Local Innovation Ecosystem

Newcastle and the Hunter Valley are home to a number of clubs, collectives and co-working spaces which cater to every type of idea, helping you to navigate your startup journey


Co-working Spaces

SpaceDescription
Three76 HubLocated in the heart of Newcastle, Three76 Hub is a physical space for UON students and staff, in addition to members of the wider community, to have the opportunity to create, test, develop and produce services and products that meet market expectations. Over two levels, Three76 Hub accommodates flexible co-working spaces and collaborative meeting zones with the technological and physical environment to support startups in the Newcastle region. Three76 Hub is part of the Integrated Innovation Network (I2N).
DSA-18 HubA purpose-built co-working space at the Williamtown Aerospace Centre, located next to the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) Base, DSA-18 Hub concentrates on research technology applications in the commercial defence, security and aerospace markets. This hub builds on UON’s acknowledged strengths in cybersecurity, control systems, autonomous vehicles, simulation modelling and propulsion and energy storage, all of which offer opportunities for engagement with nearby industries positioned in defence. DSA-18 Hub is part of the Integrated Innovation Network (I2N).
DaSHAn innovative community, DaSH is the first major initiative of Dantia, the Lake Macquarie Economic Development Company Ltd set up by Lake Macquarie City Council. Dantia's prime directives of growth and regional economic development mean that they are not concerned with making a profit so much as facilitating a highly active, constructive community of entrepreneurs who want to scale up their business operations and be really awesome at what they do. DaSH is part of the Integrated Innovation Network (I2N).
Arcade SocietyArcade Society is a boutique co-working studio above the historic City Arcade in Newcastle East, overlooking leafy Hunter Street.
The Art ProjectA unique boutique, collaborative co-working space located in the Newcastle CBD. Situated in a two storey building shared with a well-known Newcastle artist and successful local marketing agency, the space is perfect for anyone looking to find a working space that encourages a positive and collaborative environment.
Eighteen04Incubator and co-working space for clean tech + smart city based startups in the Hunter Region. Located in Newcastle, Eighteen04 provides a physical and cultural space to foster collaboration and networking for tech entrepreneurs.
INNXINNX is a space for co-creation and collaboration, a destination in which innovators, creators, leaders and entrepreneurs can come together, be inspired, create and gain new knowledge.
The Production HubA world class co-working studio and shared office space. It is the perfect working environment for experienced freelancers and small businesses owners who understand the importance of productivity.
The RoostThe Roost is a community of independent creative people sharing space and ideas. We work autonomously and also collaborate occasionally.

Every week volunteer-coordinated meetups take place across the Hunter covering a range of innovation domains

Meetup GroupDescription
Central Coast StartupsCentral Coast, NSW startup community for businesses, entrepreneurs, freelancers, and startups. We aim to create a vibrant startup community and look forward to taking the region to the next level of innovation. 
Central Coast Tech CommunityA community for anyone working in the digital space and looking to connect with like minded people. Central Coast Tech Community discuss current projects, ideas, marketing and startups.
Hunter Entrepreneurs ClubWhere entrepreneurs from all walks of business meet. No vision is too big or too small. The Hunter Entrepreneurs Club meet multiple times monthly with pop-up speakers and members meets.
IGDAInternational Game Developers Association (IGDA) meet up to discuss all aspects of game development. Whether art, design, programming, music or production, all are welcome. Our aim is to get an active game dev community humming in Newcastle.
Innovators Lunch - Ideas in Clean Tech & Smart CitiesA monthly social lunch for researchers and entrepreneurs, including those with ambition to become one, in the Clean Tech and Smart Cities space. Whether you just have an idea or just took your company to IPO, if you're thinking green and smart you're invited. This is a social event to build stronger ties between Newcastle's researchers and the start-up community. This is an initiative of Eighteen04 for the development of entrepreneurs in the region.
Interactive MindsIf you want to improve your digital marketing knowledge, stay up to date with the fast-changing industry, learn from our peers and keep abreast of hot topics, then come along to our digital marketing seminars. Interactive Minds is run by digital marketers, for digital marketers and have held over 100 events in the last 8 years.
IxDAInteraction Design Association (IxDA) Newcastle is a local branch of the global IxDA community. IxDA Newcastle is focused on nurturing and developing expertise in the discipline of interaction design. We bring together a community of people who are committed to creating meaningful relationships between people and the products and services that they use, from computers to mobile devices to appliances and beyond.
Lunaticks SocietyAn incorporated association dedicated to promoting digital innovation and new ideas in regional Australia. Founded in 2010, the Society has hosted over 50 technology events, including talks, workshops, social events, conferences and awards.
Newcastle Coders GroupPassionate Programmers, Web Developers, Hardware Hackers, Students and Technologists in general. Newcastle Coders Group meet the first Wednesday of each month and typically feature a guest speaker talking about a current topic in the tech domain. It's a great opportunity to learn new skills and stay in touch with what's happening in the region and around the world.
Newcastle Infracoders and DevOpsA group for System Administrators, Developers and anyone interested in automating IT infrastructure and the surrounding ecosystem. Newcastle Infracoders and DevOps discuss and demo configuration management, enabling continuous delivery, strategy and techniques for writing beautiful automation as well as enabling others in your organisation to do the same.
Newcastle IoT PioneersThe Newcastle IoT Pioneers group meets on the first Thursday of every month. IoT Pioneers are looking for hustlers, hackers and hipsters in or around Newcastle, Lake Macquarie or the Hunter, who want to take advantage of IoT.
NewcastleJSA Javascript meetup covering a wide range of technical web development topics while sharing experiences, tips and tricks. Pizza and drinks included!
Newcastle MakerspaceWe are a Makerspace (or Hackerspace). A not-for-profit providing communal space with a collection of tools that anyone can use to make or fix things with a focus on the shared skills of our members. Makerspace is equipped for sewing, electronics, writing code, woodworking, metalworking or mechanical repairs and maintenance. 
Newy StartupsAn informal collection of people from various backgrounds involved in the tech and startup scene in Newcastle. Newy Startups want to see Newcastle get more than its fair share of this new economy, so together we’re looking to help wherever we can.

