Regional innovation

Local Innovation Network

The Local Innovation Network (LIN) is a $2.1 million commitment by the NSW Government to develop regional entrepreneurship and support startups and small to medium enterprises (SMEs) across the state.

Why the LIN is here

Home to 40% of the state’s population, regional NSW has a dynamic and diverse economy. One in every ten NSW startups are based outside of Sydney and regional NSW generates 30% of the state’s economy.

Regional entrepreneurs face additional challenges to startup founders located in our large metropolitan centres.  These challenges include accessing funding, sourcing talent and connecting with supportive communities who can assist them build their businesses.

What the LIN will do

The Local Innovation Network will focus on developing entrepreneurs in each of the seven regions, but also on removing the barriers which isolate regional founders from each other, and the Sydney entrepreneur community.

Through the Network, regional innovation hubs will connect to share knowledge and learn from each other’s work, partner on events and widen and improve the range of the support they provide for local entrepreneurs.  In addition, through showcasing events in regional NSW, the LIN can help build awareness among investors and enable new connections to foster global business opportunities.

Jobs for NSW will work with Local Innovation Network members to facilitate connections, offer advice on funding for startups and help regional entrepreneurs to engage with the Sydney Startup Hub and its Regional Landing Pad.

The Local Innovation Network will ensure regional startups receive more help and better support to develop their businesses and their skills, leading to better job creation outcomes for regional startups.

Locations of LIN members

The Local Innovation Network is made up of seven emerging innovation locations in regional NSW. In each area Jobs for NSW is funding one collaborative, community-led initiative to provide local entrepreneurs with opportunities, facilities and professional development to help them grow their businesses and create jobs.

Participants in the Local Innovation Network were selected through an Expression of Interest process which has now closed.

Participants:

  • Armidale - SMART Region Incubator has partnered with Armidale Council, Tamworth Council and the University of New England
  • Bathurst -  Upstairs startup hub, Charles Sturt University, Reliance Bank and Bathurst Regional Council
  • Byron Bay - Sourdough Group forming a network of incubators and coworking spaces
  • Coffs Harbour - Coffs Harbour City Council linking a network of coworking spaces with  Southern Cross University, TAFE and Innovation Hub
  • Newcastle/ Hunter region - HunteriF and a network of 26 stakeholders across the region
  • Wollongong region - i-Accelerate at the University of Wollongong with Bega Shire Council and other regional partners
  • Wagga Wagga -  Working Spaces HQ with Charles Sturt University and Wagga Wagga Council.

Connecting entrepreneurs