Central Queensland’s next generation of innovative products, services and new businesses is set to be born at HACKCQ.

The Central Highlands’ first-ever hackathon will be held in Emerald from Friday, 21 September to Sunday, 23 September.

HACKCQ will be a fun-filled, action-packed 48 hours of collaboration with skilled and experienced mentors to pitch, brainstorm and develop business plans that launch real, working start-ups.

It is an initiative of the Central Highlands Development Corporation (CHDC) and River City Labs*, and supported by the Local Buying Foundation and Advance Queensland.

Register at chdc.com.au/hackcq by 5:00pm this Friday, 14 September.

CHDC Acting General Manager Liz Alexander says that HACK CQ is a fantastic opportunity for both people with new business ideas and existing businesses who want to kick-start growth in their operations or test a new product or service.

“Central Queenslanders of all ages are brimming with ideas, innovation and energy,” Mrs Alexander says.

“HACKCQ is a unique opportunity for us all to test, collaborate and refine business ideas with like-minded individuals, and develop skills and gain knowledge in a supportive, expert environment, right here in our own backyard.

“All of our mentors are incredibly talented, enthusiastic and experienced business people who have already successfully developed high-growth, profitable businesses and are keen to share.”

Open to all ages, HACKCQ is already attracting family partnerships of parents and students who are taking the opportunity to attend together on the first weekend of the school holidays.

Minister for Innovation Kate Jones said HACKCQ is an opportunity to bring the local community together to develop their innovative ideas.

“The Palaszczuk Government’s Advancing Regional Innovation Program (ARIP) is about driving regional growth and creating jobs, and this hackathon is supported through the Fitzroy region’s ARIP project to help participants fine tune their start-up skills,” Ms Jones said.

“Queensland is already leading the way with the growth of start-ups in regional areas and it is through programs like ARIP that our state’s future business leaders and start-up founders take their first steps.”

HACKCQ will feature workshops, one-on-one mentorships and presentations from experts and entrepreneurs, including research and development specialist Caroline Yassa from Ernst & Young Australia; regional incubator facilitator Mark Phillips from the Department of Industry, Innovation and Science; and Business in Bare Feet mentor Linda McCall.

The focus will be on applying technology to grow business in four key areas – resources, agriculture, advanced manufacturing, and environment.

Tickets are just $20 for students, $20 for teachers and student guardians, and $40 for professionals, which includes all activities, meals and drinks for the whole weekend.

*River City Labs is a Brisbane-based company that empowers, supports and connects entrepreneurs and start-ups.

Follow CHDC on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Please contact Nicky Fisher on 0414 360 697 or Liz Alexander on (07) 4982 4386 or 0429 471 511 for further information.

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