By Melissa Keogh
Entrepreneurs and businesses in South Australia’s second largest city – Mount Gambier – will be given a leg up when a $1.5m innovation incubator opens in 2018.
The hub called eNVIsion Limestone Coast will be delivered through the eNVIsion accelerator program led by Flinders University’s New Venture Institute (NVI) at Tonsley.
To be located in Mount Gambier’s town centre, the regional incubator will give emerging entrepreneurs and business people “the tools to get started”, while creating jobs and increasing exports.
The hub will feature co-working spaces, workshops, and access to acceleration programs, large file sharing, video conferencing, and content streaming technologies.
It will also be connected to the high-speed broadband GigCity network, helping to “break down regional barriers to create a thriving business ecosystem”.
While supported by Flinders University, eNVIsion Limestone Coast also received funding from the three tiers of government.
Overall investment in the project, expected to launch in early 2018, is about $1.5m.
NVI director Matt Salier says the innovation incubator will help entrepreneurs, business leaders, researchers and industry professionals to compete in national and global economies.
He says innovation incubators generally have links to angel investors and global ‘launching pads’, like those NVI has in Austin, Shanghai and Singapore.
“We have been talking to the local council about the needs of the community and all of the wonderful opportunities down there and where they see growth,” Matt says.
“The agriculture and seafood industry – these industries are already there and very much having a global focus.
“We are confident our incubator can assist more from these and other industries to succeed in the same way.”
Matt says interest from potential eNVIsion tenants is already strong.
“We have networks all over the world whether it’s in Asia, the US or Europe, we are bringing that capability to local businesses and working with great people already, like (local design studio) Hello Friday,” he says.
“These are the types of businesses that are able to compete from wherever they are.”
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