$60m Gold Coast Hub site re­vealed

The Gold Coast Bulletin - - NEWS - KATH­LEEN SKENE kath­leen.skene@news.com.au

A TECH­NOL­OGY hub that brings to­gether $60 mil­lion in in­vest­ment funds for Gold Coast start-ups will be based at Burleigh Heads.

The for­mer Bil­l­abong fac­tory, in the “Wave” build­ing, will host a swell of new peo­ple and busi­nesses as it morphs into The Gold Coast Hub.

Its back­ers hope it will be a phys­i­cal and vir­tual space for present and fu­ture busi­ness lead­ers to con­nect, com­mer­cialise and grow in­no­va­tive companies.

Gold Coast Hub CEO Sharon Hun­ney­bell said the 2000 sqm site, at 20 Kor­tum Dr, was de­signed to bring to­gether the city’s in­no­va­tors in a cen­tral lo­ca­tion built for col­lab­o­ra­tion and growth.

“This site is quite lit­er­ally trans­form­ing from a place that man­u­fac­tured board shorts and biki­nis, to a place that man­u­fac­tures in­no­va­tive companies and acts as the cat­a­lyst for the Gold Coast in­no­va­tion com­mu­nity,” she said.

“The Gold Coast Hub is not for profit but is de­signed by en­trepreneurs for en­trepreneurs with the pur­pose of pro­duc­ing com­mer­cial busi­ness out­comes.

“Our aim is to see it be­come the key eco­nomic di­ver­si­fi­ca­tion driver for the Gold Coast fol­low­ing the 2018 Com­mon­wealth Games.”

The Gold Coast Hub was founded ear­lier this year by the lead­er­ship team be­hind Gold Coast soft­ware com­pany, Op­man­tek, with sup­port from the City of Gold Coast, the Queens­land State Gov­ern­ment and the cor­po­rate sec­tor.

Op­er­a­tors plan a soft launch for the fa­cil­ity late next month, with the com­pleted hub set to launch in Jan­uary.

The plan has re­ceived State Gov­ern­ment fund­ing of $500,000 over three years, sup­port from cor­po­rate ad­vi­sory firm New Wave Cap­i­tal and global trade ex­change busi­ness BPS Tech­nol­ogy which have pledged $600,000 in cash and $700,000 in-kind do­na­tions.

Ms Hun­ney­bell said the hub was the cul­mi­na­tion of a six-year quest to de­velop a model for in­ter­na­tional busi­ness cre­ation on the Gold Coast cen­tred around lever­ag­ing fund­ing, ex­per­tise and re­la­tion­ships. In­vest­ment funds have pledged $60 mil­lion of in­vest­ment for Gold Coast busi­nesses through the hub.

The Gold Coast Hub will be man­aged by lead­ing in­no­va­tion space man­agers Lit­tle Tokyo Two.

Lit­tle Tokyo Two founder Jock Fair­weather said his team would work to see the Gold Coast glob­ally recog­nised as an en­trepreneurial hotspot.

“Lit­tle Tokyo Two made the de­ci­sion to part­ner with the Gold Coast Hub team based off their ex­pe­ri­ence, cred­i­bil­ity, vi­sion and just as im­por­tantly pas­sion — for sup­port­ing lo­cal busi­nesses and the city as a whole,” he said.

“We can­not wait to aid them in bringing this vi­sion to life and in­vite the city’s emerg­ing and es­tab­lished busi­nesses to make the Gold Coast Hub and wider precinct their new home.”

Or­gan­i­sa­tions wish­ing to lo­cate inside the hub or be­come hub mem­bers can reg­is­ter at www.gchub.com.au.

Pic­ture: GLENN HAMP­SON

Danny Ma­her, Sharon Hun­ney­bell and Mike Danelli at the old Bil­l­abong “Wave” build­ing for the an­nounce­ment of the lo­ca­tion for the Gold Coast tech­nol­ogy hub. Be­low: An artist’s im­pres­sion of what the Hub will look like.

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