The Hunter Innovation Festival is in its tenth year. It was born from the rib of the Australian Innovation Festival that began way back in 2002. The festival was built on the foundations of the four C’s - Creativity, Connections, Collaboration, and Commercialisation.

 So here we are some years later and the same foundations remain fundamental to embracing an innovative culture.

It’s no secret that diversification walks alongside collaboration. As Seth Godin said, “The sum of us is better than the one of us”. And the more brains in the room, of varied backgrounds skills and experience, the more creative and productive the outcome.  The smartest people may not work for you. But in a collaborative work environment, you call those experts in to work with you on a project as required. We see this work model becoming ever more popular. And after all Hollywood has been doing it for a very long time.

So what does the Hunter Innovation Festival offer in 2017? 

There has never been a better ecosystem for innovation than that which is developing now in our region. It is as if Creativity and Innovation have reached Tipping Point. We have accelerators and hubs happening but more importantly great collaborations between the University and councils and business centres and startups and industry and government. There are many courses at many levels for those requiring assistance with entrepreneurship and starting up businesses. There is an excitement and anticipation in growing our reputation as a Centre For Innovation to rival our Sydney and Melbourne metropolitan centres.

The Hunter Innovation festival offers a journey from ideation to execution. There are several opportunities to share and develop ideas (Smart Ideas Competition, Ideas Bomb, HunterHackfest Hackathon) information on prototyping and IP, opportunities for collaboration and networking, advice on pitching from experts in the practice, and commercialisation, financing and grant workshops.

Through the Hunter Innovation Festival we hope to contribute to fostering even greater connections and opportunities, not only for startups but scale ups and businesses and organisations who realise that innovation should be a priority in workplace practices.