On July 17th, twelve of the Sunshine Coast’s most innovative local foodprenuers showcased their products and learnings at the conclusion of the 2018 GrowCoastal program Demo Day. Now in its’ second year, GrowCoastal is the Sunshine Coast’s first food accelerator, a partnership between the Innovation Centre Sunshine Coast and Food & Agribusiness Network, sponsored by Advance Queensland.
“It was our biggest Demo Day ever,” said Mark Paddenburg Innovation Centre Sunshine Coast CEO. “The Sunshine Coast region has a well earnt reputation for quality food. We have a huge variety of small, medium and large producers with innovation built into their DNA. This region is highly competitive on the world stage and we have been privileged to play a part in the transformation of our GrowCoastal graduates.”
“Demo day is much more than a graduation celebration, it’s a celebration of innovation, talent, great products, collaboration and the acquisition of new skills used to grow — what a powerful mix,” said GrowCoastal Program Manager, Jacqui Price. “Demo Day is also about shining a light on our 2018 graduates and their passion to bring local, quality products to their customers.”
According to Mark Paddenburg, the two-year program has achieved much success during both 2017 and 2018. Some aggregated metrics for the 2017 cohort over the last year include 17 new staff employed, 273% increase in customer numbers and a 140% increase in revenue. Aggregated metrics for 2018 cohort over last four months includes seven new staff employed, 34% increase in customer numbers and a 23% increase in revenue.
The GrowCoastal program is a proven economic driver for the Sunshine Coast region and our local food entrepreneurs.
Applications for GrowCoastal 2019 are now open for the next intake. To apply, please visit: https://bit.ly/2hADv7y
The 2018 GrowCoastal program graduates are:
- Jodie Cameron, Barenuts Macadamias
- Zoe Wombwell, Black Lemonade Bakery
- Sharlene Kelly, Boneafide Broth Co.
- Megan Dean, Embassy XO
- Kelly Burton & Mick Dan, Good Harvest Organic Farm
- Ann Ross, Hive Haven
- Amanda Schultz, LuvaBerry
- Brigid Woolnough, KOKOPOD Chocolate
- Daniel Joyce, Mighty Bean
- Martin & Regine Rellstab, Sunshine Coast Cider
- Nick Gravis & Matthew Weller, The Wholefood Artisan
- Michelle Mascher, Ugly Duck Preserves