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Australia’s first Indigenous-led startup incubator opens today

“D:HIVE [digital hive] is the shining light of our future” says Leigh Harris, co-founder of the innovation hub that began operation today in far North Queensland. He continued, “digital technological advancement should benefit society as a whole.”

The project aims to bring together members of the community that otherwise wouldn’t be as likely or capable of accessing the digital economy, with focus on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders, refugees, new migrants, and people with disabilities. 

The hub is located in the offices of non-profit training agency Envizion and is able to host up to 50 people at a time. The initiative will begin by running workshops, hackathons and startup weekends aimed at bringing further opportunities in digital growth to the communities of those taking part in the incubation.

If the project proves successful, co-founders Leigh Harris and Julie-Ann Lambourne hope to lobby for similar hubs to be built around around remote Australia, ideally also led by Indigenous Australians. Harris expressed hope that the project “will get engagement from federal government,” stating that while there is some interest from corporates, “they’re waiting to see the establishment of the place first.”