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    Coat of ArmsMedia Release
    Minister for Innovation, Science and the Digital Economy and Minister for Small Business
    The Honourable Leeanne Enoch

    Queensland Regional startup and innovation leaders on US Mission

    Minister for Innovation, Science and the Digital Economy and Minister for Small Business
    The Honourable Leeanne Enoch

    Wednesday, January 25, 2017

    Queensland Regional startup and innovation leaders on US Mission

    The Palaszczuk Government will support 10 regional Queensland startup leaders to visit the United States this month to connect with some of the world’s best innovators.

    Innovation Minister Leeanne Enoch said the Advance Queensland-sponsored Startup Community Leaders’ Mission was ‘a golden opportunity’ for participants to build global connections, observe world’s best practice and return with new ideas to help support jobs and grow regional economies.

    “Over the course of a week, the representatives will be given a valuable insight into Colorado’s world-renowned startup ecosystems in Denver and Boulder as well as exposure to California’s Silicon Valley, one of the world’s leading technology innovation hotspots,” Ms Enoch said.

    “We want our Queensland representatives to return to their communities and guide the next generation of entrepreneurs and help them connect with potential business partners and investors globally.”

    A senior representative from startup communities in Cairns, Townsville, Mackay, Bundaberg, the Gold and Sunshine Coasts, Ipswich, Toowoomba, Longreach, Logan and Redlands will travel to the US from 29 January to 5 February.

    Each participant will receive $6000 in support from the $1.5 million Advancing Regional Innovation Program Network Fund to cover mission costs while they are in the United States.

    Longreach representative, Central Western Queensland Remote Area Planning and Development Board Digital Officer and Training Manager Kristine Arnold said the US Mission would be invaluable to the local community.

    “We are in the process of developing and implementing a digital strategy for the central west. To be able to see what’s working well in a world-leading digital environment, such as Silicon Valley, represents a tremendous learning and capacity-building opportunity,” she said.

    "Many of the people I work with are looking for innovative and creative ways to supplement their traditional farm incomes. Our co-working space in Longreach will offer people an environment in which they can collaborate.

    "By participating in this mission, we can improve our region’s connectivity with the rest of the world and visibility to potential partners and investors,” she said.

    The mission is being hosted by Brisbane-based Startup Catalyst, which specialises in international immersion programs for future and current entrepreneurs, corporate leaders and investors.

    Leading the mission is Startup Catalyst Chief Executive Officer and winner of the prestigious 2016 Pearcey National Entrepreneur Award, Aaron Birkby.

    “This mission will expose our representatives to the world’s best practice in ecosystem developing, allowing them to take away practical learnings about how to drive innovation in their region,” Mr Birkby said.

    “Queensland and Colorado have a lot in common in the way the state is intervening to encourage entrepreneurship, collaboration and development of an innovation culture – we can learn a lot from the experience there and adapt these learnings to benefit our own regional ecosystems.”

    More information can be obtained from the Startup Catalyst website.

    Media contact: Daniel Lato 0438 830 201