A TOURISM hackathon will be held in Tamworth for budding entrepreneurs, tech enthusiasts and tourism operators to pitch their ideas to innovate the industry.
To be held over two days in March, the hackathon will be the first Regional Innovation, Sustainable Entrepreneurship (RISE) event, hosted by the UNE SMART Region Incubator (SRI), Tamworth Regional Council and Destination Tamworth.
The winning team will have the opportunity join the incubator as a founder to build its idea into a sustainable business.
SRI business development manager Sue-Ellen Hogan said the two-day format was “really designed to encourage the ideation flow”.
“We’ll be starting on Friday evening with a state of play panel discussion about the tourism in our region to really set the scene. Ideas will then be pitched and teams formed,” Ms Hogan said.
“Teams will have a bit of time to do some planning on Friday night and then hit the ground running on Saturday to really deep-dive into their idea, creating a real and sustainable solution to pitch on Saturday evening.”
Ms Hogan said teams would have access to mentor and expert support, as well as data and resources.
Council business and community director John Sommerlad said platforms like this were key to encourage new business growth.
“In Tamworth, we know we have plenty of innovators – but often there is not the stage available for these entrepreneurs to pitch their business solutions,” Mr Sommerlad said.
“This forum is a great way for people to hone their idea, pitch it to a panel and potentially get selected to nurture their idea into reality.
“Tourism development, innovation and entrepreneurship all form part of the Tamworth Regional Economic Development Strategy – Tamworth Tomorrow, and therefore, it’s a natural progression for us to be involved in this groundbreaking initiative.”
Ms Hogan said the RISE hackathon was a chance for anyone interested in entrepreneurship, regional development and tourism to get involved growing ideas and making an impact in the region.
“Grassroots innovation is so important, and it can start anywhere,” Ms Hogan said.
“We’re looking for people with innovative ideas in regional tourism, as well as those that want to become part of a team to build these ideas.
“We’re looking for techies, marketers, students, tourism and hospitality workers, microbusinesses, community leaders, entrepreneurs and anyone in-between with an interest or idea about regional tourism.”
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