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Some of the most innovative food and beverage brands on the Sunshine Coast with high growth potential have been selected for the 2018 Grow Coastal program to help commercialise new products and scale their businesses.

Now in its 2nd year, the Grow Coastal program offers emerging businesses support with connections, expertise, seed capital and mentoring, and are helping to inspire and transform the local food industry.

After extensive interest in the program, 20 businesses were shortlisted based on innovation, product viability, growth potential and entrepreneurial tenacity.  Competing for just 12 final places, applicants participated in a one day bootcamp and product showcasing event on 30 January 2018.

A big congratulations to the following businesses who have been chosen for entry into the 2018 Grow Coastal Accelerator Program:

  • Barenuts – Totally bare, award-winning gourmet macadamia nuts and treats
  • Black Lemonade – Unique vegan and gluten free decadent chocolate cookies
  • Boneafide Broth Co – Organic chicken bone broth bombs and healthy savoury chips
  • Embassy XO – Steamed duck buns to die for
  • Good Harvest Organic Farm – totally local, organic, healthy fruit and vegie farm boxes
  • Hive Haven – Native Honey (Sugarbag stingless honey)
  • KOKOPOD Chocolate – Award winning premium handcrafted chocolate
  • LuvaBerry – Freeze dried strawberries made from the freshest sunshine coast produce
  • Mighty Bean – Certified Organic soy tempeh tasty treats
  • Sunshine Coast Cider – Traditionally crafted cider made with 100% apple juice & no additives
  • The Whole Food Artisan – Handcrafted artisan granola made with whole food ingredients
  • Ugly Duck Preserves – Gourmet preserves made with imperfect or surplus local produce that would otherwise go to waste

With funding from Advance Queensland, 12 businesses will access over $10,000 in value via the catalytic 12 week accelerator program, designed specifically for producers looking to scale fast, bring their vision to life and deliver new food and beverage innovations to the world.

Innovation Centre CEO Mark Paddenburg said “The Sunshine Coast has a strong reputation for quality food and I am excited to see that the 12 selected companies (and their teams) have big hearts and big plans to disrupt and inspire the Australian food industry”.

“Recent feedback from the 2017 cohort shows that the Grow Coastal Program has made a difference with a total of 17 new staff employed, a 130% increase in customer numbers, an 85% increase in revenue with two companies more than doubling their revenue over the last 12 months” he said.

 2017 Grow Coastal graduate – Lauren Brisbane, Founder of QCamel said “my team has really benefited from the Grow Coastal Program and I’m now a more confident entrepreneur – it’s really helped to catapult our business to the next level.”

The 2018 Grow Coastal participants will learn from industry experts and mentors covering topics like: lean startup, market research, customer engagement, business planning, financial management, public relations and marketing, legal and intellectual property, distribution and fulfilment, exporting, pitching and securing early stage capital.

The program is also fuelling a collaborative regional ecosystem of foodpreneurs – cultivating progressive business growth, exports and high value employment on the Sunshine Coast. The program designed by the Innovation Centre Sunshine Coast will be delivered with the Food & Agribusiness Network (FAN), commencing in April.

To welcome the 12 successful participants, the Innovation Centre Sunshine Coast, FAN, and TAFE East Coast are hosting a Celebration Dinner on Wednesday 28th February at Cartwrights Restaurant & Bar.


Date: Wednesday 28th February

Time: 5pm – 9pm

Where: Cartwrights Restaurant & Bar, TAFE Queensland, 34 Lady Musgrave Road, Mountain Creek

Ticket Includes: 7 Course Degustation Dinner featuring local produce from FAN Members, wine, beer & soft drink


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