The rise of the regional entrepreneur (CeBIT AUSTRALIA)
When we think about technology entrepreneurs we’re often thinking of the Silicon Valley staples in turtlenecks and sweatpants, sitting in ergonomic chairs, riding around on company branded bicycles and eating a free, healthy lunch.
But while it might be the norm in the USA, back here in Australia we’re fine with getting our work done without the bells and whistles. Today, there are a number entrepreneur centres emerging across regional areas. And passionate people in those communities are dedicated to working towards creating an innovative start-up culture far away from the big city lights and turtlenecks, and prefer to do it all from the comforts of their regional areas.
We spoke with entrepreneur Dianna Somerville who is an integral part of the Wagga Wagga start-up scene. Dianna, as she describes herself, is a lady who left her country town home and went away to join the Australian Navy. For a number of years she worked on warships but eventually moved back home and “became a farmer’s wife”.
“The lack of ocean meant I had to find my new professional identity, like so many people moving back to the land,” she said.
With a background in contracts, defence management and operation services she began to notice there was a huge gap in people’s abilities to put documentation together. Especially in regional areas, where people had incredible abilities in their roles, but found applying for tenders, grants and contracts confusing and overwhelming. That’s how she started Regional Grants, Tenders and Corporate Services. Bored of working from her farm’s remote home office she became the first client of Working Spaces HQ, a co-working space opened and run by a local entrepreneur Simone Eyles.
Working in the co-shared space has opened Dianna’s eyes to how innovative people in Wagga are. Her passion has made her determined to make the area a regional hub that fosters the growth of local entrepreneurs who will build solutions to both regional, national and global problems.