Innovation Centre Sunshine Coast Supporting business start-up and growth on the Sunshine Coast Wed, 28 Jun 2017 03:49:10 +0000 en-AU hourly 1 Innovation Centre Sunshine Coast 32 32 Julie Bishop visits Geoff Shadforth Memorial Lecture Mon, 30 May 2016 05:17:33 +0000

Some great discussion points from Julie Bishop and Wyatt Roy last night about regional opportunities for innovation, collaboration and export into the dynamic Asia Pacific region.  2 IC members asking questions too

Innovation Centre Announces Pitch Competition Applications Thu, 22 Oct 2015 00:59:18 +0000 icpitchcomp

The Innovation Centre has received over 20 quality applications for the annual Pitch Competition for growing startups and established businesses who want to raise capital.

The pitch submissions for Pitch Comp could potentially change the world, with innovative and disruptive solutions aimed at solving real-world problems. From clean water dispensers to ocean rip wearable safety devices, the quality of applications has never been higher. From the sharing economy to the subscription economy, the applicants cover a wide range of exciting and potentially world-leading products and services.

Seven finalists will be invited to pitch live at the Innovation Centre, 2pm October 29.

Think Shark Tank, only nicer.

We are inviting you to experience these Sunshine Coast companies pitch their product or service live to angel investors representing $40 million in funds under management.

Last year’s finalists raised $200,000 in funding.

Finalists will be eligible for over $20,000 in prizes, presented by Sunshine Coast Mayor, Mark Jamieson.

The audience will get to vote for their favourite pitch for the People’s Choice Award.

To register your attendance at this free event visit

Applicants: more information available here

Apps for Industry Group
Biowaste Solutions
Christie’s Organic Ginger Products
Freerange Camping
Fill My Boot
Maroochy Neighbourhood Centre
Novus Energy
Ocean Research
Pumped On Property
Resolve 3D
Spare Harvest
Water Rat
Whimsical Creations
Finalists will be announced on the 28th October, 2015. Finalists will be available for press interviews at the event on the 29th October, from 5pm.

Additional information:

The IC Pitch Comp effectively connects high quality local business investment opportunities to national angel investors and venture capitalists representing over $40M in funds under management.

Judges include:

  • Tim Wilson, Blue Sky Private Equity
  • Kirsten Baulch, Founder – Medimobile
  • Michael Hu, Investment Director, Arowana Co
  • Mike Greeff, Director – Sunshine Coast Mentoring and Investment Group
  • Greg Tuckwell, Poole Group / SC Innovation Investment Network
  • Elizabeth Eastland, CEO – iAccelerate
  • Nigel Hall, Southmore Capital

Principal Sponsors:

  • University of the Sunshine Coast
  • Queensland Government
  • Sunshine Coast Council
  • redchip lawyers
  • Poole Group
  • RADBE Consulting Group

Major Event Sponsors:

  • Italic
  • Profile
  • Innovate Media
  • Business Enterprise Centre

Supporting Sponsors:

  • Chimu Adventures
  • iMend Phones

The Innovation Centre is a University of the Sunshine Coast company which has supported the start-up and growth of more than 145 businesses, $32M in capital, and creating over 580 jobs since 2002.



Startup Weekend Youth 2015 Tue, 01 Sep 2015 05:50:28 +0000 IC CEO Mark Paddenburg congratulated the deserving winners of this year’s inaugural Australasia Startup Weekend Youth Sunshine Coast which promotes entrepreneurship and innovation for year 10-12 students.

“This Google sponsored event is a great initiative to develop the business skills and capacity of the next generation of local entrepreneurs and provide them with the tools to succeed in the future,” he said.

Josiah Bettenay, a Year 10 student at Mountain Creek State High School, pitched the winning idea with classmates Mitch Keefe, Jayden Wilson, Georgia Walker-Healy and Emma Conway who developed Go Log, an app that replaces traditional paper-based logbooks by allowing learner drivers to record their drives in digital form.

