The Peregian Digital Hub is on track in its role of growing Noosa’s digital sector and developing young tech talent, says Mayor Tony Wellington.
In the seven months since doors opened, the Hub has delivered an ambitious suite of programs, events and activities to support the region’s digital entrepreneurs.
Its talent development programs are among the biggest successes so far, the Mayor said.
“For example, the Hub has welcomed six interns and work experience students, aged 15 to 18, putting each of them in touch with a wealth of digital experts, including the Hub’s anchor tenants.
“The Rufous Street facility recently hosted 18 female STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) students from local high schools for a Q and A session with four of the Sunshine Coast’s leading female STEM practitioners.
“Each of the students’ schools have since applied for Engaging Science grants to fund ongoing Girls in STEM programs,” the Mayor said.
“20 students from eight schools recently learnt about drone technology in a five-week flying inventor program, delivered in a partnership with Noosa Library Service.”
The Hub has developed more than 20 partnerships with local schools, universities, businesses and industry groups to mentor the young and support Noosa’s tech community.
Queensland’s former chief entrepreneur and Shark Tank star Steve Baxter is among the tech heavyweights the hub has brought to town to mentor locals.
“Last year the Hub hosted GovHack. That event led to the development of transport technology which we used in our Go Noosa transport trials. This provided real-time information to let drivers know where to park in Noosa Heads during the busy holiday period,” the Mayor said.
“We established the Digital Hub to grow Noosa’s digital sector and create new jobs, as well as develop young local talent. The ultimate goal is to diversify our economy.
“The first six months of the Hub’s operations have seen the facility make excellent headway. We’re very lucky to have Chris Boden in the director’s chair. He brings a wealth of talent, with years of experience in global tech roles, including head of Lonely Planet’s Mobile Division and Innovation Lab.”
Mr Boden said the year ahead would be an important one for the Hub. It will offer new types of memberships and work on tackling local tech sector challenges.
“While Noosa has an impressive number of digital freelancers, consultants and agencies, there is more to be done to attract and support the kind of high-growth start-ups that will generate high-value jobs of the future,” Mr Boden said.
“A major thrust for the Hub in 2019 is to work with digital industry partners to get Noosa’s digital ecosystem more organised, making it easier for people to connect and collaborate with industry peers, find service providers, get work experience and find jobs,” Mr Boden said.
The Hub now hosts a vibrant schedule of monthly events for digital industry groups, including Coding from the Beach (developers), REBOOT (digital agencies), Music Producer Group (DJs & electronic music producers) and the Sunshine Coast Screen Collective (digital storytellers).