Hunter Founders Forum Limited - Achievements

Hunter Founders Forum Limited (HFF) was established in 2006. It is a not-for-profit organisation with an independent voluntary board. HFF has a particular focus towards assisting start-up and early stage innovative enterprises to bridge the gap between innovation and successful commercialisation. Over time, we have also identified the need to assist more established businesses in more traditional industries, to develop the skills and capabilities to become more innovative.

Our vision is to create great jobs, driven by world-class innovative enterprises with the skills and resources to remain highly competitive.

In the time it has been established, HFF has enjoyed many successes, including:

  • Assisting many innovative organisations in the region to successfully commercialise great ideas and to become investor-ready and pitch ready
  • The holding of dozens of breakfast meetings in Newcastle, the Upper Hunter and Central Coast, where founders provide a pitch of their innovative opportunity and where we showcase innovative enterprises
  • Facilitating the establishment of two angel investing groups (Hunter Angels and Rights House)
  • Holding in Newcastle the national conference of the Australian Association of Angel Investors, the first time the conference had been held outside a capital city
  • Creating a framework of mentors to support innovative enterprises
  • Facilitating the growth of the Hunter Innovation Festival
  • Supporting a range of training programs
  • Supporting the development of the Hunter Region Incubator

These efforts have played a material part in facilitating the emergence of dozens of successful innovative enterprises and developing a more innovative atmosphere for the Hunter.

HFF is proud to be taking a leadership role in the development of the Hunter Region Incubator. There is no doubt that the timing of the Incubator project is ideal, given the rapid changes that have occurred in the dynamics of the Hunter’s industry structure over the last five years, brought on in large part by the significant decline in jobs, investment and wealth creation following the dramatic fall in coal pricing and other structural changes. The Incubator will greatly assist in the leadership, co-ordination, education and mentorship of the innovation challenge throughout the region.

HFF is committed to supporting the following focus for innovation in the Hunter Region:

  • Leadership - strong regional leadership in innovation
  • Co-ordination - better co-ordination of the various organisations engaged in innovation
  • Education and Training - continued education and training to improve the innovation atmosphere
  • Mentoring - better mentoring of innovative enterprises, by tapping into a large pool of local people who have strong experience in innovation and business, and who are enthusiastic to support vibrant innovation.

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