A Regional Incubator
A support framework around your startup as it grows.
Imagine working within a network of other professionals a few months, years or decades on from where you are now.
The UNE SMART Region Incubator is a friendly, focused and connected space built to join regional businesses with growth potential together with academic business research, business mentors, corporate and community partners.
New businesses come here to work hard, build smart, fail well and pivot fast.
The SRI refers to founders as someone who has founded, started, owns or has developed their business. Founders develop their own skills, knowledge and experience whilst being supported within an ecosystem of opportunities “the SRI”.
The SRI currently works with nearly 60 startups in the region, and founders are working in two main sectors agtech and healthtech; and we are delighted to have a number of creative startups too. There is a strength in having diversity of sector, and we are pleased that 42% of our founders are women. As of March 2020, these startups have created over 80 jobs, and attracted over $2million in investment into the region.
The day-to-day SRI team consists of our Director based in Armidale, Dr Lou Conway, our Community & Outreach Manager based in Moree, Dimity Smith, our Space Manager based in Armidale, Elliot Picone, Events & Communications Officer, Hugh Taylor and UNE SRI Researcher in Residence Matthew Wysel.
The SRI also has contractors who deliver the AgTech Gateway Program to support growing and scaling agtech founders across the New England and North West, Hamish Webb and Dorianne Coventry.
Our more permanent mentors in the SRI are named Experts in Residence and the “EiR” program is funded by the Commonwealth Department of Industry, Science and Technology. The Experts in Residence work one to one with founders and have specialist knowledge in strategy or commercialisation and help founders to explore larger markets including international opportunities.
We connect business professionals, industry experts, academics, venture capitalists and experienced entrepreneurs with startups in order to support the latter in solving business challenges and to give them advice in critical development areas. We believe in mentoring as building a relationship with startups, getting people inspired, and accompanying the journey of further growth. The mentors voluntarily make their experience and expertise available and therefore contribute to the potential growth and impact of a team of young entrepreneurs.