Innovation is the buzzword of the year as an exciting new startup accelerator and incubator launches in the Bega Valley.
It will really propel our economy forward.2pi Software's Liam O'Duibhir
Around 140 people attended the launch of the Bega Valley Innovation Hub on Monday, with guest speaker, social innovation strategist, advisor and influencer Brad Twynham telling the room to “find a problem that is worth solving”.
The hub is the first of its kind in regional Australia.
“Entrepreneurs are thrown in the deep end. The best thing to do is get yourself ready for the game, which is what an accelerator does. Then it’s about learning on the job,” Mr Twynham said.
Mr Twynham told the audience to “take small steps everyday” in getting their ideas off the ground.
“It can be a scary thing standing at the precipice and wondering if you should jump off or not,” he said.
After $382,000 in federal funding of was announced in June, the University of Wollongong’s iAccelerate program has taken the role of facilitating the two stream program with a unique three-year incubation period for ideas.
Participants will have access to iAccelerate’s $10-million seed fund through venture-capital partners Artesian and other funding networks.
“Regional areas across Australia are often places that have to deal with change more urgently and with less support than urban areas. However it is well accepted that regional area are also a wellspring of innovation,” iAccelerate’s CEO Omar Khalifa said.
2pi Software's Liam O'Duibhir, who has been advocating for the hub for many years, said it is possible to create intellectual property assets in the region, and emphasised the need for “collaboration”.
“It will really propel our economy forward,” he said.
UOW’s Bega campus manager Sam Avitaia said the university is looking forward to the business and business ideas the hub will foster.
“I’m very excited about the youth and tertiary workshop programs, and introducing a whole new generation of the Bega Valley to the process and reality of business innovation and creation.”