The Smart Hub

Independent

Rockhampton Regional Council

Rockhampton, Queensland

Project stage

Completed

Project link

Project summary

The Smart Hub is a co-working facility specifically geared at helping start-ups in our region to maximise early-stage business success.

Aim

The Rockhampton Region is well on its way to becoming Australia’s first Smart Regional Centre with the implementation of the 'Rockhampton Region: The Smart Way Forward' (Digital) strategy.

The Region’s digital strategy is predicated on the use of technology and real-time data created by sensors and smart devices to help improve public services, grow employment, get the most out of our resources and provide a city where residents want to work, live and play. The concept also focuses on the next generation of technology and steering towards the new technology based jobs.

About the launch

Rockhampton’s CBD Smart Technology and Hub project, an initiative under the Smart Way Forward Strategy, recently won the Economic Development Australia 2016 Award for Excellence in the Digital Entrepreneurs Category.

Our award winning project includes the establishment of a Smart Working Hub and the installation of smart poles and lighting, free public Wi-Fi and support for the university EduRoam, smart CCTV, digital signage; and a smart parking solution.

The Smart Hub on the riverfront on Quay Street is central to the project connected by a $2.1 million investment in Australian-first state-of-the-art smart technologies. This digital infrastructure and Smart Hub form the core of the $4.54 million ‘Rockhampton CBD Smart Technologies & Working Hub’ project.

Outcomes

  • The Smart Hub launched on 19 May 2016, with two startup businesses moving into the space on opening. Now there are seven soon to be eight, and a number of the startups have put on additional staff. It has morphed into a thriving little ecosystem with some of the businesses collaborating or seeking advice on their tech ideas.
  • The Smart Hub Operation Plan 2017 introduces three startup promotion and development initiatives planned for 2017:
    1. Learn to Earn, Connect and Grow—Program to promote and facilitate youth enterprise in CQ. The program will expose local youth (age 15 to 25) to enterprise, entrepreneurship and innovation. This initiative aims to encourage the region’s youth to remain in Rockhampton and explore entrepreneurship / startup as a career path. This is being conducted in partnership with CQ University and private enterprise, kicking-off with the May 2017 3DS Startup Weekend.
    2. Startup Club—This program is designed to support existing co-working space members and other startups in the Rockhampton community. The program is geared at attracting additional members to RRC’s Smart Hub as well as fostering growth in the Smart Hub’s ecosystem. The Startup Club program involves formal coaching sessions using the Lean Launchpad approach. Lean Launchpad provides real world, hands-on learning about what it is like to plan and design a new business or new product or service.
    3. Startup Stars—Program to demonstrate that our region is the place to start and grow a successful business. This will be achieved by supporting six selected entrepreneurs for six months to start and rapidly scale their business to reach international markets. The selected six entrepreneurs will participate in an intensive mentoring program run by a nationally recognised expert mentor Mr Phillips (Business in Bare Feet).