A new focus for CONNECT Regional Innovation

CONNECT 2022 launched in May with an exciting new focus on supporting sustainable industries in the regions. This year the program of activities includes our long standing and popular CONNECT Business Incubator which supports regional entrepreneurs with innovative startups, plus the Regional Innovation Showcase; but with the addition of networking events, mini hackathons, commercialisation mentoring, and an investor roundtable.

Cohort announced

We are pleased to announce the successful applicants of the 2022 CONNECT Sustainable Industries Business Incubator!

The cohort of 12 startups and small businesses hail from across regional WA with businesses from Busselton, Perth Hills, Bunbury, Collie, Exmouth, Wiluna, Dunsborough, Geraldton, Broome and Exmouth, and represent a diverse range of industries from sustainable marine development; to tech providing businesses with new revenue generating waste streams; to large scale supply of bush food for domestic and global markets.

These founders will be supported to refine and scale up their businesses with online and in-person workshops with expert facilitators, individual matching to a business mentor, a designated booth at the showcase event, and opportunities to pitch to, and connect with, government, industry, corporates and  investors.

The program commenced with a Regional Bootcamp held over two days in Vasse, where they connected with each other and the Innovation Cluster team, drilled down on idea validation and customer identification, and received sessions on commercialisation strategies, communicating impact, building team culture and equity funding.

The cohort also witnessed first-hand the sustainability efforts of one participant, with an enlightening site visit to Rocky Ridge Brewing facility in Jindong, Australia’s most sustainable brewery.

After Day 1 the cohort attended an event presented by For Blue, Innovation ClusterDepartment of Jobs, Tourism, Science and Innovation, and Busselton Jetty: “Pulse: The Next Wave of Marine Science and Innovation” which featured a panel discussion and small group discussion on five pre-determined topics.  Fifty five guests attended, including Busselton Jetty staff, marine and environmental scientists, businesses involved in the blue economy and others interested in sustainability.  

Busselton Jetty patron Lyn Beazley, Gillian Starling (MCC Environmental),  Emma McPherson (Indian Ocean Greens), Jon-paul Cox (Canopy Blue) and MC Andrew Outhwaite and Matthew Bungney (Foxglove Capital); and fishbowl discussions.

We look forward to working closely with the CONNECT Sustainable Industries cohort over the next 6 months. The program is supported by the  Department of Jobs, Tourism, Science and Innovation through the New Industries Fund – X-Tend WA Program. 

From left to right, top to bottom: Kyle Scott, Mark Tucek, Daniel Jackson, Matthew Devlin, Cyndal Petty, Lester Michel, George Carmody, Jurgen Valckenaere, Michael Edwards, Jack Carmody, Isabella Hughes, Mel Holland

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