Startup-centric programming is vital to founders at all stages to help them navigate an unknown landscape with efficiency and support

ProgramDescription
I2N Icon Regional AcceleratorI2N Icon Regional Accelerator has been developed to give regional Startups the opportunity to build and grow their business quickly, leveraging Slingshot's successful accelerator program.
I2N Incubator @ DaSHRun by Dantia Smart Hub (DaSH) which is part of Dantia, Lake Macquarie Council’s economic development arm. The Program involves subsidised work space and a place in the DaSH co-working community, mentoring with successful entrepreneurs and industry experts, and scholarship discounts with HubSpot, IBM BlueMix and more business service providers.
I2N Lean Startup WorkshopsI2N Lean Startup Workshops are highly interactive and prime participants for the world of innovation and entrepreneurship. Each workshop focuses on a fundamental aspect of lean startup methodology. These methods provide a simple structured approach to taking a potential business idea and turning it into a real business quickly, cheaply and with a higher degree of success. The premise of this approach relies on getting consistent and valid customer feedback throughout the development process to ensure that the product being built is going to add value for the customer.
Hunter Innovation FestivalInnovation is essential to sustainability and competitiveness in a global, fast-moving environment. The Hunter Innovation Festival (HIF) will challenge business, industry and community with the newest ideas in innovation and highlight local success stories. HIF aims to bring together all elements of the Hunter innovation ecosystem, highlight global trends in innovation, showcase innovation happening in the Hunter and provide expertise and inspiration to entrepreneurs and enterprises.
Regional Incubator ProgramThe Regional Incubator aims to accelerate the successful development of start-up and fledgling companies, as well as more established innovative businesses or those wishing to become more innovative, by providing entrepreneurs with a wide array of targeted resources and services.

UON's student run clubs and societies host a number of activities each semester which foster professional networks and entrepreneurship

UON Clubs & SocietiesDescription
MakerspaceAn innovation lab and community in which makers, artists, programmers, scientists and engineers can socialise and collaborate on projects and share ideas.
NuWiEThe Newcastle University Women in Engineering society (NuWiE) is run by students, for students. Our main focus is offering support and community for Women studying or working in the Faculty of Engineering and the Built Environment at the University of Newcastle. Our aim is to create a society which encourages a community of support and diversity.
RobogalsRobogals is a student-run organisation that aims to increase female participation in Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths, through fun and educational initiatives aimed at girls in primary and secondary schools. This global organisation, founded in Melbourne in 2008, now has chapters spanning across four continents and 33 universities. Robogals Newcastle covers the Greater Newcastle, Hunter and Mid-North Coast regions.
UNLSAThe UNLSA is a volunteer organisation of law students dedicated to serving their peers over a year long term. UNLSA initiatives include; advocacy, social events, career development, skill development and support.
UON BusComUoN BusCom is a growing not-for-profit student association with over 500 members and 14 corporate and local partnerships. An integral part of the university and broader Newcastle community, BusCom facilitates communications between its members, affiliated companies and the Newcastle Business School; through their professional, social and sporting events.
UON Computing SocietyA society to spark new connections among students through regular social events and off-campus activities, boost your connections with industry partners, and seed entrepreneurship and innovation through support and mentorship.

