Independent and FREE - 2021 Best Online Publication

The unique incubator growing our business ideas

Independent and FREE – 2021 Best Online Publication (Qld Country Press)

The unique incubator growing our business ideas


Unique mentoring program helps Coast business hopefuls develop creative ideas

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Eight weeks of intensive mentoring will culminate in the live showcase and launch of The Refinery 3.0 business start-ups.

The Refinery is an initiative of Sunshine Coast Council in partnership with Sunshine Coast Creative Alliance and SunCentral.

The only one of its kind in Australia, The Refinery is the region’s first home-grown, creative business incubator designed to transform ideas into sustainable businesses.

This year 15 participants in the business incubation program will present their projects and showcase their product to a live audience at the MET, Maroochydore, on July 30.

Curated by some of the Sunshine Coast region’s industry leaders, with input and mentoring from a network of nationally recognised industry leaders, the program refines, develops, tests and actions creative business ideas.

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Arts Portfolio Councillor Rick Baberowski said our region’s unique creative business incubator program served to understand and further develop our expanding creative arts ecology on the Sunshine Coast.

“As with the previous participants, the 2021 cohort is working towards a more sustainable creative career on an even more considered pathway to success,” Cr Baberowski said.

“They will walk out with a new more confident agenda with individual business plans in place to help their creative industry proposition make its mark on our remarkable region.”

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Sunshine Coast Council’s Creative Development team leader Megan Rowland said the showcase wrapped up the third iteration of the Refinery.

“I’m expecting another great night of raw nerve, industry networking and insight to what’s coming next in terms of creative business products and projects for the region,” Ms Rowland said.

“We’ve got a great crew again this year, with diverse creatives from arts, design, music, events and First Nation start-ups.

“Our team has spent eight weeks with the cohort watching ideas transform towards sustainable businesses — that’s what the Refinery does and why it’s so important.

“Our role is to help the participants join the dots between creativity and business — and to showcase how the broader economic growth of our region benefits from progressive and creative ideas like these being brought to life.

“Each year the program further embeds creativity into the broader economy of our region. We also continue to hear how our cohorts inspire other businesses to adopt ideas left of centre, to their benefit.”

The 2021 cohort includes: Anna Loren, Evelyn Paolino, Jimmy Patch, Ketakii Jewson Brown, Liz Capelin, Madison Hadland, Marnie Weule, Miranda Deutsch, Patricia, Peta O’Hara, Sasha Parlett, Shaye Hardistry, Susan Davis and Warwick Gow.

Mentors this year include Claire Bowditch; Kaylene Langford (StartUp Creative); Tom Allen (Impact Boom); Kate Berry (Ok Motels & The Lunch Lady); Troy Casey and Amanda Hayman (Blaklash Creative) and Claire Sourgnes (Artisan).

Tickets for the Refinery 3.0 showcase are $24.19 and available from Eventbrite. There is limited seating and bookings are essential. It is on Friday, July 30, 5pm-8.30pm at The Metropolitan (MET), Corner First Ave and South Sea Islander Way, Maroochydore.


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