A regional accelerator program for small to medium enterprises (SMEs), scale-ups and startups breaking into the mining equipment, technology services (METS) industry has been launched in Toowoomba to an online audience and is bringing in mentors from across the region in the form of Workshops, Expert Panel Sessions and Mentoring opportunities.

METS Ignited and Startup Toowoomba are working with Canvas Coworking to drive commercial outcomes in regional Queensland by launching the 2020 METS Innovation Regional Accelerator (MIRA) Darling Downs with support from the Queensland Government. This accelerator program aims to identify and address business capability gaps, as well as provide coaching, and mentoring from qualified and experienced industry partners to propel these businesses to success. It is intended to help businesses improve and accelerate their commercial outcomes including competitiveness, gaining traction in the market with their solutions and establishing robust and sustainable businesses.

Last year’s program in Toowoomba showcased how business models and technology from the resources and agricultural sectors such as virtual and augmented reality could be used within the METS sector. Startup Toowoomba Director David Masefield said, “We are really excited to be launching the 2020 METS Innovators Regional Accelerator – Darling Downs here at Canvas Coworking in Toowoomba.

“We look forward to working with SME founders, innovative entrepreneurs and experienced industry experts to commercialise new products and services that will help position Queensland’s METS sector as a global centre of innovation. The program features mentors like Jeremy Phillips and Quentin Morgan from Qteq bringing decades of METS, oil and gas experience as well as industry experts like Angela Bee Chan from Schneider Electric and Marc Orchard, Director of Startups at BDO,” he said.

Minister for State Development, Manufacturing, Infrastructure and Planning Cameron Dick said the event would help local SMEs maximise the potential of METS. “Our METS sector employs about 20,000 Queenslanders. It’s a vital job-creator for our state,” Mr Dick said.

METS Ignited General Manager Ian Dover said, “METS Innovators Regional Accelerator Darling Downs supports new and growing METS companies in regional areas to access a program – usually only available in metropolitan areas – which provides training, coaching and mentoring and allows them access to industry leaders from the mining, METS, energy and resources sectors. The regional accelerators are here to help innovators at every stage, from SMEs to scale-ups to startups to accelerate their industry connections and business growth opportunities,” Dr Dover said.

Startup Toowoomba’s Program Director for MIRA Darling Downs, Joy Taylor said, “The MIRA program in 2020 has been strengthened as a result of what we learnt in 2019. “It’s been developed to suit the needs of METS SME scaleups and startups in regional areas, with content tailored to the individual business requirements or challenges.”

Participants can register to join the program at any time at www.startuptoowoomba.com.au/mira-darling-downs/

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