START-UP SUCCESS: SmartHub Business Manager Elize Hattin, SmartHub member Tony Davys, MP Michelle Landry and Mayor Margaret Strelow
START-UP SUCCESS: SmartHub Business Manager Elize Hattin, SmartHub member Tony Davys, MP Michelle Landry and Mayor Margaret Strelow Rockhampton Regional Council

How you can get world-class business training, plus US trip

A SELECT group of Central Queensland entrepreneurs will have the chance to pitch their ideas to investors in the United States next year, thanks to an innovative new program partly funded by Rocky technology export Bevan Slattery.

The $770,000 incubator program will be rolled out at Rockhampton's SmartHub in the form of an 80-day workshop designed to allow any business founder the chance to gain traction with a global audience.

The experience will culminate in a trip to the United States for the successful entrepreneurs to pitch their projects.

Those selected will get hands-on experience from world-class experts thanks to $500,000 Federal Government incubator grant, $116,000 from Rockhampton Regional Council plus in-kind support worth $77,000, and a generous contribution of $77,000 from Mr Slattery.

Capricornia MP Michelle Landry said the Rockhampton SmartHub was just one of four incubators in the country to receive funding during the latest round of offers.

"I would like to congratulate Rockhampton Regional Council for putting forward a very attractive funding submission which I am pleased to announce was successful under the Australian Government's $23 million Incubator Support initiative,” Ms Landry said.

"This initiative is important in developing Australia's innovation ecosystem, which I am thrilled to see is absolutely thriving in Rockhampton since the SmartHub opened,” Ms Landry said.

"I am always excited to see new job opportunities in CQ and the Smarthub is delivering just that by helping entrepreneurs break out of the mould and start their own businesses.”

Rockhampton Region mayor Margaret Strelow said the program is designed for an intimate group of 25 to 45 start-ups with validated ideas for international markets.

"The Turbo-Traction Lab is not a standard education program consisting of simple presentations and 'what to do' lists,” Cr Strelow said.

"It is a hands-on, workshop style program delivered with a 'lab' mindset, where participants will be given practical guidance.

"It will be coordinated and run by an entrepreneur in residence and further facilitated by a number of well-connected, world-class subject experts.

"One of the criteria to be successful for this grant program was to receive third party support, so we are extremely grateful for Bevan's $77,000 contribution, and of course the Federal Government's funding which allows us to deliver this wonderful program right here in Rockhampton.”

In addition to his substantial financial contribution, Mr Slattery said he was keen to continue supporting the Turbo Traction Lab program in any way he can.

"I think it's fantastic Rockhampton Regional Council is doing everything it can in supporting start-up businesses and I am thrilled to see Federal money backing this initiative,” Mr Slattery said.

"I am looking forward to seeing if there are other ways I can contribute to this initiative and wish the project every success.”

The 10-module program content will be delivered across a series of scheduled full-day workshops held over a number of weeks. The program delivery is designed and structured to cater for both full time entrepreneurs as well as founders with a 'side-hustle'.

It is expected that upon the successful completion of this incubator program, start-ups will have significant market traction and be generating enough revenue to fuel the ongoing growth of their business.



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