Wollongong ICT incubator launched
The University of Wollongong has launched its StartPad ideas incubator, a joint initiative with Wollongong City Council, NSW Trade & Investment, Enterprise Connect, and RDA Illawarra local business and entrepreneurs.
With initial funding of $50,000 from NSW Trade & Investment and Wollongong Council providing the space, in iHub, StartPad has also been supported by state and local governments.
Councillor Bradbery said: “The development and nurturing of companies in StartPad shows that Wollongong is developing as a city where companies and entrepreneurs can work innovative applications and tools to deliver new businesses and employment opportunities.
“Council is keen to see this area of the city cultivated to support entrepreneurs who have ideas and foresight,” Cr Bradbery said. “This is an opportune time to support a dynamic growth industry in our city.”
“We have a tidal wave of innovation going on and we need to get involved in this evolving digital age. We may become the ‘silicon beach’,” he said.
StartPad is a component of the iAccelerate program built around entrepreneurship and fast growth businesses. The program was developed by the University of Wollongong to position the Illawarra as the capital for ICT in NSW.
The driving force behind iAccelerate, Elizabeth Eastland, Innovation and Commercial Research Director at The University of Wollongong said: “iAccelerate and its associated programs represents a turning point in the industry profile of the Illawarra and will support the growing innovation ecosystem here.
“StartPad delivers real opportunities for companies identified through the Universities Entrepreneur Club, a pipeline of highly engaged and talented graduates into the Illawarra innovation ecosystem.”
Dr Tamantha Stutchbury, General Manager of StartPad said: “Already, in the short time we have been operating, we have seen our eight companies grow and achieve some big goals. Having 16 entrepreneurs co-located in an open-plan space makes for an amazingly vibrant and creative environment.”
A call for applications from early staged technology businesses to join StartPad will begin in mid-2012. For more information about StartPad go to www.startpad.com.au