$1 Million Regional Innovation Program Launches

Entrepreneur Mike Knapp speaking at the #SCRIPT launch

The $1 million regional innovation program was announced this week, with the program designed to drive innovation, boost economic opportunities and create new jobs in the Sunshine Coast.

More than 100 people from across the Sunshine Coast region, including Sunshine Coast Mayor, Mark Jamieson, and Noosa Mayor, Tony Wellington, gathered at the Maroochy River Golf Club to celebrate the commencement of the program.

RDA Sunshine Coast Chair Tony Riddle said the announcement of the program will help propel the Sunshine Coast region into the future with thrilling potential.

“We are on the verge of an economic transformation that will see us – in the words of leading demographer Bernard Salt – become the home of nimble businesses, tech-savvy millennials and highly-educated young families,” said Mr Riddle.

“The ultimate goal – with the assistance of local, state and federal government; and industry, business and community sectors – is to ensure that existing businesses develop, strengthen and grow; and that new ones start up and succeed.”

A nine person committee has been announced for #SCRIPT and includes highly talented and awarded business people such as Elaine Jobson, CEO Jetts Fitness Group, Feda Adra, CEO Comlink, Mark Paddenburg, CEO Innovation Centre, Michael Doneman, Chairman of the Old Ambulance Station, Roz White from White’s IGA Group, Michelle Hamer, CEO Smart Advice, Darrell Edwards CEO Regional Development Australia Sunshine Coast, Anthony Dow from Noosa Council and Anne Lawrence from Sunshine Coast Council.

Ms Coby Sullivan, formerly of The Urban List, Flight Centre and Griffith University, has been appointed the Regional Innovation Coordinator, bringing with her a strong background in start-ups and innovation and stakeholder engagement.

The launch event also featured guest speaker Mike Knapp who shared his experiences of start-ups and his business success stories from his company Shoes of Prey – the “design your own shoe” company which raised $25.5m from investors such as Khosla Ventures, Blue Sky, Blackbird and Nordstrom.

Prior to Shoes of Prey, Mr Knapp was a software engineer at Google and a lawyer. He’s currently in the early stages of his new start-up idea – Mottle.

The #SCRIPT program is a co-funded partnership between 26 partners including the Queensland Government through its Advance Queensland initiative, Sunshine Coast Council, Noosa Council, Regional Development Australia Sunshine Coast and business and industry.

For more information about #SCRIPT visit www.digitalsunshinecoast.com.au and follow the hashtag #SCRIPT on twitter.

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