Regional Startups 3 MIN READ

Mackay has secured its first coworking hub Split Spaces, and with just under 1,000 square meters of space it is set to become Queensland’s largest regional innovation hub. Split Spaces is being supported by a Federal Government grant, Woollam’s Construction, and Porters, and is planning to open the space to entrepreneurs later this year.

Split Spaces is a non-for-profit [NFP] organisation that is dedicated to supporting small businesses and startups in the Mackay region. The hub has secured a level within the CQUniversity’s [CQU] city campus and is surrounded by the Mackay business community, which is the perfect location to collaborate with like-minded entrepreneurs, businesses and industry.

Founder of Split Spaces Jarryd Townson said the linkages back to the staff and students within CQU are important to develop the future of business people within the Mackay region and will help facilitate the future of innovation.

“CQU is the perfect location for Split Spaces right in the city centre with plenty of cafes and shops a short distance away. It’s important to us that we provide a creative, accessible and welcoming space with facilities and room for growth,” Townson said.

“This location epitomises everything Split Spaces is about, a large space split into sections that are conducive to what is required to operate a startup and provide the relevant support mechanisms.”

Split Spaces will offer members a range of facilities, including two boardrooms, a creative ‘chill-out’ room, a large coworking area, break out spaces, a presentation room, and private office spaces. The range of rooms and resources will make Split Spaces the largest coworking hub in regional Queensland.

“Think Google and Facebook’s creative work spaces…then imagine one just like it in Mackay,” Townson said.

Townson also believes that Split Spaces will offer something for everybody within the community, regardless of business size or idea. The hub will not only offer facilities for startups to reduce overheads, but it will also enable internationally-renowned mentors and business advisors to provide invaluable support and advice throughout the startup’s journey.

“Split Spaces is more than just a coworking space. It is a community of like-minded, driven, inspirational and dedicated change-makers who want to be part of the bigger picture, who believe in the power of innovation, who want to foster their individual and team growth, and who want to work together to improve the business landscape in Mackay,” said Townson.

The innovation hub is also thinking about incorporating an accelerator as part of its plans to grow and diversify in the future.

Split Spaces will be the first of its kind for tech startups and innovators in Mackay and joins other support spaces like Fire Station 101 as the latest hub for regional innovators. In March this year Fire Station 101 transformed the formerly known Ipswich Fire Station into an innovation hub to help build one of Queensland’s fastest growing regional communities.

With regional communities in Queensland like Ipswich and Mackay becoming prime startup locations there is a growing need for hubs to provide startups with not only creative spaces but access to industry leaders and support networks.

Mackay is home to startups like Qualuon, for example, which is making, storing, and tracking documents like resumes, passports, and medical certificates through the cloud. The rise of the startup, which is competing against the likes of Dropbox and Google Drive’s cloud storage services, is indicative of what can be achieved from regional Australia. Startup stories like these show that having an idea and transforming it into a reality can come from any part of regional Australia, which is a reality that Split Spaces aims to promote and facilitate.

Image: Jarryd Townson. Source: dailymercury.com.au.

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