Regional startups

Access a stipend to help with travel costs and find out about your local innovation network.

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$2000 startup travel stipend

Regional recipients of the Minimum Viable Product grant can now claim up to $2000 to help them travel for an innovation-related purpose.

The stipend removes cost barriers that would otherwise prevent an early-stage startup from participating in innovation-related meetings, programs or events at the Sydney Startup Hub or run through the Local Innovation Network.

This helps to ensure regional entrepreneurs can access the full benefits of the NSW Government’s investment in creating sustainable innovation communities.

For more information on the travel stipend, email Investment NSW or call us on 1300 562 679.

Local Innovation Network

The Local Innovation Network (LIN) is a $2.1 million commitment by the NSW Government to develop regional entrepreneurship and support startups and small to medium enterprises (SMEs) across the state.

Why the LIN is here

Home to 40% of the state’s population, regional NSW has a dynamic and diverse economy. One in every ten NSW startups are based outside of Sydney and regional NSW generates 30% of the state’s economy.

Regional entrepreneurs face additional challenges to startup founders located in our large metropolitan centres.  These challenges include accessing funding, sourcing talent and connecting with supportive communities who can assist them build their businesses.

What the LIN will do

The Local Innovation Network focuses on developing entrepreneurs in each of the seven regions, but also on removing the barriers which isolate regional founders from each other, and the Sydney entrepreneur community.

Through the Network, regional innovation hubs connect, share knowledge, learn from each other’s work, partner on events and widen and improve the range of the support they provide for local entrepreneurs. In addition, through showcasing events in regional NSW, the LIN can help build awareness among investors and enable new connections to foster global business opportunities.

The NSW Government works with Local Innovation Network members to facilitate connections, offer advice on funding for startups and help regional entrepreneurs to engage with the Sydney Startup Hub and its Regional Landing Pad.

The Local Innovation Network ensures regional startups receive more help and better support to develop their businesses and their skills, leading to better job creation outcomes for regional startups.

Locations of LIN members

The Local Innovation Network is made up of seven emerging innovation locations in regional NSW. In each area the NSW Government funded one collaborative, community-led initiative to provide local entrepreneurs with opportunities, facilities and professional development to help them grow their businesses and create jobs.

Participants in the Local Innovation Network were selected through an Expression of Interest process which has now closed.


  • Armidale - SMART Region Incubator has partnered with Armidale Council, Tamworth Council and the University of New England.
  • Bathurst -  Upstairs startup hub, Charles Sturt University, Reliance Bank and Bathurst Regional Council.
  • Byron Bay - Sourdough Group forming a network of incubators and coworking spaces.
  • Coffs Harbour - Coffs Harbour City Council linking a network of coworking spaces with  Southern Cross University, TAFE and Innovation Hub.
  • Newcastle/ Hunter region - HunteriF and a network of 26 stakeholders across the region.
  • Wagga Wagga -  Working Spaces HQ with Charles Sturt University and Wagga Wagga Council.
  • Wollongong region - i-Accelerate at the University of Wollongong with Bega Shire Council and other regional partners.

Connecting entrepreneurs

Products available

Minimum Viable Product (MVP) grants are designed for pre-revenue technology startups to help them engage with a potential business customer, or channel to market, to achieve market validation and first sale.

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Contact us

Email Investment NSW or call us on +61 2 4908 4800.

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