9 May 2012
It might have been the Innovation Centre Sunshine Coast’s 10th birthday last week, but the centre was the one handing out the presents.
More than $26,000 in prizes were awarded to the top three entries in a National Business Pitch Competition, held on Thursday 3 May as part of the ICSC’s celebration of a decade of supporting smart business success on the Sunshine Coast.
A crowd of 170 guests watched as Kath Massey of Massey Online Management received prizes worth $23,000 for her proposal to develop online support for caravan parks.
Second prize of $2,100 went to Levi Leckenby of Auzion for new technology to monitor energy use, while Linda Glassop of PREPit Pty Ltd gained $1,100 for her cloud-based writing application proposal.
Innovation Centre Board Chairman Professor Mike Hefferan said he was amazed by the audience’s response to the competition, with investors among the crowd chipping in thousands of dollars extra to help reward the innovative business proposals.
“That’s the first time I’ve ever seen audience members bidding up the prizemoney in a business pitch competition,” he said.
Also among the audience was the ICSC’s founding CEO Colin Graham, who was happy to help the centre’s new CEO Mark Paddenburg cut the 10th birthday cake.
Mr Paddenburg said he was pleased with how the celebration went, with more than 300 people attending three major events during the day – the business pitch competition, a forum on the future of business on the Sunshine Coast, and a gourmet barbecue dinner.
The ICSC is a University of the Sunshine Coast company, which has supported the start-up and growth of more than 87 businesses and the creation of more than 350 jobs in the past decade.
It currently works with more than 26 innovative companies in a range of areas including digital, clean technology, environmental services and creative industries.
The ICSC also runs an extensive program of business events designed to help clients and local entrepreneurs connect with each other and the University to build a more diversified regional economy. For more details, go to: www.innovation-centre.com.au/events
— Terry Walsh