Upper Hunter Shire Council joining forces with Business Centre to bring Start House Regional Incubator program to Scone

UPPER Hunter Shire Council's David Gatwood is looking forward to seeing the benefits of the Start House Regional Incubator program in Scone.

And, the manager business services admits the organisation's excited to witness the concepts unearthed by the initiative.

Council has partnered with the Business Centre to bring the scheme, which is designed to help entrepreneurs refine, validate and commercialise innovative ideas and link entrepreneurs to a regional network of support, to the Upper Hunter.

A drop-in information session will take place at council's administration building on Wednesday, June 26, from 9am until 4pm.

Those interested in the program can meet with Upper Hunter Business Centre business advisor Jelinda Millgate to discuss their eligibility and viability of their idea.

Business Centre CEO Steve Wait said "Start House" was developed specifically to suit the needs of entrepreneurs in regional areas.

"Most business incubator programs require founders to uproot their lives and relocate to Sydney or Melbourne for months at a time or require you to give away equity in your business," he explained.

"Start House doesn't ask either of these things.

"Often innovative start-ups relocate from regional areas to major cities.

"By bringing the support to regional areas, there is a better chance of emerging new enterprises remaining local."

Mr Gatwood agreed with the sentiments.

"The Upper Hunter is the perfect environment for innovation due to our diverse industry cross section including agriculture, equine, aviation, tourism and hospitality," he said.

"We hope that by bringing Start House to Scone, we will encourage businesses or individuals, with an innovative idea, to come forward and work through the program to build the foundations of future industries in our region."

The program involves a Discovery Session launch in July, followed by a one-day ideation boot camp, one-on-one mentoring and a regional pitch event, which will give the participants a chance to pitch their ideas to an expert panel.

Participants will also have the chance to attend a Sydney event, where the best from around the region will pitch to a room of sophisticated investors at the office of multinational professional services firm, Ernst & Young.

"If you have an innovative idea and are interested in taking part in the program, you are welcome to attend the drop-in information session," Mr Gatwood said.

For more information about the Start House Program, visit www.businesscentre.com.au or phone (02) 4925 7700 to speak with Ms Millgate.