Ballarat’s new home for digital innovation and entrepreneurship has opened in a win for digital specialists, innovators, technology designers, researchers and students.
Victoria’s minister for regional development Jaala Pulford opened Ballarat’s dedicated digital startup space at Federation University’s Flecknoe Building on October 10.
The hub was funded with $4.3 million from the Victorian Governemnt.
The new space will be known as Runway Ballarat – The Workshop and will house students and specialists in one location.
Designed as a hub for collaboration, innovation and invention, Runway Ballarat will foster entrepreneurship, digital service and product development and support the commercialisation of ideas coming from Victoria.
Pulford said Runway Ballarat presents a huge opportunity to build on Ballarat’s ICT and digital strengths and will help turn these skills into new industries, new jobs and grow our digital economy.
“Innovation is a key to the future of our economy and regional Victorians have shown us time and time again their strengths in thinking outside the box. Ballarat is a natural home for this innovation lab,” said Pulford.
Runway’s fabrication laboratory will provide entrepreneurs with the ability to manufacture a variety of things, allowing them to bring to life and prototype their ideas and startup concepts.
The opening event also welcomed the first cohort of the Ballarat Runway accelerator program.
Runway’s accelerator program nurtures regional start-ups and entrepreneurs and has already guided 47 people through its Geelong program.
Minister for innovation and the digital economy Phillip Dalidakis said it was exciting to partner with Federation University and Runway to deliver the project.
Ballarat is already home to more than 100 ICT businesses and the sector employs more than 1,500 people, generating $163 million for the regional economy.
With more than 2,000 participants expected to take advantage of Runway Ballarat – The Workshop over the next four years, the facility is set to capitalise on Ballarat’s strength as a centre for ICT and digital innovation.