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.

Christina Cannes

Events and Marketing

Christina doesn't accept the word impossible. Her superpower is communication and with over a decade of experience in both media and marketing, she can run the gauntlet from strategy to sponsorship to public relations with a passion for battle plans and business development. Hailing from the US, she started off her marketing career at Williams Mullen, a US law firm with over 230 attorneys in 11 offices, managing firm communications and business development research. Looking for a more creative outlet, she joined MBM Marketing, a boutique B2B marketing agency, to specialise in branding. In 2007, she left the US and trekked into outback Australia crafting bespoke editorial for travel publications. While living in Melbourne, she was a freelance writer and marketing consultant for the international media company Bauer Media Group.

She moved to the Sunshine Coast in 2010 for a lifestyle update and launched Escape Media, producing a niche off road travel magazine and accompanying TV show 4WD Touring Australia. Launched solely via sponsorship funding, the company grew rapidly with the show airing on TEN and the magazine selling successfully nationally. In 2015, she left the print publishing world behind and launched ummagumma Media focusing on digital marketing, website design and content creation for other off road travel and camping magazines, local Sunshine Coast brands and small businesses. She published her first novel, New Henley, in December 2016. She is a member of the Sunshine Coast Creative Alliance and Eumundi Chamber of Commerce. Her mantras are rules are meant to be broken, learning never ends, say yes, and follow your heart.

Lynn Graham

Client Services Coordinator

Educated in Northern Ireland, Lynn gained a National Diploma in Business & Finance, Travel & Tourism after which she commenced employment in the public sector, working in the Department of Training & Employment. She later took a career break and moved to America where she worked for a major printing company. Upon her return to Northern Ireland Lynn helped manage the local Job Centre until she had the smart idea of immigrating to Australia with her husband Paul and two children in 2008. In Australia, Lynn took on challenging roles in the wine / logistics industry before joining the IC team. Lynn brings a fresh, happy approach to IC client services and reception duties.

In her free time Lynn likes to experience live theatre and concerts, and isn’t afraid to travel for the right show.