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Byron Shire
May 13, 2021

Moving on from NORTEC: new business incubation for Mullum

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Mark Holden from Sourdough Business Pathways is excited about the opportunities that will come with the new Mullumbimby Innovation Hub. Photo supplied.

While NORTEC is selling or has sold its business incubation sites in Ballina, Byron Bay and Goonellabah and have now wound up their site in Mullumbimby there is a new business incubation facility that will be rising from their ashes in Mullumbimby.

NORTEC have now been removed from the CLIC board, the organisation that leases the site from council, replacing them with Jules Hunt and Garry Bargh who are both experienced in the business incubator sphere. The business incubation area of the site will now be leased to Sourdough who have come on board to run the site providing a range of support, mentorship, reviews and training for businesses.

Information session

An information session for businesses interested in applying to participate in the business incubation program will take place on Wednesday, 21 February at the Mullumbimby Innovation Hub, corner of Burringbar and Gordon Streets in Mullumbimby at 5pm.

Change of direction

However, there will be a change in direction and focus and they are looking for businesses who are already in a growth stage rather than businesses that are looking to start from scratch.

‘We are looking for businesses that have already developed a product or service that is scalable and can be marketed interstate and preferably internationally,’ said Mark Holden from Sourdough Business Pathways.

‘We expect that they have, or are preparing, a business plan that outlines their major business strategies for growth and quantifies their expectations.

‘We will be implementing programs to help these businesses meet their targets, including mentoring, coaching and access relevant resources. We will also be providing networking events, speakers and workshops to inspire collaboration, innovation and growth.’

As a business incubation site businesses will be expected to be moving to commercial premises within two years as it is not just a place to receive cheap rent. The model is looking to continue to move businesses through the facility successfully and continue to bring in new businesses for development.

‘We want growth in businesses and we want job creation,’ said CLICs community representative Paul Jameson.

Other ideas that are being talked about include the chance to access desk space on an ad hoc or regular basis known as hot desks.

‘The culture is an important part of it,’ continued Mark.

‘It is about getting people connecting, developing business strategies and plans, accessing resources and finding opportunities.’

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