The City of Newcastle and University of Newcastle launch the Landing Pad

Deputy Lord Mayor Declan Clausen

The country’s fastest growing gateway city is inviting entrepreneurs and professionals to join its thriving innovators’ hub, as part of its on-going transformation to a diverse, sophisticated economy.  The City of Newcastle is offering domestic and international innovators a three-month free membership to the Landing Pad within the University of Newcastle’s I2N hub.

What is the Landing Pad?

The Landing Pad is a hot house for entrepreneurs seeking access to smart city infrastructure, an investor network, and collaboration with academic experts. Deputy Lord Mayor Declan Clausen says Newcastle is ‘start-up heaven’. The region has long been a popular testing centre for many innovative new releases, from the polymer bank note to e-bikes.

“City of Newcastle’s Economic Development Strategy is built around people, and the Landing Pad initiative provides the extra encouragement for entrepreneurs to build their base from our city and help create new jobs or support emerging industries,” Declan Clausen said.

“Local governments often spend a lot of time and money trying to attract big businesses. We’ve flipped that narrative and are attracting highly-skilled entrepreneurs who’ll bring their networks, their expertise, and their innovative businesses to create local opportunities.”

“People relocating from the big cities will experience the best of modern Newcastle, a place brimming with innovators, a vibrant night-life, and business confidence, with more than $100m in DAs approved by Council each month,” Declan Clausen further commented.

Why is the initiative critical to the University of Newcastle?

Professor Alex Zelinsky, Vice-Chancellor at the University of Newcastle

University of Newcastle Vice-Chancellor, Professor Alex Zelinsky said that innovation and entrepreneurship is a big priority for the University. “We are delighted to partner with the City of Newcastle on this exciting initiative,” said Professor Zelinsky, VC of University of Newcastle.

Senior Manager of I2N and Innovation at the University of Newcastle Siobhan Curran said the Landing Pad supported a community of innovators to leverage technology to scale their businesses globally.  “A Landing Pad candidate might be looking to mitigate climate change or deliver better health or business outcomes. We’re industry, sector and stage-agnostic, as long as they’re developing a positive product or solution that’s scalable,” Ms Curran said.

“The Landing Pad offers professional office facilities, mentoring opportunities and a network of like-minded people.  You might strike up a conversation in the cafe or kitchen that could spark your next collaboration, or connect you to customers and clients. You need to increase your surface area for luck to strike, and it’s harder to do that at home on your laptop.”

Why is Newcastle considered the front for relocation?

According to the Regional Australia Institute, data shows Newcastle is one of five local govt areas welcoming the lion’s share of migration away from capital cities. Leading are those in their 30s, looking for economic opportunities with a balanced lifestyle, close to nature.

Leadership coach, Kate Brettell, relocated her family from the Netherlands to Newcastle last year and is one of 30 Landing Pad new members. “If you want to make an impact in your community, you can do it easily in Newcastle. This city welcomes ideas with open arms.”

The Landing Pad is a joint initiative of City of Newcastle and University of Newcastle to support scaleups and skilled professionals relocating to Newcastle. Eligible applicants will be granted free access for three months to co-working space. (Valid until June 2023).