Our Team

Helping Entrepreneurs Discover Community & Capacity

Mark Paddenburg


Mark has a demonstrated track record in creating value by connecting ideas, people, programs and capital. His focus is on entrepreneurship, business development and improving innovation capability for startup and high growth companies.

As CEO, Mark and his team are currently assisting over 45 startup and high growth companies. In previous roles, Mark assisted in the establishment of a range of new ventures including Dascom (now owned by IBM), QuickBeds (now owned by Flight Centre), FireWire, Tracknology, Venture Commander, Storey Bridge Climb and Stella Gems. Mark has also assisted a range of larger companies such as Unisys, Lockheed Martin, Digicel Pacific, Youi, Virgin, Sandvik, Talisman Energy whilst Manager at Invest Queensland. Mark helped introduce the Pitch for Investment Competition, DemoDays, Startup Weekend, Boardroom Briefings and new networking groups on the Sunshine Coast. Mark has also worked in a range of business development roles in Australia, the UK and China with Shell, Peregrine Capital, The Office of Economic Development for the City of Brisbane Ltd and he also played a key part in establishing Australia TradeCoast (1992-98), Brisbane Airport Corporation Ltd (1996-97), the ourBrisbane portal (1997-98), the Smart State Strategy (2000-2003) and the Cities of Asia Pacific Conference (1992 – 1999).

Mark Chairs the Sunshine Coast Health Panel, is a member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors, a member of the local Business Council and was President of the Brisbane Junior Chamber of Commerce in 1995. Mark completed a Bachelor of Commerce at Griffith University and Graduate Certificate in Management at University of Queensland.

Mel Messina

Operations & Service Manager

Having come from a family business environment from start up to exit, Mel understands the entrepreneurial journey and what it takes to run successful, growing businesses in a highly competitive environment. Mel has worked in a variety of organisations (i.e. A.L.M. Industries, Iplex Pipelines, Fletcher Building, Sodexo, Rio Tinto and the Australian Cyber Security Networks). Tact, diplomacy and successful stakeholder engagement have been Mel’s core competencies across his professional career involving anything from working with national energy authorities and standards bodies, to national retail/commercial stores, to international miners and more recently with direct experience in cyber security awareness and translation for directors, executives and communities.

Mel was fortunate to start his career in positions of responsibility and quickly honed his management and operational skills, including innovation, design, manufacturing, automation, robotics and cyber security. Mel’s technical know-how is enhanced by his business acumen and experience in international supply chain management, customer service, contract negotiation, new product branding, marketing and major account experience.

Renee Coman

Business Development & Marketing Manager

With an appetite for change, I support others make a meaningful change in the world. As a local Community Leader and the Business Development Marketing Manager for the Innovation Centre Sunshine Coast I help connect local entrepreneurs, businesses, government stakeholders and community members to create a dynamic, entrepreneurial, sustainable region. This is achieved by organising experiential learning events, growing a culture of innovation and business capacity whilst providing a platform for others to stand up, speak up and cause a ripple effect.

BCInd GCert (Mgmt)