A message from our CEO, Ben Howe.
Just over 4 years ago, I remember touring three empty buildings, which only one year earlier had been filled with the bustle of the Gold Coast’s first Commonwealth Games. There were remnants left over from the previous fit out – 8 basins on a brick wall that was the athlete’s hair salon, and a wooden bar built for the athletes when their races had finished (I assume).
Over the next six months, the design, and then fit out came to life before we opened the doors to Cohort Innovation Space in May 2019. It was a blank canvas that was about to become the Gold Coast’s newest destination for change makers – or so our tag line at the time promised.
We launched in 2019 with a handful of SME’s and two major tenants – the Gold Coast University Hospital’s Centre for Digital HealthCare and Griffith University’s Griffith Innovation Centre. Now, there’s over 300 startups, SMEs, and professionals who call Cohort home.
Since 2020, our innovation programs have supported hundreds of Australian startups. LuminaX has accelerated 31 Australian HealthTech startups with $1.7M in direct capital through our VC partners and mentors’ network, provided connections to over 200 clinicians and experts, linked 9 startups with access to clinical trials and research projects, and supported raising another $2.5M post program.
Other key programs include the Gold Coast Startup Grind chapter, our peer-sharing GC Founders Club, and our pre-accelerator START Club.
We’ve also been proud to partner with community-led organisations such as the Global Shapers Gold Coast, SheEO and Young Women in AI and have supported several community meetups like ProductTank, CyberSecs, Healthtech Connect, and Gold Coast Blockchain Meetup.
To date, we have delivered over 250 events and supported hundreds of entrepreneurs throughout their business journey.
And to think it’s only been 4 years!
Thank you to all three levels of government for supporting Cohort Innovation Space and in particular the Minister for State Development and Economic Development Queensland team who continue to believe in the vision.
And most importantly, thank you to the team. Ariana has worked on Cohort from day one and has played a huge role in all our success. Sarah, Janine, and Cassie work tirelessly to keep the lights on – and to keep the growing community connected and engaged. And Dren gives so much to the startups he works with, going above and beyond our small team’s capacity to help entrepreneurs on their complex journey.
To the startup founders, program participants and loyal tenants – thank you for being on this journey with us.