Celebration for 15 years of innovative success

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Celebration for 15 years of innovative success

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USC student Renee Coman

7 December 2017

The founder of the USC Innovation Centre’s newest member company – a 33-year-old USC student whose business supports Fly In Fly Out (FIFO) workers and their families – will be among the crowd celebrating the centre’s 15th anniversary tomorrow, Friday 8 December.

Renee Coman, who is studying a Bachelor of Creative Industries, recently developed a Software as a Service product that is licensed to organisations whose staff travel away from home for extended periods, such as FIFOs, aviation and defence.

The Sippy Downs mother-of-two said she was excited about having access to the Innovation Centre’s resources and connections in growing her startup Distance Assistance.

“Operating out of the IC will enable me to maximise productivity, connect with like-minded, committed professionals and access some tailored mentoring,” she said.

The IC has assisted the startup and growth of more than 200 member businesses since it was established by USC on campus at Sippy Downs in 2002, creating more than 840 jobs and $60 million in economic value for the Sunshine Coast.

IC Chairman Dr Peter Isdale AM, USC Chancellor Air Chief Marshal Sir Angus Houston AK, AFC (Ret’d) and USC Vice-Chancellor Professor Greg Hill will host the event along with IC Chief Executive Officer Mark Paddenburg.

Media are invited to the 15th anniversary function on Friday 8 December from 12pm to 2pm in the Innovation Centre foyer on campus at Sippy Downs. Presenters will be available for interviews after the cake cutting at 12.45pm.

Another speaker will be Lyndsey Cox, the co-founder of WandsPro. The company’s clip-together crockery range for camping and outdoor use was launched to the market in July.

Mr Paddenburg said the function would showcase the achievements of current IC members, alumni, regional partnerships and USC connections and celebrate with supporters, partners and mentors.

“It will include innovator exhibits, a hall of fame and tours of the facilities, with food samples provided by businesses in our GrowCoastal food accelerator network,” he said.

The IC is a central hub for innovators, entrepreneurial startups and high growth companies, operating in a purpose-built 1,500 square metre facility with incubator and accelerator programs, collaborative events, a prototyping lab and 35 mentor panels.

— Julie Schomberg

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