THIS weekend is set to uncover some of the region’s best and brightest budding entrepreneurs with the fourth annual SeaChange Startup Camp taking place.
The two-day workshop is being held at the Pambula Surf Life Saving Club and is hosted by the Bega Valley’s own IntoIT, as well as Canberra-based Lighthouse Innovation.
Lighthouse CEO Anna Pinno said while the trend to start businesses while living outside metropolitan areas – such as the Saphhire Coast – has existed for many years, she is now seeing it more and more.
That’s perhaps due to the rise of telecommunications and digital workspaces.
“We ran a peer group a couple of weeks ago and were really surprised at the responses and variety of scope,” Ms Pinno said.
“IT was a platform for all of them, but IT is the enabler, not just IT itself as a business.
“Allied health, education…they are non-traditional IT spaces where clever uses of IT can be utilised as an enabler.
“And you don’t have to physically be located where the business offers its services.”
Ms Pinno said enjoying a coastal lifestyle can even be an advantage to developing a startup business.
“You can be more effective down the coast – you’re not distracted by other things found in big centres.”
Craig Davis, who works with the Griffin Accelerator in the ACT and will be a mentor at this weekend’s camp, agreed.
“When customers and partners are distant you have to work harder to connect and build relationships, which are really important even in our online connected world,” Mr Davis said.
“But you can do this and still have the space and wonderful lifestyle to inspire your creativity.”
Mr Davis described the Griffin Accelerator as an intensive program run by a group of seasoned Canberra entrepreneurs who invest in, host, teach and mentor selected startups to create successful businesses.
“For three months we work with teams intensively and then help them present the business to investors.
“Our goal is to enable entrepreneurs to grow their business much faster than they can unaided.
“We look for the best entrepreneurs to invest in.”
At this weekend’s camp, Mr Davis said he is looking for entrepreneurs “who are willing to learn and apply their skills to projects that take a new approach to solving a real problem”.
“Startup camp will be a fun and intense experience,” he said.
“It’s amazing what you can achieve in a short time and I'll be coaching people on some ways to get further in a short time.”
Australia’s only regional entrepreneurs startup camp will be held May 29-30 at the Pambula Surf Life Saving Club.
It will include an introductory address from former head of Australian Treasury Ken Henry and a Shark Tank-style pitch of ideas developed during the event.
Register at seachange4.eventbrite.com.au.