About Hunter Founders Forum


The vision of the Hunter Founders Forum is for a sustainable and vibrant innovative economy within the Hunter and adjoining regions.


The mission of the Hunter Founders Forum is to develop, promote and facilitate business investment, education and funding networks to assist the Hunter and adjoining regions to become a centre of innovation.


The fundamental purpose of Hunter Founders Forum is to serve the Hunter community by fostering innovation and investment in the region, diversifying and growing the economy.

The inaugural Forum was held in 2006, and Hunter Founders Forum Breakfast meetings are held four times during the year. These meetings are open to members of the community at large.

As a non political, not for profit organisation, the Hunter Founders Forum is guided by an independent voluntary board committed to promoting a pathway for key stakeholders to network in an ethical and transparent manner.

The facilitation process follows a formalised code and rules of engagement to achieve transparent and ethical outcomes for all stakeholders involved in creating mutually beneficial business relationships.

It is the belief of the Hunter Founders Forum that economies with high levels of investment in innovation have higher growth rates, lower unemployment, higher average incomes and better educated workforces. The values that the Hunter Founders Forum will adopt to achieve this will ultimately provide innovative businesses a fair and equitable opportunity to acquire capital investment.


The objectives of the Hunter Founders Forum are to:

  • Communicate and promote the Hunter Founders Forum in the Hunter and adjoining regions and to lobby government and other organisations;
  • Facilitate introductions between innovators and investors;
  • Provide a framework for innovators to become pitch ready through the provision of links to local service providers (nominated advisors) and educators (nominated educators);
  • Educate potential investors on the advantages of investing in the entrepreneurial business sector; and
  • Create a mechanism for venture and angel investors to review local and regional opportunities in an efficient, ethical and structured manner.

The mechanism is provided in the following way:

Once every quarter, 2-3 companies “pitch” to a group of qualified individual “angel”, “institutional” and “corporate” investors.  The brief local company pitch (4 minutes) is from an “investor ready” company with a Business Plan / Information Memorandum in place.

Hunter Founders Breakfast Forum

The objectives of the Founders Forum are realised and focused around an informative and professionally run breakfast event, with an informative guest speaker on a matter of early stage venture interest.  Each event is intended to be revenue neutral, with attendees paying for their breakfast, providing real and immediate value to all participants.

Since 2006, The Hunters Founders Forum has come to “to life” through the generous sponsorship of organisations from professional services (finance, accounting, legal) firms, educational institutions and state and federal government. This has enabled the marketing and promotion of the Founders Forum to the innovators and entrepreneurs of the Hunter, to high-growth potential businesses, to the “angel” and “High Net Worth” individuals and their representatives in our local community.

Current Directors:

  • John Coyle, Chair
  • Grant Sefton
  • Wayne Lowe
  • Andrew Feehely

Hunter Founders Forum Membership Application

Project Partners

Newcastle City Council Lake Macquarie City Coucil University of Newcastle AusIndustry Business NSW Department of Industry Hunter New England Health Newcastle NOW CSIRO