The team’s final five-minute pitch impressed the judging panel which included Vanessa Garrard (CEO of e3! Style), Rick Baker (CEO of Blackbird Ventures), and Sally Williams (Outreach Program Manager for Google Australia). Team members shared in $1,500 worth of tech prizes, along with swag of professional mentoring, coaching and development services. The IC has already made introductions to some of our mentor panel members and alumni members that can assist in taking Go Log forward.

Runners up included:

·         Ever Health, a mobile platform designed to promote wellbeing through gamified fitness challenges.

·         Appy Youth, an app that aims to address youth depression by helping young people to connect at safe drug-and alcohol-free events.


Thirty-six senior students from 12 schools went from pitch to prototype in just three days, turning ideas into fledgling businesses with the help of mentors from the local startup and tech communities.

Organising team member and teacher Graeme Breen said the event, held at the Institute of Professional Learning from 21-23 August, was designed to give students in Years 10-12 an understanding of how the skills they learnt in school could be applied in a changing business landscape.

Startup Weekend Youth was timed to coincide with the upcoming addition of a Digital Technologies course to the Australian curriculum.

“This course will provide students with much of the knowledge needed to undertake this commercialisation, but in order to succeed in the contemporary workforce they will also need the more intangible skills businesses are looking for, including working collaboratively, problem solving, critical analysis, effective decision making and process management,” Mr Breen said.

In recognition of the student’s commitment and enthusiasm, all 36 participants received holiday internships with local businesses, which will provide valuable opportunities to further develop their skills and passion.

Mark said “Startup Weekend Youth follows on from the hugely successful Startup Weekend Sunshine Coast, which has attracted more than 150 participants over the past two years” and key sponsors included the IC, University of the Sunshine Coast, Sunshine Coast Council, Digital Careers and Google.

2016 Clunies Ross Awards nominations open Thu, 13 Aug 2015 01:31:56 +0000 Clunies Ross Awards

2016 Clunies Ross Awards nominations open

Nominations for the 2016 Clunies Ross Awards open today (3 August) and will close on Friday 30 October, 2015.

There will be a new format and specific categories for the Awards in 2016.

Over the past quarter of a century the Awards have recognised contributions by dedicated individuals to the application of technology for the benefit of Australia, highlighting ATSE’s commitment to fostering innovation and commercialisation and acclaiming the work of those taking the nation’s leading technologies to the marketplace.

In recognition of the complex nature of such activities, from 2016 the Awards will be made in three categories with a single winner in each category. 

The winners will be announced at ATSE’s 2016 National Challenge Conference in Sydney, 15/16 June.

The three award categories are:

  • Clunies Ross Entrepreneur of the Year Award For those who have been responsible for the creation of a product or service with a financially successful outcome, in either an early stage or mature company environment with demonstrated impact for Australia.
  • Clunies Ross Knowledge Commercialisation Award For those who have been responsible for a technology which has been commercialised, most likely by licensing, with a financially successful outcome.
  • Clunies Ross Innovation Award For those who have been responsible for the adoption of a technology, at a stage where the financial outcomes are yet to be realised and/or the benefits are of a measurable broad community nature.

The award criteria are:

  1. The award winner has made an identifiably significant contribution to the advancement of industry and/or the community through the application of science and technology for the economic, social and environmental benefit of Australia;
  2. The award winner is able to demonstrate the impact or potential impact of the technological based innovation; and
  3. The award winner has advanced the promotion of innovators and community awareness of technological innovation.

Nomination Guidelines and the Nomination Form are online

 Issued by        Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering (ATSE)

For more information visit the website.

Australian Information Industry Association news – July Mon, 20 Jul 2015 23:43:53 +0000 aiia-news





Read here.

