Innovation Ecosystem

brainspace Breakout and officeCoworking has become a viable option for startups, small businesses, telecommuters and freelancers looking for an alternative to working from home or a traditional office.

Without trying, many coworking spaces develop a core group of members who have interests in common and a desire to share costs and experiences.

You often see this amongst health professionals where a number of practitioners might co-locate. This can be a really positive experience for these businesses.

They become a great support network for each other and often a source of referrals and new business.

Shake hand1Written by Daniel Jarosch

Drs. Saskia de Klerk, Nelia Hyndman-Rizk and Marina Zhang would like to invite you to participate in this research on the journey of moving to another country and starting a business in this new environment.

This project is titled Immigrant entrepreneurship: Necessity or opportunity and it is supported by the University of New South Wales.

innovagelogoAs the world's population continues to grow and change, we are approaching the largest demographic, economic and social change the western world has ever seen; our ageing population.

Here's an opportunity to contribute to the discussion and suggest solutions for the future of ageing. innovAGE is an innovation event being held over two weekends in March and May. It is hosted by Leading Age Services Australia (LASA), Lighthouse Business Innovation Centre, isobar, the University of Canberra and the Aged Care Industry IT Council.

WOTSO4There are a number of co-working spaces popping up in Canberra and they all have their own niches and service offerings.

Coworking spaces can be a great alternative to a home office. They're set up like an office, so no more having to move your stuff from the kitchen table each night.

They have meeting rooms for hire and can help you present a professional view of your company when you are meeting clients or giving presentations.

They also offer opportunities to network with other entrepreneurs and many of them regularly hold educational events.

The Department of Industry's Single Business Service is streamlining the way businesses access industry information, grants and services.

Single Business Service assistance is universal. Available to all Australian businesses, the service is made up of a consolidated online presence accessible anytime and anywhere, a contact centre and a face-to-face business facilitation network that links interested businesses with relevant programmes and services.

The practical support available includes information for businesses that is simple and easy to find, tailored advice for businesses when they choose to access it, direct links to services provided in the Entrepreneurs' Infrastructure Programme and connections with other Australian Government programmes or services like the R&D Tax Incentive and the Industry Skills Fund.

 

Canberra is not generally seen as the poster child for start-up communities, however, under the cover of a public service town beats the heart of a buzzing, and rapidly growing entrepreneurial community that does things a bit differently.

Anna Pino, CEO of Lighthouse Business Innovation Centre, a business primer working with start-ups and high growth businesses in Canberra, believes that the traditional accelerator and incubator won't work in Canberra today. Canberra had an extremely successful incubator operating here between 2000 and 2008, but times have changed and so have the needs of the entrepreneurial community

"Anyone who has done business in Canberra or has had a branch office located here will attest to the fact that Canberra is a different place to do business," said Ms Pino.

"The start-up community here also operates quite differently and the businesses that support entrepreneurs are themselves having to innovate in order to meet the market need".

startupWhile it's easy enough to launch a company, it's a lot harder for startups to stay in the game. 

There's a lot of pessimism in the media about the business outlook for Canberra, but that doesn't explain the fact that Lighthouse Business Innovation Centre, Canberra's virtual business accelerator, has seen an increase of more than 50% in the last year in the number of start-ups seeking one-on-one support to grow their business.

Lighthouse has a pivotal role in developing the Canberra innovation space by working closely with all forms of funding both public and private, managing the local network of high nett worth individuals and driving projects like the ACT Microcredit Program and the Entrepreneur Development Loan Fund, Canberra's microfinance programs that help build and grow local businesses.