Queensland food-tech startups on show

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Queensland food-tech startups on show

Sunshine Coast incubator to host a series of innovation demo days.

Innovation Centre Sunshine Coast, an organisation backed by University of the Sunshine Coast, is preparing to host a series of demo days highlighting local startups. The first event will focus on innovation in the food, agribusiness and wellbeing sectors.

The demo days are designed to give investors and the broader community a first-hand look at some of the startups working at the innovation centre, which is located on the university's campus at Sippy Downs on Queensland's Sunshine Coast.

The first event on August 2 will feature a mix of graduates from the Innovation Centre’s incubator program, along with some of the centre’s associate members.

It will be run with support from Spark Bureau, RDA, Advance Queensland, Food and Network Association (FAN) and Four Ingredients.

“The demo day is targeting local startups in the food, [agritech] and wellbeing sectors. It goes for two-and-a-half hours. We’ll have nine entrepreneurs presenting their products,” Innovation Centre Sunshine Coast events and marketing organiser Debbie Marshall told BIT.

“This is the first demo day at the innovation centre in this format, and basically the nine of them will present for five minutes each. We’ll have some breaks for sampling and Q&A, and then we’ll have an exhibition and lunch that will provided by some of the food companies that are presenting.”

With more than 50 members, the innovation centre has been a focal point for the Sunshine Coast startup scene since its launch back in 2002.

“We’re an incubator for entrepreneurs where they can take some office space, or they can become an associate member where they can just hot desk,” Marshall said.

“And they can tap into our entrepreneurial ecosystem, which involves mentoring, support and events. We have some meeting rooms they can use. We have different education programs, business development and support.

“We can help with connecting them with the right people in government, universities and corporate. We’re linked with the research department of USC – the Engage Lab – and any research and development can be linked in to the innovation centre at the university.”

While the focus of the demo day will be on food innovation, Marshall said the centre is home to innovative businesses across a range of different sectors.

“We’re fairly diverse. We’ve got clean-tech, we’ve got [agricultural startups], we’ve got a company that does prototyping, app design, graphic design, web design, a company that’s revolutionising photographic courses,” Marshall said.

“We predominantly do accelerator businesses, building those and providing business development, but we do have a startup program as well.”

The demo day is a free event on August 2 and runs from 10:00 am to 12:30pm. RSVP through Innovation Centre Sunshine Coast.

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