Entrepreneurship Scene in the Gold Coast (by Armand Aguillon)
Gold Coast is a city that is coming of age. It has access to two international airports (Coolangatta Airport and Brisbane Airport) and is located on the edge of the Asia-Pacific Rim. Gold Coast has the natural beauty of the white sandy beach, the mountainous ranges as well as a buzzing city. Locals and overseas tourists enjoy its relaxed lifestyle and strong, vibrant community with winning restaurants, bars, festivals and golden beaches.
Gold Coast has an entrepreneurial culture, with not just the old but also the young. There are regular and yearly entrepreneurship awards held by different organisations as well as regular start-up events held locally. Apart from the Government, local universities and businesses are participating in the start-up scene either through business sponsorships, university programs or government initiatives.
Gold Coast Ecosystem (http://www.moregoldcoast.com.au/know-tech-ecosystem-gold-coast/):
There are over 226 start-ups, over 500 founders, approximately 1,900 people, 107 meetup groups, approximately 550 supporting companies and over 10,000 associated people.
Work, Fun & Play (http://www.queensland.com/Explore-Queensland/Gold-Coast):
With Gold Coast’s 57 kilometres of sandy beaches it is the place to go surfing on a hot summer’s day. Where it used to be the place for fun and play — government initiatives and local programs makes it the place to be for work, fun and play. Gold Coast will be hosting the 2018 Commonwealth Games which will provide lots of opportunities for local businesses as well as for start-ups.
It will never snow in the Gold Coast and its tropical climate makes it the best place to incubate up and coming businesses.
Gold Coast is continually upgrading its infrastructure especially in transportation and just a year ago had completed the Gold Coast Tram. Gold Coast Tram services from Griffith University through to Broadbeach and centrally located stations which services the main hubs throughout the city. Works are underway for the Gold Coast Tram to extend right through to Burleigh which will cover the majority of the Gold Coast. Gold Coast Buses as well as Translink will service the remaining areas of the Gold Coast.
Hospital & Health:
The Gold Coast Hospital were demolished a year ago, right after the new Griffith University Gold Coast Hospital was opened. Griffith Uni Hospital has more beds and upgraded hospital equipment with new parking facilities. It is also very accessible by transport via the Gold Coast Tram and/or Gold Coast Buses (with connection to Translink). There is also another hospital in Robina and private hospitals for people with private insurance.
Gold Coast is one of the places where the Australian Government is providing assistance and programs for it to be an Innovation Hub (Smart Cities). Internet access is very fast via ADSL or NBN and the community embraces technology with the use of the latest smartphones, tablets and laptops. There are already several successful start-ups to have come out of the Gold Coast and I believe through Google’s Start-up Grind (providing community awareness through monthly events and continuing education) — there will be many, many more to come.
There are several companies who are raising capital in order to fund tech start-ups in the Gold Coast: http://www.moregoldcoast.com.au/entrepreneurs-fund-start-ups/. This includes private equity companies who have previously invested in successful start-ups and want to acquire more. Awareness of these private equity and investing companies would encourage more start-ups and competition for existing businesses to showcase and improve their products and/or services.
There are also government initiatives and programs available (http://www.goldcoast.qld.gov.au/documents/bf/competitive-business-toolkit.pdf) such as:
- Growth Accelerator programs
- Innovation programs
- Trade & Export Assistance programs (market development grants, finance and export assistance schemes)
- Innovation & Start-ups programs
- Co-working spaces availability
I believe these things (and many others) makes Gold Coast a great place to live, work and play.
— Author — Armand Aguillon