Roles and functions in innovation ecosystems


  • Accelerator / incubator programs
  • Chamber of Commerce
  • Connections and virtual hubs
  • Coworking spaces
  • Economic development bodies
  • Education and support organisations
  • Government: Federal
  • Government: Local
  • Government: State
  • Hackathon programs
  • Hackerspace / Makerspace
  • High schools
  • Industry / technology communities
  • Industry associations and peak bodies
  • Innovation hubs
  • Investment / Capital
  • Large corporations and multi-nationals
  • Local retail
  • Media
  • NGOs and Community Groups
  • Other education providers (tafe, training)
  • Place-based research
  • Research collaborations
  • School entrepreneur / STEAM programs
  • Service providers
  • Startup community advocacy bodies
  • Startup digital platforms
  • Startup entrepreneurs
  • Universities


  • Advocacy: Advocating on behalf of startups and early-stage entrepreneurs
  • Amenities: Local support system that improves the overall lifestyle, such as tourism and food retail.
  • Build the ecosystem: Building and bringing together the roles and support network and system of investors, entrepreneurs, hubs, programs, etc.
  • Capital: Providing investment and funding.
  • Community: Bringing together communities of practice around entrepreneurial, industry, and technical groups.
  • Create culture: Building the entrepreneurial culture as compared to traditional service-based and salary focused mindsets.
  • Customers and Markets: Access to customers, markets, and supply chains for new entrepreneurial products and services.
  • Entrepreneurial support: Content and support specific to entrepreneurial capability and capacity, such as mindset or rapid growth and scale.
  • Industry support: Content and support specific to industry sectors such as agriculture or resources.
  • Infrastructure: Provision of effective transportation, logistics, and internet that can support entrepreneurs focused on global markets.
  • Local impact: Emphasis on applying entrepreneurial focus on local challenges and opportunities, in addition to identifying opportunities for application in similar challenges in other regions.
  • Marketing and promotion: Getting the word out about the local entrepreneur through case studies, awards programs, and other promotional activities.
  • Mentors: Individuals who can provide technical, business, industry, and personal coaching support.
  • Networks: Access to networks not otherwise available, sponsoring the entrepreneur into new circles through introductions and acting as a “boundary spanner” across geographic, industry, technical, and socio-economic class circles.
  • Personal development: Support for developing new skills and overall mental health towards an entrepreneurial mindset.
  • Policy: Developing policy related to entrepreneurial activities, indicated by ease of starting a business, procurement with large institutions, and development and trial of new technologies.
  • Research: Developing new technologies that can be accessed by entrepreneurs for shared IP from commercialisation.
  • Space: Physical space from which to work that is accessible by entrepreneurs, typically similar to a coworking space with short term or day by day access and inherent community and collaboration opportunities.
  • Technical support: Support for technical skills and people with technical skills required for the entrepreneur’s business.
  • Youth entrepreneurs: Emphasis on developing entrepreneurial capability in young people.

Roles and functions: An asset mapping process

The role of the innovation hub in building community resilience

Feedback welcome




American & Australian, playing in the cross-section of people, business and digital, with a passion for discovering how we all tick

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Chad Renando

Chad Renando

American & Australian, playing in the cross-section of people, business and digital, with a passion for discovering how we all tick

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