Gold Coast looks to boost innovation credentials with angel conference

Representatives from the world’s largest angel investor groups will attend a conference on the Gold Coast next month, as the Queensland city attempts to reposition itself as an innovation hub.


From February 20-22, the Gold Coast will play host to the sixth annual Australian National Angel Conference, to be held at the Royal Pines Resort Convention Centre.


The conference, an initiative of the Australian Association of Angel Investors (AAAI), will be hosted by Gold Coast Angels and sponsored by the Gold Coast Innovation Centre (GCIC).


It is the first time the conference will be held on the Gold Coast, which has seen a range of new start-up offerings including the launch of Silicon Lakes and Gold Coast Coworking.


“The Gold Coast has long promoted itself as a hotbed for innovation and entrepreneurship,” says Andrew Loch, chief executive of GCIC and chairman of the conference committee.


“Having the opportunity to host what is the key convention for start-up companies and early stage investors reinforces this view.”


“As a city, we already have significant investment in innovation including the GCIC, programs within the city council and partners such as Griffith University.


“High calibre speakers, a series of workshops and a showcase of emerging companies will all make the conference an invaluable experience for anyone interested in the industry.”



Representatives from Mumbai Angels and New Zealand-based network ICE Angels will join a number of other international speakers and guests from China, Singapore, the United Kingdom, the United States and Canada.


As stated by Loch, the conference will also showcase a range of emerging companies.


This showcase, which will bring together approximately 30 innovative businesses from around Australia, includes $10,000 in prizes and the opportunity to network with conference delegates.


Meanwhile, a series of professional development workshops are aimed at helping professional services, such as accountants, lawyers and new angel investors, understand the issues behind early stage investing.


The workshops, delivered by Fellows of the AAAI, will cover topics such as the investment process, risk management and valuations.


According to AAAI chairman Jordan Green, angel investing represents a different approach to private equity investing.


Green says angel investors are at the forefront of new models and methods; they invest to grow the value of emerging companies for future high economic returns.


“The AAAI National Angel Conference is the only national event for angel investors,” Green says.


“It provides a unique opportunity for anyone interested in this activity to network and share experiences with other angels from Australia and overseas.”


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