Continuing the Brisbane Innovate Journey

2 December 2019

This article follows on from the first Brisbane Innovate Summit wrap-up which you can read here.

Step 2 of the Brisbane Innovate journey was to continue working on some of the great ideas that were developed at the Summit in October.

Amplifying Small Business

The first follow-up workshops were held on Monday 28 October, where attendees reviewed the following ‘Big Ideas’ from the Summit:

  • Micro/Small Business Hub
  • Digital Resource Hub
  • The Next Step Spaces
  • Small Business Hub
  • Small Business 101
  • Micro Business BiggGR
  • Airtasker for Business (Connecting Brisbane’s Business Community)
  • Unconvention Workshops for Business Owners

These ideas were brought together because we could see from the ‘Big Idea’ and ‘Cover Story’ canvases there were a lot of similarities and alignment.

Teams were formed based on familiarity from the summit and similarity in ideas. By the end of the workshop, 4 key ideas emerged:

  • Unconference for small business – a loosely structured conference for small business owners to learn from experts and each other
  • Brisbane Business Level Up – an online platform offering resources to Brisbane businesses to grow and curate relevant events and activities
  • MicroHub – coworking space for micro-businesses (I’m pleased to say, we’re trialling that here)
  • Network of flexible work hubs (connecting hubs in the burbs)


Engaging Out of Town Students

All those interested and able to keep working on the engaging out of town students came together on Thursday 7 November to further explore the Big Ideas that emerged from the Summit:

  • Intercultural Markets
  • Meet Street
  • Saturday Market meet up
    (you can see the similarities in these 3 😊)
  • Epic Innovate
  • Auction night
  • Brisbane Student Connection
  • One stop shop for student services
  • Business & student hub

The discussions across these groups were enlightening, with many common elements to a lot of the ideas.

The result was three key projects to continue working up

  • Epic Innovate – using the open innovation model of Brisbane Innovate to have out-of-town students work on business problems
  • Meet Street / Markets – creating spaces at existing markets (e.g. Kelvin Grove community markets) for students to gather, connect with and experience the community)
  • Better coordination of the various services and resources available to out-of-town students

Pilot projects are being planned for both Epic Innovate and Meet Street in February 2020 …. Stay tuned and let us know if you want to get involved (contact us link).


Innovation for sustainable and effective construction

There were two clear types of ideas that were developed at the Summit in this challenge space:

  1. Industry innovation opportunities
    1. Online local construction products & materials marketplace
    2. Hempstruction
    3. E-Bricks (converting e-waste, like phones, to bricks for construction)
  2. Policy changes
    1. Greener buildings
    2. Lease of Life Pledge
    3. Rooftop Gardens for inner city office blocks

For the follow-up workshop on 6th November, there was heavy focus on the online platform for local construction products and the rooftop gardens. With regards to policy, it was discovered there was actually more enabling policy in place than participants realised, including some recent policy changes.

The local construction materials platform is being piloted on a particular project over the next few months, which will inform just how possible and affordable it is to build using only local supplies, which will inform the next steps.


What next

The teams are all self-leading now, with support, guidance and dot-connecting providing as required from the Brisbane Innovate team at Brisbane Marketing (we’ll be nudging everyone along to bring these ideas to life). We’ll publish updates here, so follow us on Twitter to be notified of those updates.

If you want to be involved, drop us a line on and we’ll introduce you the relevant team leaders.

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