The Hunter region's innovation ecosystem is supported by a number of groups offering investment, knowledge and expertise

Ecosystem SupportersDescription
University of NewcastleAt the University of Newcastle (UON), our world-leading research and innovation creates new thinking, new ideas and new breakthroughs, not just in Australia, but around the globe. Innovation initiatives such as Newcastle Innovation (NI) and the Integrated Innovation Network (I2N) represent a new frontier of entrepreneurial activity across a breadth of sectors and locations by connecting UON's specialist research to industry and linking four UON and partner hubs across Newcastle, Charlestown, Williamtown and Muswellbrook. UON have established strong partnerships with Government and Industry to drive innovation across areas of national and global significance with flagship research institutes, the Newcastle Institute for Energy and Resources (NIER), Hunter Medical Research Institute (HMRI) and the Hunter Research Foundation Centre (HRFC) delivering cross disciplinary research translating to world-class innovation.
Ai GroupThis regional office responds to and represents the interests of members throughout the Hunter, Central Coast, New England, Mid North Coast and Northern Rivers regions, providing professional and timely member services, which include workplace relations advice, regional policy advice, regular training, standards compliance and networking events.
The Business CentreAt the Business Centre, we encourage all individuals to explore and develop their business ideas. Our strength is in the face to face delivery of support from our qualified, accomplished and genuine team of Business Advisors, Trainers and Mentors. Our team has curated a range of business advisory programs, accelerators, incubators, workshops, accredited and unaccredited training courses. We are all about empowering business Intenders, Start-Ups, Scale-Ups and Exiters to achieve their goals. 
Business Growth CentreBusiness Growth Centre is a not for profit Business Enterprise Centre, Business Incubator and Registered Training Organisation. Our purpose is to support and grow small and micro businesses in the Lake Macquarie Local Government Area with a commitment to providing quality advice, services and support to ensure ongoing growth for you and your business.
Federal Government Department of IndustryExtraordinary technological change is transforming how we live, work, communicate and pursue good ideas. We need to embrace new ideas in innovation and science, and harness new sources of growth to deliver the next age of economic prosperity in Australia. The National Innovation and Science Agenda is an important step in the right direction.
Hunter AngelsHunter Angels is a group of angel investors who invest in early-stage innovative enterprises with a proven product and a need for capital to fund expansion. Their objective is to help talented entrepreneurs build lasting businesses of significant value and to participate as active investors.
Hunter Business ChamberHunter Business Chamber is the independent representative organisation for Australia's largest regional business community. We are an advisor, a forum, a source of information and a point of access for our members, all while providing lobbying and advocacy, networking opportunities and advice on issues including workplace relations, business advice and training.
Hunter DiGiTComprises a network of individuals from Government, Corporate, Health, Small Business, Education, the Creative Sector and Digital Entrepreneurs. Hunter DiGiT provides Collective Influence via collective expertise, representation, networks, and knowledge that drives awareness, leadership, facilitation, access and advocacy.
Hunter Founders ForumA not-for-profit regional innovation support network based in the Hunter Valley, NSW, seeking to turn ideas into successful enterprises.
HunterNetHunterNet is widely recognised within Australian manufacturing and academia as the most successful industry ‘cluster’ of its type. The organisation involves over 200 companies, active in national and international infrastructure and asset management, energy and resources, defence and advanced manufacturing supply chains. Through its membership, HunterNet represents more than 70,000 employees.
NSW Government Department of IndustryThe Department of Industry creates conditions for the NSW community to prosper, ensuring we have a highly-skilled workforce, we manage our natural resources sustainably and we encourage investment and competition.
RDA HunterRDA  Hunter is the leading economic development agency in the most dynamic and diverse regions in Australia. RDA Hunter works to strengthen the Hunter as a competitive and modern metropolitan centre of excellence by securing funds for regionally significant infrastructure projects, providing effective connectivity between industry, education and the wider region economy and by driving investment to the Hunter region. Current projects include the ME Program which equips students with the skills and expertise that will prepare them for 21st century STEM careers. This program raises awareness of possible career opportunities and knowledge of Defence and defence industry pathways whilst increasing the number of students undertaking STEM subjects in participating schools.
Regional AngelsA network of mentors and members with a wide variety of industry experience and expertise who are passionate about ensuring the next generation of global business comes from regional Australia.