Innovation Centre to celebrate 10 years of success

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Innovation Centre to celebrate 10 years of success


27 March 2012

The University of the Sunshine Coast’s Innovation Centre will celebrate the 10th anniversary of its opening by staging an exciting event for business people, entrepreneurs and the local community on Thursday 3 May.

Since 2002, the Innovation Centre Sunshine Coast (ICSC) has directly supported the start-up and growth of more than 87 businesses, created over 350 jobs and helped to raise $24 million in investment for client companies.

To mark a decade of Smart Business Success, the ICSC will hold one of the biggest technology and innovation celebrations ever held in the region.

The community is invited to join leading entrepreneurs, investors and advisors for the Innovation Centre’s 10-Year Anniversary Celebration, starting at 2.30pm on Thursday 3 May.

The program will include:

  • a $15,000 National Business Pitch Competition
  • Sunshine Coast’s best entrepreneurs’ networking opportunity of the year
  • Gourmet barbecue dinner hosted by the ICSC CEO and Board
  • Latest updates on Innovation Centre client companies succeeding on the global stage
  • Keynote presentation featuring Queensland Chief Scientist Dr Geoff Garrett AO

The National Business Pitch Competition is open to entrepreneurs from across Australia to submit business plans for a chance to win $15,000 in prizes, including $1,000 cash, a MacBook Air Laptop and business services package from sponsors including redchip lawyers, BDO, RADBE Consulting, Fisher Adams Kelly, Traffika and ICSC.

Innovation Centre CEO Mark Paddenburg is looking forward to the event and expects strong interest in the pitch competition from people with a diverse range of smart ideas and business plans. Ten entries will be shortlisted and showcased to the audience, including potential investors, in a format similar to the popular ABC TV show Dragon’s Den.

Finalists will have a chance to impress the judges, venture capitalists and angel investors at the barbecue dinner event, when the winner will be chosen.

Mr Paddenburg said the quality of companies that have graduated from the Innovation Centre is testament to the incubator’s effectiveness. They include automated publishing software company Typefi, internet marketing firm Traffika, and nutrition documentary producers Food Matters.

“The Innovation Centre has accomplished a lot in its first 10 years,” he said. “The future will be exciting, but also very challenging.

“The global and local business environment is very tough for start-up companies, venture capital is very tight, and an increasing number of businesses are failing, which is why business incubators like the Innovation Centre have such an important role to play for the region.

The Innovation Centre provides serviced offices, high-speed fibre connections, consulting support, investment readiness and networking for clients and local businesses.

USC’s Vice-Chancellor Professor Greg Hill said the strength of the Innovation Centre has been its ability to immerse the founders and CEOs of fast-growth, start-up companies in an entrepreneurial, campus environment where they can tap into a wide range of advice and support.

“Having the ICSC located on a fast-growing regional university campus means local companies get access to great talent and research and development partnerships,” he said. “Its inclusion within the USC campus extends the University’s capacity to foster emerging ventures that will contribute to the local, state and national economies.”

The Innovation Centre’s 10-Year Anniversary Celebration has been sponsored by the Sunshine Coast Council and Westpac. The event will provide a platform for businesses, entrepreneurs, the University and the general public to celebrate innovation and entrepreneurship on the Sunshine Coast and recognise the strong contributions of the Innovation Centre team, board, associates, sponsors, supporters and founding CEO Colin Graham.

For more information and bookings visit

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