CONNECT Innovation Hub Launches in South West

Karina Ayers from the HelpMe Feed Foundation, Amanda Carroll from Rok Kombucha, Ian Atkins from The Beer Farm, WA Government’s Chief Scientist Peter Klinken and Cohan Allan, founder of Cryptotax Online.

Karina Ayers from the HelpMe Feed Foundation, Amanda Carroll from Rok Kombucha, Ian Atkins from The Beer Farm, WA Government’s Chief Scientist Peter Klinken and Cohan Allan, founder of Cryptotax Online.

WA Government’s Chief Scientist, Peter Klinken, launched the South West Connect Regional Innovation Hub at Amelia Park Lodge earlier this month. The new Hub will bring together entrepreneurs and innovative businesses from across the South West to incubate new ideas and business models, foster new collaborations, and access expertise and resources to fast track their business’s growth.

Prof Klinken highlighted new opportunities for regional innovation and spoke of his strong support of a regional hub to “bring together bright minds to produce bright ideas”. He relayed the history of some of the South West’s first ventures, including successful local wineries that have stood the test of time, and recounted his own experiences of being part of innovative research spinouts.

The event also featured four local entrepreneurs who have successfully built their venture from the South West, including Cohan Allan, founder of Cryptotax Online, Amanda Carroll from Rok Kombucha, Ian Atkins from The Beer Farm and Karina Ayers from the HelpMe Feed Foundation. Karina spoke of the collaborative approach that helped create a foundation with a global team, and their app helping health professionals support parents with best practice breastfeeding resources and communication tools.

The 6-month South West Hub programme will kick off with a two-day business boot camp, and includes free access to a co-working space, expert training and mentoring, and an opportunity to participate in regional pitch events with prizes. 

The Hub programme is free for selected participants. Start-ups can be private companies or not-for-profit entities, and from any industry. AgriStart’s Managing Director, Dr Natasha Ayers explained:

The hubs are a great opportunity for local innovators to network with other entrepreneurs, develop new expertise, access new markets and investment to scale their business from regional WA.

The South West Hub is one of three regional innovation hubs established by AgriStart as part of a 2 year grant from the Australian Government Department of Industry, Innovation and Science.

The South West’s Connect Regional Innovation Hub applications are now open. For more information contact Tash Ayers on 9755 4997 or to apply visit www.agristart.com.au/connect.