USC Officially Opens New Multi Level Car Park Wed, 15 Jul 2015 03:32:21 +0000 USC Multi Level Car Park

Professor Greg Hill
Vice-Chancellor and President

officially opened the

Multi-Level Car Park today, July 15, 2015


Roy and Nola Thompson who generously provided $5 million contribution
Chancellor John M Dobson OAM


]]> Innovation Centre July eNewsletter – News and Events Tue, 14 Jul 2015 03:50:30 +0000  

You can read the latest update from the Innovation Centre here.

Post Startup Weekend Workshop with Business Models Inc. Mon, 06 Jul 2015 02:23:27 +0000 The Innovation Centre successfully hosted a business planning event post StartUp Weekend – Sunshine Coast.

Our host was Michael Eales from Business Models Inc who took participants through the Business Model Canvas.

Disruptive Innovation: A Perspective from the Sunshine Coast Tue, 09 Jun 2015 02:24:13 +0000

Part 1

There has been a lot of talk in entrepreneurship and innovation communities over the last fortnight about disruptive innovation. This was driven in large part by Jill Lepore’s New York Time article The Disruption Machine. Lepore explores, with the benefit of hindsight, the theories around business and innovation Clayton M. Christensen outlined in his 1997 book The Innovator’s Dilemma.

Lepore is critical of the theory of disruptive innovation as described by Christensen. She points out that many examples of disruptive innovation described in the book have not held up in the long run – some of those who disrupted were in time surpassed by those who were disrupted. Lepore also believes that many businesses – both large and small – have misconstrued Christensen’s theories to establish a new business framework and model for success, a model that potentially never was. 

We sat down with Mark Paddenburg, the CEO at the Innovation Centre Sunshine Coast to get his insights on disruptive innovation, his take on Jill Lepore’s article, and hear his insights on what a startup can take away from all of the discussion. 

Can you explain disruptive innovation in lay terms?

Disruptive innovation is innovation that helps create a new market and value network, and eventually disrupts the status quo. We now regularly see nimble, entrepreneurial startup entities bring a new product, service or business model to the marketplace that creates significant disruption – generally impacting positively for consumers and negatively for the incumbent’s marketshare. This is something that has been ramping up over the last two decades – enabled by the ease of establishing a startup, much lower technology costs and effective global platforms like Amazon.

Uber, for example, has given a new perspective on how taxi services could be provided. Airbnb has done the same thing – it’s an accommodation booking service, but not as we’ve traditionally known it.

For the successful startup businesses, they will only disrupt if they can scale the innovation and quickly grow the team, market share and profits.

Is all innovation disruptive?

No – both words do get over used. What many people call an innovation is usually just a “very good product” and for an innovation to disrupt it must do just that. There are also a lot of innovations and inventions that are not really that useful to society – like the 250th version of the mouse trap.

There’s also incremental innovation – improvements and developments that advance a product, service or business model, but that keep within our expected scope. There were a lot of incremental innovations that improved the CD player over time, for example. However, this industry was disrupted by the arrival of digital music tracks and players.

Many businesses have implemented strategies to address the need for the development of both incremental and disruptive innovation. Both are important – incremental innovation increases revenue opportunities by increasing competitiveness and margins; while disruptive innovation gives you the potential to be a market leader, stay ahead of the curve and stave off emerging competitors.

Large companies with well-funded research labs and streams of new products are usually focused on sustaining innovations-the kind that satisfy existing customers. Truly disruptive innovations – the dramatically cheaper, simpler innovations that attract new users and create entirely new markets – are associated more with startups than with established businesses.

Many large companies with strong balance sheets will simply outsource or acquire most of the innovations they need. Some of the incumbents will, through mergers and acquisitions, try to buy the small, potentially disruptive startups and bolt their solutions on to their existing business. This model is most pronounced in Tel Aviv where Google, Facebook, etc. have teams on the ground for the M&A pipeline.

There are various models, but the incumbents either ignore the startups at their peril, or they try to buy them out. Some will monitor the startup’s success when they start to make an impact on their revenue, then make the assessment on whether to compete aggressively or simply buy them out.

