Not really a wrap-up but absolutely a big thank you!

Photo: https://unsplash.com/

Photo: https://unsplash.com/

by Zach Johnson

It seems a bit premature to celebrate success after only being in business for just over a year -- certainly not with vanity metrics.  I do, however, want to acknowledge the awesome startups we’ve been supporting during 2016, personally thank those who have made it possible, and give a bit of a nod to where we’re heading in 2017.  

Our first-ever cohort kicked off in February with 9 startups and ran through May 2017.

COHORT 1 (Feb-May) 

  • > 30 applicants / 9 selected
  • Range of industries
  • 70% female founders
  • 7 businesses still actively developing product
  • 6/7 generating revenue

Our second cohort began in August 2017 with a revised program requiring full-time attendance for the entire first month followed by up to 12 months of continued support.

COHORT 2 (Aug-Present)

  • > 25 applicants / 5 selected
  • Technology and Platform companies only
  • 40% female founders
  • All working with mentors from the first week
  • All progressing past 1st month

We wouldn't have been able to get these programs launched, or the dozens of events, hackathons, meetups and community initiatives without the help, advice and support of our partners, mentors, advisors and the broader startup community.  This list is too long.  Y’all know who you are.  I am grateful for your time, generosity and belief in our mission.  Thank you!

Looking forward to next year we’re continuing to refine focus and leverage the game-changing projects on the Sunshine Coast that truly represent a unique offering and point of differentiation.  My appointment as the City of Maroochydore Entrepreneur in Residence by Sun Central, along with the Sunshine Coast Regional Economic Development Strategy (REDS)  and the associated Smart City Framework and Implementation Plan represents an opportunity for SPARK BUREAU to help create a world-class incubator / accelerator program to identify and nurture future solutions for smart cities, homes, work and offices, education, and leisure.  

To this end, we have identified a small number of carefully selected national and global partners, which we will be announcing early in the new year, who will help us launch our dedicated smart city incubator and accelerator programs in 2017.  Stay tuned for the latest news and updates and feel free to reach out for more information on our Smart City innovation initiative smartcity@sparkbureau.org

Happy New Year!

Zach