Tech meet ups gaining momentum
Local tech enthusiasts and entrepreneurs are teaming up to help grow Orange businesses for the 21st Century.
When local famer Hamish Munro was trying to get his tech start-up off the ground, he knew very little about where to find help.
But today, he and a group of like-minded entrepreneurs are working together, building a community to give new start-ups a leg up.
“There were a few of us who were floating around, not really connected and working out of the kitchen rather than coming together and talking about the greater issues or how to help each other,” said Hamish.
“We saw there was an opportunity to do something together. If we were like this, there must be other people we are unaware of and they're unaware of us. So that was really the start of it.”
Since the NSW Regional Tech and Entrepreneurship meetup began last March, they have organised six events, bringing together local tech enthusiasts, entrepreneurs, business owners, investors and venture capitalists.
For Hamish — whose own small tech company has produced meeting management software and a data management solution for farmers — the meet ups have been a great way to learn and share ideas.
“Having an entrepreneurial start-up is quite different to setting up a plumbing business or a hairdresser or something like that, because you’re really starting from scratch,” said Hamish.
“But there are actually some basic rules or approaches to allow you to be more successful, than just proceeding aimlessly. Some people naturally have entrepreneurship, but many of the elements can be a learned skill and that's what it is all about.
“It’s an excuse to network, to meet other people doing similar things or different things, but then there’s also accountants, investors, solicitors, people from government that can tap you into grants or help you with grant writing and all that sort of stuff .”
The group has four more events already planned for this year, but Hamish is hoping they will be able to expand their community to embrace other towns in the Central West.
The meet ups will really benefit anyone setting up something a little different
from a bricks and mortar store
“We actually don’t just want to concentrate on Orange; I’ve had people travel from Canberra and I've been down there as well. We want to do some events in Dubbo, in Bathurst, Cowra, maybe Parkes as well,” said Hamish.
“It has been really good in unearthing where different people are. There are a lot of different people I was unaware of that are doing some great stuff.”
The meet ups are open to anyone, said Hamish, and will really benefit anyone setting up something a little different from a bricks and mortar store.
“It takes a lot of work to organise these events, but we see the value in doing it for the community and that's enough of a reward,” said Hamish.
“It’s paying it forward, in a certain respect, so that other people can hopefully prosper and not make the mistakes we've made.”
Anyone interested in attending a future meet up can visit meetup.com and search for “NSW Regional Tech and Entrepreneurship.”