributed through the $5 million New Enterprise Investment Fund (NEIF), developed as a response to the interest in the university’s innovative business classes and creative programs.

The fund also provides networking opportunities and channels to obtain entrepreneurial advice.

Among the six startups is RMIT honours graduate Nixi Killick’s fashion label NXK, which will receive a $25,000 interest-free loan.

“I’ve done so much in the last 15 months, since launching my label, from partnering with HP and IBM to dressing Lady Gaga for her global ArtRAVE tour,” Killick said. “It’s all just been with mum’s old sewing machine too — imagine what I could do with some real equipment.”

Other businesses which have already benefited from NEIF funding include water brand Free is Better, artisan chocolate company Tonantzin Chocolate, optical fibre specialists Lightcore Tech, organic health product company Manuko and online live music comparison and booking marketplace GigKoo.

NEIF chairman and Aussie media personality Eddie McGuire said the fund and university are ideally positioned to train future business leaders and provide them with a platform to achieve their professional ambitions.

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