Agristart to open Northam innovation hub with Federal grant

AgriStart received a $485,000 grant from the Federal Government to set up hubs in Northam, Albany and Busselton.  Picture: Cally Dupe
AgriStart received a $485,000 grant from the Federal Government to set up hubs in Northam, Albany and Busselton. Picture: Cally Dupe

WA business AgriStart plans to open a regional innovation hub in Northam next month after receiving a $485,000 Federal grant.

The consulting company was the only WA business awarded funding in the latest round of the Federal Government’s $23 million Incubator Support initiative, which it will use for its CONNECT: Regional Innovation Hubs in three high-growth areas.

Minister for Industry, Science and Technology Karen Andrews said incubators and the start-ups they supported played a critical role across the economy in creating jobs and increasing productivity by bringing products and services to market.

The three regional areas supported by the AgriStart grant will be the Central Wheatbelt (Northam hub), Great Southern (Albany hub) and South-West (Busselton hub).

AgriStart was founded and is led by agricultural researcher Dr Natasha Ayers and global entrepreneur Peter Rossdeutscher.

“This funding is a great opportunity to expand the geographical reach of our services, building capability and capital for small business growth across WA,” Dr Ayers said.

“AgriStart CONNECT Regional Innovation Hubs will work with local innovators to connect entrepreneurs in rural areas to the Perth innovation networks and global markets.”

Mr Rossdeutscher said the initiative would create jobs and economic growth across the state by fostering startup success in the three hubs.”

Pearce MHR Christian Porter said the grant was recognition of the critical role innovative businesses like Agristart played across the Australian economy.

“These incubation activities will leverage Agristart’s proven expertise in scaling existing start-ups, whilst developing new start-ups and fostering collaboration between regional entrepreneurs operating in my electorate of Pearce and key international markets,” he said.

“Projects like this will help Australia become more competitive on the global stage, creating more jobs and growing our economy.”

The grant of $485,000 will provide face-to-face training, expert mentoring, online support and networking opportunities for up to 50 small businesses or start-ups in regional 50 over the next two years.

Visit www.agristart.com.au .