Business help not far away
WHEN Yamba start-up founders Susan Ferguson and Kim Burgess launched travel company TripaSista, they weren't sure how to take the next step.
"We had the idea, but we weren't quite sure how to monetise it or know what the correct model for us was,” Ms Ferguson said.
Fortunately, the two women reached out for guidance and quickly discovered several support networks designed to see start-ups like theirs succeed.
"We got involved with NORTEC Business Connect and from there things began to open up for us,” Ms Burgess said.
"Our business advisor would come to our office space in Yamba and we'd have business advisory sessions with her. ”
From there, Ms Burgess and Ms Ferguson were introduced to the Startup Onramp training and mentoring program which provides the skills and guidance to launch a globally scalable start-up.
The pair were then selected to pitch at the Local Innovation Network Regional Pitchfest as part of the Jobs for NSW Spark Festival.
"We were at the Sydney Startup Hub for that one night and quickly realised that forming connections with other entrepreneurs, visiting the business incubators, and attending these events was invaluable for our business.”
From there, they discovered the free Regional Landing Pad which offers free start-up space for regional entrepreneurs based outside Sydney, Wollongong and Newcastle. Regional entrepreneurs can visit for up to three days at a time to meet with other start-ups and potential business partners, investors, and service providers.
Having taken advantage of all the resources available to businesses in the region, Ms Ferguson is encouraging other Clarence Valley start-ups to do the same.
"There are a lot of businesses out there that don't know these programs exist,” she said.
"It's amazing how many entrepreneurs there are, just sitting in the cane fields with these great ideas and innovation, that would benefit from them.
"They just need to tap into it to discover what it can offer.”
For further information on the Regional Landing Pad and to book a free visit see https://sydneystartuphub.com/regional