There are lot of challenges around being first to market. It seems to me that a disruptive innovation will always be first to market, and therefore, always have those inherent challenges. How do these new businesses maintain success in the long term, especially off the back of a disruptive innovation that’s changed the landscape?

It’s interesting to consider example Lepore describes with Seagate and Miniscribe. Seagate continued focusing on the 5.25-inch disc because it suited their existing customers like IBM, without regard for companies like Miniscribe who were developing the more compact 3.25-inch discs.

When Seagate eventually did turn to 3.25-inch discs, it became a hugely profitable arm of their business despite their late entry.

Their existing revenue streams and business structures enabled them to quickly compete in that area and they overtook the smaller, newly established businesses.

Miniscribe meanwhile struggled through the valley of death experience – they didn’t have enough revenue to bring their version to market as easily as Seagate, and struggled to get enough market share. Hence, they burnt through their cash and couldn’t survive. They probably would have benefited from the lean startup methodology.

So having disruptive innovation doesn’t guarantee success?

No, not at all. You’ve still got to have the right team, be able to service the customer as you scale rapidly, have access to sufficient capital and you’ve got to build the market share and revenues that will sustain the business in the medium term. All the traditional elements of a successful business are important to get right, regardless of the disruptive nature of your product or service and it helps to have maverick leadership.

What were your overall impressions of Jill Lepore’s article? What were your thoughts on her criticisms of disruptive innovation as it is framed as a theory?

I think Lepore’s article shows clearly that not everything about innovation is black and white. Lepore argues that the theory of disruptive innovation is about why businesses fail – I think this is true for complacent incumbents like Kodak and the new paradigm is that disruptive innovation does allow some startups to be incredibly successful (ie. Pintrest, Wotif, Uber, AirBNB, etc).

Startup businesses can also fail and they do have a high failure rate. But I think, particularly for business incubators like ours, we have to nurture and assist startups through an effective ecosystem.

I like Lepore’s closing paragraph which relates to the unreadable novel and indicates that the future of disruptive innovation is as unreadable as the future itself.

We don’t know what the future holds but we do know that disruptive innovation is becoming more prevalent. New technologies are enabling startups with disruptive ambitions to access global markets much more quickly, meaning that penetration of new ideas – and in turn, rejection of old models – can happen very rapidly.

But equally, many startups can have some success but then fail spectacularly and as Lepore alludes to, quite often the bigger incumbent business might appear uncompetitive in the short term and that they’ve lost their grip on the market – but you can never discount them or write them off. Companies like Bucyrus seemed on the brink of failure then reinvented themselves. If you look at the big mining sites around the world, you’ll still see plenty of their equipment.

In summary, entrepreneurs with disruptive innovations will ensure there will be some exciting times ahead and as Daniel Petre says, it’s never been easier to start up a business and have a global impact.

It seems that we’re often talking about disruptive innovation being driven by startups. Is that correct?

Yes, startups are often the drivers of disruptive innovation. These startups don’t have existing customers, products or models to adhere to. They have flexibility which allows them to pursue high-risk strategies. Comparatively, established firms usually choose more conventional approaches – often because they need to meet existing customer demands or the expectations of the board and shareholders.

So while small firms fail more frequently, they are also more likely to introduce more innovative products. Like the Seagate example we’ve already discussed, new firms are better at creating new disk drives or software, while established firms have a comparative advantage in extending existing product lines.

You also have to consider the appetite for innovation. Many large firms are notorious for offering employees little more than a gold watch for major discoveries. Some major innovations have been shelved indefinitely by the big corporates. There is a big contrast between the very limited incentives at large corporate firms and their research labs and the incentives offered by startups – stock-option-heavy compensation packages, for example.

In part two of this interview, we talk more with Mark about the value of disruptive innovation and how a startup can prepare to both disrupt and be disrupted. Part two will be released shortly.