Innovation Centre to celebrate turning 10

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Innovation Centre to celebrate turning 10


2 May 2012

The University of the Sunshine Coast’s Innovation Centre will turn 10 tomorrow (Thursday 3 May).

To celebrate a decade of smart business success – including the start-up and growth of more than 87 businesses and the creation of more than 350 jobs – the Innovation Centre will stage one of the biggest technology and innovation celebrations ever held in the region.

Its 10-Year Anniversary Celebration will start at 2.30pm with an innovation exhibition and keynote presentations by serial entrepreneurs David Fallon and Steve Huff.

USC’s Vice-Chancellor Professor Greg Hill and Executive Deans Professors Joanne Scott and John Bartlett will then join a panel discussion regarding game-changers for the Sunshine Coast economy.

From 4pm-4.15pm, finalists in a $15,000 Business Pitch Competition will present their business plans to the audience and judging panel, which includes Queensland’s Minister for Science, Information Technology, Innovation and the Arts Ros Bates.

The formal part of the event will begin at 5pm with networking, a gourmet barbecue dinner, summary of the Innovation Centre’s success and future direction, announcement of the Business Pitch Competition winner, a CEO/Chairman’s toast followed by the cutting of a huge anniversary cake.

About 160 business people, entrepreneurs, investors and community representatives will join in the celebration, with major sponsors including Sunshine Coast Council, Westpac and KnowledgeWise.

Media is welcome. The best times for photographs/filming will be around 2.30pm and 5.30pm.

Innovation Centre CEO Mark Paddenburg said the event would provide a great opportunity for businesses, entrepreneurs, the University and the general public to celebrate real innovation and entrepreneurship in the region.

He said there had been strong interest in the winner-takes-all Business Pitch Competition, with the 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 the Innovation Centre.

“Seven finalists will present their business plans to potential investors at 4pm, and the top three will be showcased later at the barbecue dinner event in a format similar to the popular ABC TV show Dragon’s Den,” he said.

Mr Paddenburg said the Innovation Centre currently worked with more than 30 innovative companies in a range of areas including digital, clean technology, environmental services and creative industries, and offered world-class business support for entrepreneurs and growing companies.

“The ICSC also runs an extensive program of business events – attracting more than 6,300 people to date – designed to help clients and local entrepreneurs connect with each other and the University to build a more diversified regional economy,” he said.

For more information about Innovation Centre events go to:

— Terry Walsh

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