2017 – What a year! With every level of government recognising the importance of innovation in regional communities, an unparalleled opportunity presented itself for the Gold Coast tech, education, investment and business sectors to come together to build a new vision for our city. Here is a quick recap on how the Gold Coast Hub came into being.
Grants and Contributions Committed
Gold Coast based software development company, Opmantek, launch a community project and submit an expression of interest to the Queensland Government to create an innovation hub on the Gold Coast after years of supporting the local ecosystem and championing local IT internationally.
Opmantek work with other interested local delegates and businesses to build support and develop a strategy for the innovation hub community project.
Letters of support are received from multiple partners including universities, accountancy and legal firms, investment firms and corporates.
Gold Coast Hub leads the first ever delegation of Gold Coast companies to exhibit at the annual Myriad festival.
Support and enquiries about the community project continues to grow so a community information session is organised to provide an overview of the project.
150 people gather at the the QT Hotel to hear the Gold Coast Hub announce plans and gather community input for a 3 year collaborative action plan to unite the innovation ecosystem, accelerate commercialisation and provide new access to investment funding for innovative Gold Coast companies.
Gold Coast Hub team and 15 partner organisations submit a $1.8 million collaborative action plan to the Queensland Government under the Advance Queensland ‘Advancing Regional Innovation Program’.
Gold Coast Hub Not-for-profit entity established.
Gold Coast Hub launches a weekly community newsletter and begins supporting a number of IT and startup activities Gold Coast as the membership base begins to grow.
Gold Coast Startup Weekend hosted at Bond University and supported by the Gold Coast Hub attracts a record number of student entrepreneurs.
The Gold Coast Hub leadership team continue to build linkages with key groups and associations on the Gold Coast, nationally and internationally. The Gold Coast Hub team share their vision with the angel investment community at the Founders Forum breakfast.
The Advancing Regional Innovation Program application moves through to the final assessment stage with CEO, Sharon Hunneybell and Chairman, Danny Maher delivering a midnight pitch from San Francisco, supported by local community leader, Tiah Goldstein on the ground.
Queensland Government announces that the Gold Coast Hub have been successful in their grant application and will be receiving $500,000 over 3 years towards the initiative. Gold Coast Mayor Tom Tate shares his support for the project and commits matching funds from the Gold Coast City Council.
Initial agreement signed with Little Tokyo Two to assist in the identification of an appropriate site for a central work and event space for the Gold Coast Hub to commence operations from.
Partnership discussions continue as an additional 4 businesses and groups commit to support the project.
Multiple additional events are supported through funding, promotion and provision of services.
A potential site for the Gold Coast Hub central workspace is identified – design and architectural consultation commences.
The Gold Coast Hub and Little Tokyo Two announce a search for the Gold Coast Hub’s first community managers. Dozens of applications are received and interview processes commence.
Event attendance and support continues to build.
The Gold Coast Hub leadership and legal team work on the company structure, funding terms and collaborative agreements required for the ARIP grant.
Floorplan designs and artist impressions of the potential workspace are released to the community and local media shares the long term vision for the Gold Coast Hub.
Expressions of interest to operate businesses from the Gold Coast Hub workspace are opened.
Final interviews are conducted with Community Managers.
Investigation and negotiation around the potential work and event space continue.
The first community manager for the Gold Coast Hub is announced as Ksenia Demidova joins the Gold Coast Hub team to provide some much needed support to the CEO and volunteer team as terms for the ARIP grant funding are finalised.
After a dream run for the project so far, the Gold Coast Hub team are dealt a devastating blow when a lease agreement for the work and event space is unable to be reached and a new property search commences.
The Gold Coast Hub hosts it’s first annual Industry Christmas Party kindly sponsored by Opmantek and QT Hotel. With over 200 people representing 10 different local IT, entrepreneurship, business and innovation groups the Gold Coast Hub team saw the first glimpse of their vision to bring the entire ecosystem together to connect, collaborate, share and spawn new ideas.