About Us

The Team

Troy Haines
Troy Haines
Cofounder / Managing Director theSPACE Australasia

Damian Zammit
Damian Zammit
Cofounder / Director theSPACE Australasia

Loraine Healey
Loraine Healey
Community Leader

Over the past four and a half years, theSPACE Cairns has been working with key strategic partners to build a startup and innovation ecosystem in Far North Queensland. As entrepreneurs, we recognised the need to shift our focus to a global marketplace, however we soon became aware of the limitations of the existing support structures in our region. Over recent years we have been building out a model for effective ecosystem development, to support the development of our ideas and those of many other entrepreneurs and innovators in the region.

Why would you want to work with us?

  1. As of November 2016, 632 people, including 141 paid annual members, have attended local startup & innovation events, or made enquiries through theSPACE Cairns
  2. theSPACE now has 6 major corporate sponsors, plus have run programs for local, state & federal governments.
  3. As founders of theSPACE we were named Innovation Champions by the Minister of Innovation and the Premier of Queensland. We were further inducted into the Queensland Government Innovation Wall of Fame for the work we have done thus far in building the North Queensland startup and innovation ecosystem.
  4. The Department of Science, Information Technology & Innovation (DSITI) published a report in 2015 on the Regional Queensland startup ecosystem. "Cairns was the surprise stand out in this report. Cairns, per capita, has the highest density of startups out of any city in Queensland, with one startup for every 3,500 people". https://www.qld.gov.au/dsiti/assets/documents/regional-qld-startup-ecosystem-report.pdf
  5. Innovation Ecosystems is becoming an international authority in the Startup & Innovation Ecosystem development, gaining creditability with local, state, national and international leaders. Refer Annual Australian Innovation System Report, table of contents page 20, https://industry.gov.au/Office-of-the-Chief-Economist/Publications/Documents/Australian-Innovation-System/2016-AIS-Report.pdf
  6. In 2015, theSPACE won a national challenge through Sustainable Economic Growth for Regional Australia (http://segra.com.au) and are now working with SEGRA to support regions throughout Australia to develop their own startup and innovation ecosystems.
  7. Our Ecosystem model is being shared internationally as seen here in an article written for Technology Innovation Management Review (TIM Review) - http://www.innovationecosystems.com.au/innovation/technology-innovation-management-review-special-issue/
  8. In 2016, Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull visited theSPACE to see first-hand the innovations created by our regional entrepreneurs and to announce $10 million in funding for a Cairns Innovation Centre to be built at James Cook University Cairns, Queensland, which the SPACE will collaborate with as a commercialization partner. This federal government funding is in addition to $10 million in funding from the state government and a further $30 million from private investors, resulting in a total investment of $50million for the Cairns Innovation Centre. A video of the Prime Minister's visit to theSPACE Cairns and his funding announcement, is available here (theSPACE; http://thespacecairns.com/prime-minister-visit/)
  9. Emerging Entrepreneurs was the winner of the Education Innovation Award at the 2016 Regional Achievement & Community Awards and is operating in schools throughout Queensland and soon Australia.