Twenty-seven highly innovative regional start-ups have been given the opportunity to accelerate their business under the expert mentorship and guidance of some of Western Australia’s most successful business people as part of their selection for the CONNECT Regional Innovation Hub.
The Connect Hubs will act as a springboard for new innovations by empowering these diverse groups of entrepreneurs within a co-located community, both locally and online, where they can connect, develop new expertise, share, collaborate, network, and access new markets and investment.
With over 50 applications received from across the South West, Great Southern and Wheatbelt regions, the successful applicants were carefully selected by a panel based on their readiness, validation, traction, innovation and scalability.
The cohorts include a wide range of businesses from value added agriculture to a pain management program, from crypto tax to natural sports nutrition, from native fruit soft drinks to sustainable pallet packaging and beyond.
All three hubs commenced the programme last month with an intensive two-day business bootcamp tackling ideation, validation, value proposition, lean business modelling, pitch training and culminating in pitching to a room of local business leaders and mentors before a relaxed networking session..
The 2019 cohort will benefit from a monthly Masterclass series led by industry experts on topics such as IP protection, digital marketing, grant writing, investor readiness and export pathways. They will also be matched to an experienced mentor to guide them over the next 6 months.
The programme culminates in a Regional Showcase at the end of the year where participants have the opportunity to pitch to investors and display their innovation at the expo style event.
The CONNECT Regional Innovation Hubs have been established by Innovation Cluster with support from the Australian Government’s Department of Industry, Innovation and Science through their Incubator Support Initiative. Innovation Cluster is led by co-founders Dr Natasha Ayers and Peter Rossdeutscher, and delivers innovation training across WA, supporting over 30 businesses in the last 2 years.
“This is one of the most incredible opportunities I have ever experienced. Totally inspired and now to put it all into practice. Thank you for the starting platform. We are excited to see where our journey takes us. ”— Connect Regional Hub Participant 2019