About Us


What is an Incubator?

A business incubator gives support to startups with innovative business ideas by providing the resources a new business needs to succeed. Be it work space, expertise in the form of experience or research, data or information on funding opportunities, the UNE SMART Region Incubator is equipped to assist with the development of businesses in our region.

Safe to Fail + Safe to Grow

The UNE SMART Region Incubator is built on the understanding that success for our region comes from collaboration and shared resources, which is why we’re not only home to our startups or Founders, we also have great relationships with our Mentors and Innovation Partners to be sure we’re working together to continue growing agribusiness and agetch in our region.

We’re supported by the Department of Industry’s Boosting Business Innovation Program, developed to accelerate innovation in NSW by supporting greater collaboration between research organisations like University of New England and their business communities.

Come with Ideas, Come with Skill

With spaces in Tamworth and Armidale and connections across the state, the UNE SMART Region Incubator is the place to jump into the work of building the next generation of smarter AgTech.

Grow in Business, Grow in Life

We’re bringing together remarkable data collected with cutting edge technology, internationally-renowned researchers and our business communities, with a common goal to cultivate a thriving regional economy.

Meet the Team

Lou Conway

Lou Conway



Great worlds are built with
collaboration, care and

Lou is crafting the incubator’s role in the broader regional space. Our Innovation Partners work with Lou to grow the long-lasting relationships our region is built on, ensuring that the innovation ecosystem has the support we need to shape our future.

Matthew Wysel

Matthew Wysel

Researcher in Residence


People and data
turn ideas into gold
with coffee, comes smarts.

Matthew is developing a data platform that will open up your access to UNE’s data and expertise so you can start collaborating around some of the great resources at your fingertips. Road-test your idea with data and researchers on your side – give your business the edge.

Sue-Ellen Hogan

Sue-Ellen Hogan

Community Manager


Shaping our networks
into resources, so your
ideas can thrive.

Come and talk to Sue-Ellen about the best way to become part of the incubator ecosystem, whether you’re a Founder, Mentor or Innovation Partner.
Sue-Ellen works with our community in Armidale, Tamworth and virtually, drawing together a toolkit to help you with everything from getting you set up in our office spaces, brainstorming your business idea.

Gary Morgan

Gary Morgan

Expert in Residence

Gary guides our founders to develop their innovation and business strategies, capabilities and capacity to introduce new or improved product and service offerings, in order to create impact, grow their businesses and create value. Gary is the founder and CEO of People Insights Group, a business consulting and technology company, and managing director of MPT Innovation Group. 

Ed Lefley

Ed Lefley

Space Manager


Lending hands to make
space for your work to become
great, resilient, strong.

You’ll find Ed in our Armidale space, working to welcome new members, supporting the Founders with those always vital day-to-day details. There’s a fine art to logistics, and Ed’s the one to ask. Chat to Ed about the best way to settle into your space quickly so you can hit the ground running!

Hugh Taylor

Hugh Taylor

Events & Communications Officer


Our stories mean more
built on how we arrive at
the world we’ve dreamed of.

Hugh is your go-to person for all things communication. Get in touch for business narrative development, social media, blog content, press releases and media contacts, web copy and more.

We Are Founders, Mentors & Innovation Partners

It all starts with Founders. Fresh Start-ups, grow into Established SMEs. If you want to be part of the community, but can’t relocate, join us as an Affiliate Founder. There’s a place for you at the UNE SMART Region Incubator.
Mentors guide Founders through their growth journey. Old hands and domain experts from business and academia. We’re always on the look-out for more Mentors; connect with us, and help Founders build their business while you excel yours.
Innovation Partners give back time and opportunities. They keep their eyes on the bigger picture and keep Founders and Mentors on track. Bring your Corporate opportunities or your community connections.
Engage other members with your network; tap into theirs.