1 Apr 17|Innovation

A few years ago, there was talk about laying the Hunter Innovation Festival to rest.

A few years ago, there was talk about laying the Hunter Innovation Festival to rest. It had become a month of token innovation events, pieced together so innovation would at least have a presence in the region. The intent and motivation were firm but the resources and manpower scarce.

Innovation wasn’t a media draw card and the Government certainly was not talking “Ideas Booms”, nor were they spending money on innovation. Innovation simply was left to individual businesses and organisations. The festival was desperately trying to provide a platform for collaboration and a vehicle to share knowledge.

With a lot of heart, belief and persistence, and with little resources, a dwindling team of dedicated innovation champions remodeled the event and a new energy was injected.

Fast-forward a few years and that new energy has been magnified. #HIF17 will see the biggest year yet in the spirit of collaboration and connection. And in 2017 collaboration and connection are essential ingredients for creating an innovation culture, and on a grander scale, an innovation ecosystem.

So what do we want to achieve through all this connection and collaboration? #HIF17 will start at Ideation, end with Execution and offer all the required information and support possible in between.

I was fortunate to hear Simon Sinek speak in Sydney recently.

One of the truth bombs he unleashed on the 2,350 strong audience was, “Vision without Execution is Hallucination."

We know that innovation is seeded through Vision. If the seed is to sprout roots, it is through a team that is drawn to that vision.

Without the team, without laying strong roots, there will be no sprouts. Ok, enough of the analogy!

The Visionary must be supported by the Marketpreneur, who will help spread the word, the Numberspreneur, who will keep the finances on track and the Actionpreneur, who follows the Visionary and ensures that the steps to execution are completed.

So #HIF17 will offer several events for individuals, businesses or organisations to showcase their existing ideas or to work with others to come up with unique ideas that solve a plethora of issues that are prevalent in business and/or society. Some amazing businesses were spawned from the craziest of ideas and that doesn’t happen when an idea is kept captive in someone’s head. The Smart Ideas competition is accepting entries, as is the Hackathon. And the Ideas Bomb will be an open opportunity for conceptualisation and discussion.

Connecting with others is the best way to form collaborations.

Collaborations offer the best ways to progress ideas. #HIF17 will offer many platforms for connecting and collaborating, both formal and social, but always with purpose and intent.

From pitching, to prototyping and commercialisation; from the internet and with the infinite possibilities it brings, to grants and wisdom and inspiration from those that have been there before; #HIF17 will cover much of the innovation and entrepreneurial journey.

And in order for #HIF17 to have sprouted, the collaborants in the event are committed to creating an innovation ecosystem that is both sustainable and that sustains the region for years to come.

Thanks to the University of Newcastle, Newcastle City Council, Hunter TAFE, AUSIndustry, Laughing Mind, Ignite Alliance, DaSH, #newystartups, Hunter Research Foundation Centre, Internet Of Things, Eighteen04, Three76 Hub, Davis Collison Cave, Ideas Bomb, Design Anthology, The Business Centre and others for coming together and creating this program.

Take part, have a voice, share ideas and drench your thirst for knowledge and connection. And remember, so much of where we are heading was once just a crazy idea, perhaps even showcased in a science fiction movie…

For the latest information on the Hunter Innovation Festival visit www.hunterinnovationfestival.org

We know that innovation is seeded through Vision.

We know that innovation is seeded through Vision.

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