Economy

Bega Valley Innovation Hub ready for first round of start-ups

Ian Campbell 4 March 2019
Liam O'Duibhir - 2pi Software, Mia Maze - Bega Valley Innovation Hub, Chris Petersilge - iAccelerate, Daniel Murphy - Bega Valley Shire Council looking over applications for the first cohort. Photo: Ian Campbell.

Liam O’Duibhir – 2pi Software, Mia Maze – Bega Valley Innovation Hub, Chris Petersilge – iAccelerate, Daniel Murphy – Bega Valley Shire Council looking over applications for the first cohort. Photo: Ian Campbell.

The Bega Valley Innovation Hub will open its doors on March 14 with the first cohort of local entrepreneurs, start-ups, creatives, and existing business selected and ready to grow a sustainable business in the region.

Interest in the iAccelerate business acceleration program offered by the Hub has exceeded expectations with over 21 applications received, with the first cohort chosen on the basis of business readiness and scalability.

“The entrepreneurs that have been selected are the next generation of innovators and are going to play a huge part in creating a better society and new opportunities for people in the Bega Valley and beyond,” says Mia Maze, Manager of the Bega Valley Innovation Hub.

The Bega Valley Innovation Hub is funded by the Federal Government, Bega Valley Shire Council, Bega Cheese, the Bega Chamber of Commerce, and the University of Wollongong and is committed to helping start-ups stand on their own feet, get a foothold in global markets and support regional development.

“In an increasingly competitive global environment, being innovative is no longer an optional add-on. The inescapable forces of technological disruption and globalisation mean businesses need to innovate to avoid falling behind their competitors,” Ms Maze says.

“Over the next two years, this program will help start-ups build their capabilities from both their business sites and the Bega Valley Innovation Hub.”

The first cohort of start-ups will be revealed to the community at a special event later this month.

They will benefit from training, education and mentoring out of the Hub HQ – the Bega Valley Commemorative Civic Centre. They’ll have access to the 12-week iAccelerate business acceleration program inspired by the University of Wollongong.

The Bega Valley Innovation Hub is the first regional outreach centre for the iAccelerate Innovation Network which has built a strong reputation for fostering innovation and entrepreneurship from their base at North Wollongong.

“The Bega Valley is special, the ecosystem and support for local entrepreneurs is very deep. I believe that this region will continue to evolve as one of Australia’s leading innovative regions,” Ms Maze says.

“Going forward the Innovation Hub is going to continue to focus on industry sectors that offer real opportunity in the region and we will have the first tour and information session on April 4 where our community and industry leaders can meet our first cohort and find out how they can help develop a thriving innovation culture in our region.

“There is no better time to be an entrepreneur, not just in the Bega Valley, but also in wider regional NSW and with the iAccelerate Innovation Network extending to regional areas.

“Entrepreneurs can choose a great lifestyle and a successful sustainable business.

“Congratulations to all the successful applicants, I can’t wait for the wider community to meet them and I look forward to seeing the results of their hard work in the years ahead.”

For more information on the Bega Valley Innovation Hub check the website.

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