The opening of Wollongong’s new iHUB will provide greater opportunities for recent university graduates and tech entrepreneurs in the Illawarra, according to Lord Mayor Gordon Bradbery.
Located next to the Town Hall, Wollongong’s new information centre will house StartPad, a collaboration between Council and the University of Wollongong. Billed as a local ideas incubator, StartPad will share the iHUB building with Tourism Wollongong’s offices and Council’s City Centre Revitalisation Team.
“Council is keen to see this area of the city used to support entrepreneurs who have ideas and foresight,” Cr Bradbery said.
“Not only will we have plenty of tourists making the trek to the centre, we will have a number of people involved with IT tech start up companies who will be using the space on level two,” Cr Bradbery added.
UOW Research and Innovation Division Commercialisation Manager Tamantha Stutchbury believes Interaction will be the key to survival for new start ups.
“It’s about the start up communities being centrally located and tapping into the established business communities, they’re giving support and mentorship to our start ups,” Stutchbury said.
“It’s about getting these start ups out of their garages and getting them into a proper working space where they can really grow their ideas faster and with more support.”
“It will really help build a community and ecosystem of ideas with knowledge exchange between the University and local businesses,” Stutchbury said.
As a collaboration with UOWs iAccelerate program, the University’s Entrepreneurship Club will act as a pipeline to help students become part of StartPad. Members of the general public are free to go through the application process as well, although all places
Words: Ewen McCarroll
Video: Kayla Osborne
Photos: Nizza Munoz