6 Degrees Matures into Important Local Economic Driver (GM Column 27 July 2019)

3 months ago | by

Entrepreneur Jess Wilson and the Mayor

6 Degrees is an initiative of Coffs Harbour City Council founded six years ago initially to help local businesses take advantage of the introduction of the NBN into the local government area.

Since then, it has grown to include a variety of activities and opportunities for startup, digital and innovative businesses across the region.

Importantly, 6 Degrees is able to give local entrepreneurs the same kind of business support opportunities that are generally available only in metropolitan areas.

It may seem easy to come up with startup ideas, but it’s much harder to actually quit your day job and start a company. 6 Degrees has programs to help give new and aspiring startup founders the knowledge, skills and connections they need to successfully get their startup idea through its first year.

In the past year, 6 degrees has introduced an incubator program – to assist, support and formulate innovative business ideas – and an accelerator program – which focuses on scaling up the business and preparing for investment.

The new Accelerator Program, in partnership with Investible, which we believe is the first of its kind in regional NSW, recently saw 10 new and established businesses look at securing more investment and other ways to grow their enterprises.

6 Degrees was supported by funding in late 2018 from Jobs for NSW as part of their Local Innovation Network Program. Jobs for NSW selected seven regional partners around the state to grow their ‘hub and spoke’ model of innovation development. Coffs Harbour City Council is the only local government partner to have secured this funding.

Part of the funding is designed to spread the 6 Degrees network to a broader audience of businesses between Kempsey and Grafton.

Our regional expansion has begun, initially in partnership with Kempsey and Nambucca Shire Councils. This expansion has been met with great enthusiasm.

If you want to find out more about 6 Degrees and the advice, support and expertise available, take a look at 6degreesco.com.au or the current series of Startup Coffs Coast events which are running through July and August at startupcoffscoast.com

Pic cap: 6 Degrees ‘Startup Coffs Coast 2019’ Guest Speaker Jess Wilson – a Karangi local who has been a massive success in the highly-contested Chinese millennial market with her fashion app ‘Stashd’ – pictured at the launch this week with Coffs Harbour Mayor Councillor Denise Knight.

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