• 23
  • Aug
As far as intriguing speakers go, the tourism industry has a new leading man in Jeremy Jauncey, the Scottish man living in New York, travelling the globe with his 12 million followers eager anticipating his next destination.

He is one of 10 keynote speakers at North Queensland Entrepreneurs Conference to be held on 8 November, 2016 at The Ville starting at 8.30am.

  • 17
  • Aug
Community Information Update - Visit from marketing expert inspires region:

Budding entrepreneurs, business owners and school students are buzzing following a visit from one of Australia’s leading marketing experts last week.

Mellissah Smith, from specialist marketing firm Marketing Eye, visited the Fraser Coast to share her personal story about running a business on a global scale and recently establishing the not-for-profit World Incubator.

The business incubator was founded by Mellissah in February this year to help local people in the Charters Towers region grow their startup businesses – something which she is extremely passionate about.

“You don’t need to be located in a capital city to be hugely successful,” she says.

“If startup businesses are supported by their local community, they can grow into significant businesses that stimulate employment and create job opportunities.

“They need the right environment to foster new and innovative ideas, backed by mentors and business idea development, to reach the end of an incubation cycle.”

This was also the theme of her presentation to a packed University of Sunshine Coast lecture room last Thursday, where she spoke about the potential of the Council’s Innovation Hub.

“I’m excited about the ideas that will be brought to the Innovation Hub and transformed into successful business ventures,” she said.

“What the Fraser Coast has is the foundation of innovation already here – but people don’t know what to do with it.

“Many find that their ideas don’t actually go anywhere, because there is no place to help them reach their full potential.”

Mayor Chris Loft wholeheartedly agreed.

“We have so much untapped potential in our region.

“The Innovation Hub will encourage local entrepreneurs and other likeminded individuals to create and do business on the Fraser Coast.”

During her visit, Mellissah also met with more than 200 local students both in Maryborough and Hervey Bay schools and was impressed with their passion and innovation.

“I’ve already had eight students contact me with dreams of being robotics experts, fashion designers and inventors.

“They have the seeds for business ideas that have not yet been thought of, and their excitement by the prospect of being an entrepreneur highlights the need for an Innovation Hub.”

“We need to support their ideas - these kids are our future.”
Council has recently advertised for an Innovation Hub Manager and is planning to commence operations in October this year.

  • 16
  • Aug
Last week I gave up 4 full days to help out the Fraser Coast region as part of my "giving back" by discussing incubators and startup hubs.

On an invite from the Mayor Chris Loft, from the Fraser Coast Regional Council, they organised a packed schedule of public speaking and events for the four days.

I was very impressed by their proactive approach and committed to helping them wherever possible, sharing intellectual property and knowledge from our experiences at The World Incubator.

As we discussed:

  • What IP we have developed we are happy to share at no cost. This was always about giving back to rural and regional communities and that is first and foremost on our minds. We are not in the business of making money. Charity has to start at home.
  • It is most probable that the Fraser Coast Innovation Hub will use the IP of The World Incubator and it will be worded as such. 
  • This IP will be extended and continually improved collaboratively.
  • The Fraser Coast Regional Council has given $600,000 to their Innovation Hub. While Charters Towers Regional Council have not given any money, they have given us the use of the front space of Wherry House, which we are appreciative of, however, we would like more support from them, which at this point has not been forthcoming with the new Council. Let me reiterate that we love Wherry House, but monetary support like all other councils are happy to commit would help with wages of Community Manager and the program as a whole.

We are pleased to share our IP nationally, and perhaps one day internationally. This is not about holding on to our "IP" but sharing it with the world and giving people confidence to start businesses and believe in themselves. Hopefully by doing this they will be able to build businesses and create jobs. By building businesses, they will inherently give young and old, the opportunity to have meaningful careers in the region.

Fraser Coast Regional Council Mayor Chris Loft is incredibly proactive. He, alongside Rick Whittle, the Saturday Morning Presenter of ABC Wide Bay, organised:

  • An interview with ABC Radio in Bundaberg
  • A presentation to all of council at Fraser Coast Regional Council for an hour on The World Incubator, Charters Towers and why the Council needs to lead the way and encourage the community to support the initiative.
  • A presentation to all of council at Bundaberg Regional Council on The World Incubator, Charters Towers and how their community would benefit from a similar model.
  • Television interviews with Channel 7 and Win Television.
  • Presention to over 100 students in Maryborough from schools in the region for gifted students. One student has already developed a robotics business. Impressive.
  • Presentation to over 200 students in Hervey Bay, Members of Parliament, Dignitaries and business leaders.
  • Prestentation to Rotary Club
  • And many discussions related to how the Innovation Hub may work.

I was immensely impressed with the world that the Mayor had done. This proactive approach is a game changer. In Charters Towers, we need to ensure that Mayor Liz Schmidt has a more proactive and active approach to the incubator. While she did inherit it from her predecessor, it certainly is game changing for the 10 people in it. A little more support would go a long way - as jobs are needed in the region. 

We hope that given the time she has had to settle in, that this is her next step, as promised in our original meeting. These Incubators are hard work, and require funds. Given the trolling, I have funded this initiative so that no brands are tarnished by trolling. But next round, we would hope that the council takes this more seriously, as there doesn't appear to be any other initiatie that is doing what we are doing and putting Charters Towers on the map.

More than 1,000,000 people now have engaged with The World Incubator on social media and off line through the media. It's time for the Council to step up and be counted as a proactive, entrepreneurial outfit, that wants people to succeed in business, create jobs, and keep the young in town.

  • 05
  • Aug
There are a few things that only good friends can ask, and I did that yesterday. Firstly, I asked a very private man in Charters Towers to share his multi-million dollar local story about selling products nationally, from Charters Towers. It's important people know that this can be done, but not without a lot of hard work, determination, focus and a few heart aches along the way.
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