A global entrepreneurship festival is giving the Sunshine Coast a chance to shine, with the region emerging as a hotspot for innovation.

Among the 100 activities scheduled across Australia from 17-23 November, six events will be held on the Sunshine Coast thanks to the efforts of a group of local innovation, entrepreneurship, coworking hubs and Noosa Council.

The University of the Sunshine Coast, Innovation Centre Sunshine Coast, Noosa Boardroom, Digital Sunshine Coast, The Loft and Silicon Coast have registered as Global Entrepreneurship Week (GEW) partners and will host events ranging from a crowdfunding forum to a discussion on the importance of creative coworking spaces.

GEW is the world’s largest celebration of the innovators and job creators who launch the ideas and startup businesses that drive economic and social growth.

Innovation Centre CEO Mark Paddenburg says the broad range of events is designed to bring local entrepreneurs together.

“As a group of organisations that share common goals, we wanted to celebrate Global Entrepreneurship Week with opportunities for the local entrepreneurial community to network, share resources and celebrate each other’s success,” he said.

“We know the Sunshine Coast is home to innovative thinkers and emerging business leaders. Global Entrepreneurship Week is a great opportunity to further strengthen the region’s position in the national innovation landscape.”

Innovation Centre Board Director Tim Eldridge said building highly connected and collaborative human ecosystems was essential for any region wishing to grow entrepreneurship and innovation.

“Seeing so many talented and passionate individuals join forces to create a coordinated, cross-region program of events for Global Entrepreneurship Week is a clear sign that the Sunshine Coast is one of the best places in Australia for startups to startup,” he said.

Dr Retha de Villiers Scheepers is a lecturer in Entrepreneurship and Innovation Management at the University of the Sunshine Coast and has recently returned from a week-long visit to Silicon Valley, where she visited the offices of global companies such as Airbnb and Autodesk and saw firsthand how to incorporate Lean Startup methodologies into entrepreneurship education.

Dr Scheepers said the Sunshine Coast already had the major pillars of an entrepreneurial ecosystem.

“We have entrepreneurs, bright young people, experienced mentors and the university as a knowledge hub. Importantly, we also have an environment that provides close, high-quality connections between members of the ecosystem. Those connections are so important in Silicon Valley,” she said.

“Grassroots community groups like Silicon Coast allow local entrepreneurs to share opportunities and advice – to draw on our existing asset and knowledge base, and to use the human capital we already have in the region.”

More details about these Global Entrepreneurship Week events on the Sunshine Coast are available on our event page:

17 November

  • Boardroom Briefing: A crowdfunding platform
  • Digital entrepreneurs network event

18 November

  • Business model canvas workshop

19 November

  • Silicon Coast brainstorming bonanza

20 November

  • Creating connections: USC and Innovation Centre businesses
  • Creative coworking