More than 70 entrepreneurs from across Australia gathered in Newcastle on the weekend as part of a council initiative to bring innovative business people to the region. 

Newcastle Council launched the New Move program in March, which aims to stimulate the local economy by attracting talented business people. 

Sydney-based computer scientist Majed Traboulsi was one of these visitors, and is among 460 applicants for the new program. 

Of these 460, thirty applicants will ultimately be selected by a panel and awarded $10,000 grants to be spent in the Newcastle area. 

Traboulsi, 36, has worked previously in start-up businesses and says he has “plenty of ideas” to pursue in the city.  

“Newcastle was already on my map, and seeing that the city is pretty serious about attracting talent, knowing the infrastructure that is here, the university, the incubation hubs… I thought cool I’ll check it out.”

Deputy Lord Mayor of Newcastle, Declan Clausen, says the program will be beneficial for both newcomers to the region and local residents. 

“Newcastle is home to world-class education, healthcare and aerospace hubs, and an innovation ecosystem that supports start-ups. There’s no shortage of opportunities for talented and skilled people,” he said. 

“The positives of New Move are that it creates lots of opportunities for Novocastrians as well. It’s estimated that attracting new talent to the city will create up to 75 local jobs and up to $25 million dollars in local economic activity.”