Siobhan Curran - I2N's Assistant Director


Siobhan Curran is the Assistant Director of I2N & Innovation, University of Newcastle.

When it comes to the Landing Pad’s resources, Siobhan Curran is one of its most important assets. Many new Landing Pad members cite Siobahn as their number one ‘go-to-person’ to connect them to other entrepreneurs, mentors, university researchers, industry leaders and more.

“If you are looking to relocate to Newcastle and connect with the community - the Landing Pad can provide you with networking and referrals with business locals and the opportunity to work like-minded people.”

Siobhan knows everyone in the Hunter region’s start-up community and she’s passionate about Newcastle and connecting people to help their business ideas flourish. Initiatives like the I2N and the Landing Pad are future-proofing and diversifying Newcastle’s economy, in the race to meet net zero emissions.

“We want to see Newcastle thriving with a range of tech-enabled entrepreneurs and their teams building their companies here in Newcastle. Our local economy is very much reliant on service-based industries and we know coal for energy generation isn’t going to be around forever. Creating economic diversity and complexity within the local economy is key to our region’s future.”

Landing Pad participants have access to Adobe Creative Suite, Office 365, Zoom Pro and prototyping facilities in the Maker Space. They can also join the mentoring program, and monthly networking events, such as Join the Dots and Startup Stories.

“At Startup Stories we invite an entrepreneur to talk about their startup journey. They could be any stage, any industry, any sector, as long as they’ve got some kind of connection to Newcastle, and we host that on the first Wednesday of each month.”

According to Siobhan, a Landing Pad candidate could be looking to develop solutions that mitigate climate change or assist in delivering better health outcomes. It doesn’t matter what industry they are in or what stage they’re at, they just need to be developing a product or a solution that’s scalable and will have a positive impact.

“Our vision is to create a community of founders leveraging technology to scale their business globally. We focus on attracting tech-enabled startups to create economic diversity in the region. Large, established companies tend to create new jobs when times are good, but then when times are bad, they shed those jobs. Startups are continually growing, so they're always creating new jobs.”

Siobhan has assisted many start-ups during the following four stages of their journey:
1. Explore
2. Experiment
3. Accelerate
4. Scale

Many of the new Landing Pad members moved to Newcastle during Covid because they realised they didn’t need to be in a big city to have fulfilling work or grow their business. So, they opted for Newcastle to enjoy an easier lifestyle with less traffic congestion.

“Housing in Newcastle is cheaper comparatively speaking. You can be at the beach in five minutes, you can actually find a park and don't have to pay for it. That's not something you can get at Bondi Beach. I moved here from Sydney 12 years ago, and I enjoy far more time in my day now that I'm not commuting on the train and bus from Epping to Alexandria an hour each way.”

However, while working from home has its advantages, Landing Pad members also appreciate the chance to network and engage in spontaneous conversations with other innovators.

“Working with like-minded entrepreneurs is good for your mental health too. The startup journey can be lonely and hard. As many successful entrepreneurs know, you need to increase your surface area for luck to strike…you can’t do that effectively at home via your laptop. You might strike up a conversation in the cafe or kitchen that could spark your next collaboration, or connect you to customers and clients.”

We are inviting you to join our innovation community in Newcastle, for free!

We are offering domestic and international innovators a three-month free membership at the Landing Pad, until June 2023.

The membership includes hot desk passes and/or a two person office space with access to the maker space, seminar and event spaces, various software platforms such as Adobe and Office 365, commercial business address and more. Explore facilities and membership options here.