Stepping business up a notch in Charters Towers

04 July 2016 Author :  
You always need someone to take the first step, and for what is now considered an "outsider", it was a person who now lives in Melbourne and sometimes the U.S. - namely, me.

I can't begin to tell you what the journey has been like, but it has at times been trying and not exactly as planned. It took time to do things, that I thought may happen overnight, and of course, you have the name-sayers; the one's who don't want change, or believe that change is possible.

Well, what I have to say to them is simple: Change is here whether you like it or not. People in The World Incubator are determined to be successful and they have the full support of myself and my team to make sure that they achieve their goals. Reality is what it is, being that not all businesses will succeed, but please put your support behind every person who is out there giving it a go. I certainly am.

We are now ready to update you on what The World Incubator is doing:

  1. We are located in Wherry House on the bottom floor. This is a sponsorship of Charters Towers Regional Council which was arranged by the previous council, when Frank Beveridge was Mayor. The sponsorship value is not a monetary exchange, just the use of the area. We are very privileged to be able to use this space for 2 years as per a contract that was drawn up, and re-confirmed the other day when we were fortunate enough to meet with your new Mayor, Liz Schmidt, who said that she would honour that commitment. In terms of sponsorship, this is currently our smallest sponsor, with Marketing Eye and myself personally, the largest. But every sponsorship matters and I know the team and startups in the Incubator are incredibly pleased to be working from the space. We cannot be thankful enough.
  2. Startups working in collaboration breed great ideas, inspiration and outcomes. Having them taper in over the next few weeks is a great idea as it allows us to learn from the early adopters and make sure the transition is as smooth as possible and that they learn the things that is needed to get to the next level.
  3. To date, in just one week, hundreds of people have had the opportunity to experience the beauty of Wherry House, whereas before it was closed up to our knowledge.
  4. An incubator is a place where people go or are part of to grow a concept, idea or business and get it to the next level through a strategic approach.
  5. There will be ongoing education which we hope to share with the entire community at no charge through webinars or coming in and listening to people speak with experience.
  6. We have an open-door policy. Come in and ask questions. They are always welcome. 
  7. Any negative comments on social media chase away sponsors, so if you have a bee in your bonnet, speak to Charles Skewring. He would happily answer any of your questions.
  8. If out of 8 businesses in the first instance incubate, we hope that 1 to 2 become real success stories. That's how incubators work. We will be working very hard for all 8, but know that we have to set expectations and let everyone know that even Thomas Edison failed 10,000 times before getting it right... and he was the smartest man to walk this planet.
  9. We hope to have an open house every month with drinks and nibblies for the community to hear where the startups are up to. Please join us. There will be a sign outside with this information and on The World Incubator website and facebook page.
  10. Schools; please join us. Encourage any student who is considering business to log into our webinars or come along and talk to the startups. You are the most important part of this whole incubation period as you are the future of this town and if there is anything we can do to help by talking to students or encouraging their participation - please let us know.

The North Queensland Entrepreneurs Conference was going to be held in Charters Towers. To get the high profile speakers that we were able to achieve, we had to hold it on a particular date. The Council has advised that there is no space available on that date as it is pre-booked. We are moving it with the support of Townsville businesses and leaders to Townsville, but any proceeds will come back to The World Incubator to help fund further startups in some way or another. It's very important that those who are a little on the negative side, hold back, as you will kill sponsorship and Charters Towers will find that the incubator won't survive on that basis.

Let's work together and celebrate these amazing individuals in The World Incubator. I cannot be more proud of them.

The World Incubator

Mellissah Smith is the Chairperson of The World Incubator, a not-for-profit business incubator in rural Queensland. Currently the incubator is situation in Wherry House in Charters Towers, North Queensland and houses 10 startups. The World Incubator is host to North Queensland’s largest entrepreneurs conference with all proceeds going to helping rural and regional startups and farmers. Book tickets on

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