Innovation Weekend



Media Release: Cairns to host Australia’s first ever Innovation Weekend for SME’s.

With 4 years’ experience in working on the cold face with startup’s and established business’s, theSPACE Australasia has worked with hundreds of small businesses, teaching them the fundamentals of turning ideas into reality. Over this duration they have identified a number of barriers that small businesses face to innovation.

theSPACE founder Troy Haines suggests that, “the key barriers SME’s face when innovating are lack of time (they are often so busy doing the day-to-day that they don’t have the headspace to think creatively), not knowing what to do, fear/resistance to change, perception of failure and lack of available money. Through an Innovation Weekend we believe we can start breaking down these barriers.”

theSPACE has very successfully delivered five Startup Weekends over the past two years, for over 210 participants (another scheduled for November 2016). Graeme Wood – founder of Wotif opened two of these events. Curtis Pitt, Qld Treasurer opened the other three.

Startup Weekend teaches participants the process for effective idea development, how to validate new ideas, it brings people together of similar interests and connects them to broader start up ecosystem.

Startup Weekends typically facilitate only “new” ideas, that haven’t been significantly developed and is tailored more towards those that are new to business. After running 3 Startup Weekend events theSPACE identified that there would be value in allowing those people with established ideas and established products / services to participate in the weekends without compromising the fundamentals of what participant’s garner from the weekend. In November 2015 theSPACE tweaked the Startup Weekend mould to Startup & Innovation Weekend, allowing those with established products/services and ideas to participate.

This has inspired theSPACE to take the next step of having a dedicated Innovation Weekend event for SME’s. So on 21st – 23rd of October theSPACE in partnership with AusIndustry through the Entrepreneurs’ Programme’s Entrepreneurs’ Learning initiative, Cairns Regional Council and other key stakeholders are hosting Australia’s First Innovation Weekend.

Haines said, “There’s lots of talk about innovation AND lots of confusion about what to actually do. We aim to demystify that over one weekend where business owners (and some of their team) are partnered up with IT professionals, programmers, designers, business development specialists, under the guidance of innovation specialists. Teams will work on addressing key challenges, developing ideas and opportunities put forward by business owners.

For business owners this is an excellent opportunity to spend one weekend immersed in addressing core issues or key opportunities related to their business/industry, with an innovation team, whilst learning a process for effective innovation.

For programmers, designers, business development professionals and everyone else… this is an opportunity to be part of an innovation team, showcase their talents to leading business owners / leaders in the community and meet other likeminded people.

Event details can be found here –

Media contact: Troy Haines, 0405 353 074

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