Thanks all who could make it to the Activation Session on 17th July. The slides for both the agenda, Dr Rai's presentation, and the notes taken by Lisa Wu are available here

To summarise and recap the group arrived at the following outcomes:

  1. Newystartup Website and branding - Newism's lead on preparation of a Newystartups website for the broader startup ecosystem in Newcastle was well received. The meeting clarified that everything under the NewyStartups banner was non-proprietary and for the benefit of the whole startup and tech scene in Newcastle. The Newcastle Tech and Startup Drinks event would be a key gathering point for this group. Future Activation Group meetings will try to co-locate with the drinks event although this will be mixed up so that people with families will have the opportunity to participate.
  2. Visibility and Mapping - There was broad commitment to raise visibility by ensuring Newcastle startups are mapped into national and international startup databases (e.g., crunchbase,, The preparation of a visual map of the local ecosystem was proposed as a possible project.
  3. Community Facilitator - The group considered and endorsed the proposal for a rolling voluntary position of Community Facilitator. This role will be a 2 month tenure and overlap with the next facilitator by 1 month. The position will:
  • be promoted on the newystartup website and via the Newcastle Tech and Startup drinks event ... champion for 2 months!
  • act as the focal point and communicator for the startup ecosystem linking events with the website, participating in events and building networks
  • Prepare a substantive blog item or article for publication on the newystartups website and social media which highlights an aspect or the local startup ecosystem or explores a key issue or celebrated a local win etc ... 
  • Get at least one other person to do an article or blog etc ...
  • Take on a project ... the project should be relevant to the facilitator but clearly beneficial to the broader startup scene in Newcastle and preferably not an event they are already planning to do. For example, put together a grant application to support a startup community event, lobby state government on key issues, prepare or update the newystartups ecosystem map ...

The following people volunteered to be the Facilitators over the next year or so (a meeting is to be schedule at the next drinks event to set dates):

Andrew Mears (incumbent until Aug 30)

Wayde Christie (next commencing Aug 1)

Chris Nottle

James McDonald

Gunilla Burrowes

Justine Ulph

Brian Hill

Gordon Whitehead

  1. Indicators and Targets - The presentation by Dr Rai provided good grounds for discussion and several key outcomes were noted:
    • Indicators to provide insights into broader startup ecosystem and enable tracking of performance and to drive policy.
    • The development of indicators requires further analysis. Support and collaboration to be provided by Hunter Research Foundation (HRF).
    • A simple and aggregated Newystartups Index was proposed and agreed in principle.
    • Andrew Mears agrees to facilitate discussions with HRF and prepare a discussion paper on possible indicators and local index.

During the course of the meeting the following potential community projects were identified (non-exhaustive):

  1. create visual map of startup ecosystem in newcastle and region (Brian Hill)
  2. collect local startup stories for Newystartups website (Justine Ulph)

Next meeting - to be 1 hour prior to the next Newcastle Tech and Startups Drinks event.