MIRA Darling Downs

METS Innovation Regional Accelerator

MIRA Darling Downs is a pre-accelerator intended to help businesses already in or looking to enter the METS sector to improve their unique value proposition and accelerate commercial outcomes. 

These include increasing competitiveness, gaining traction in the market with their solutions through customer validation, establishing robust and sustainable business models and making connections with mentors and industry.



We are inviting innovators in SMEs, Scale-up or Start-up stage to apply to join the program to be held over 6 sessions during August and September 2021, culminating with a Demo Day in October to share their business to an audience of industry partners and interested community members.

MIRA Darling Downs will focus on the key elements of identifying and addressing business capability gaps, as well as less formal coaching and mentoring from qualified and experienced partners from the industry.

MIRA Darling Downs partner logos


MIRA Darling Downs is a mentor driven accelerator designed to impart lean skills in startup methodology, innovation, resilience, sustainability and specifically, to give you access to brilliant industry mentors, subject matter experts and connections that can help greatly on your venture.


37 years experience in both big & small Oil Field Services companies including working on rigs, establishing new geomarkets, R&D teams establishing new new technologies and capabilities. Currently Chief Technology Officer at Qteq developing & commercialising new Tech across Energy, Mining and Water.


Over 11 years experience in local and international Oil & Gas industries in equipment, supervision, resources, supply chain management. Currently as Area Manager of Operations for Qteq based in Toowoomba. Jeremy has a keen eye for business improvement, operational efficiency and managerial skills to tackle the challenges faced by companies undergoing exponential growth.


Head of Innovation & Growth at Schneider Electric, Angela helps accelerate growth in a sustainable and profitable way by looking into strategic priorities and empowering communities to co-create the future. Co-founder at “Innovation Leaders Network” where innovation leaders share their best practices, methodologies & experiences. 


Managing Director of IP Active Dallas Gibb helps CEO’s, management boards and program managers identify, review and manage their intellectual property (IP) and to better understanding the value of their R&D investments and how to improved commercialisation strategies and partner investment. I help people get a clear understanding of the IP assets they have or plan to develop.


Director at Fusidium, an independent consulting company servicing the Life Sciences industry in Australia and globally. Decades of experience in commecialisation of technical products. Business Development, R&D Tax Incentives, Strategic Planning, Regulatory Affairs and Quality Management. 5 yrs experience with the Entrepreneurs’ Programme as a commecialisation Advisor.


Currently with Arrow Energy,  Prashant has 28 Years experience in the design of energy systems (includes 7 years in Japan around design and technology development), He is looking forward to mentoring participants in the development and improvement of new technology in a cost-effective manner. He has significant experience comparing different technology options, technical risk identification & review.


Paul is the GM, Innovation & Stakeholder Engagement (east coast) with National Energy Resources Australia. Paul works to grow collaboration and innovation to assist the energy resources industry manage cost structures and productivity, direct research to industry needs, deliver the future work skills required and enjoys achieving positive change through strategy, innovation and collaboration.


Russell Minerals RME. Working in the mining industry for the past 8 years in Research and Development has lead to exposure to a number of emerging technologies such as Machine Vision, Machine/Deep Learning, Robotics/Automation, IoT and many others. Condensing this knowledge into solutions to problems to guide and mentor others is my strength.


25 years experience in management and business analysis experience across Australia, SE Asia and the Middle East AND he is a Startup Founder (Quick Safety) with experience in gaining connections to and traction within the METS industries. Additional specialties 
include Budgeting & Forecasting, Dashboards, Data Analysis, Problem Solving, Profitability Monitoring Systems, Engineering & Mining


As the Director of Startups Marc is responsible for creating a vibrant and dynamic program with BDO specifically for late stage startups/early stage scale ups who are looking to create a globally successful business. His vision for BDO is for it to become the accounting firm that startups wished they had by helping founders successfully scale their business towards a $100m+ exit.


Gary is a Research Engineer at USQ’s Centre for Future Materials. He has started and built up a number of successful businesses in the building industry. He also has received innovation awards for building equipment and developed and project managed industrial building projects. This experience has taught him a lot that he can draw on to help guide MIRA participants.


Gregory is the Senior Advisor, Innovation, Commercialisation and New Venture Creation with GHD Digital. Greg has 20 years’ experience in providing innovators, the research sector, and startups with commercialisation advice and strategies to take their ideas to market. He can assist participants with commercialization advice, preparing and delivering pitch presentations.


Anthony Holzwart from Austmine delivers Supply Chain projects nationally in the mining, oil & gas sectors. These projects focus on creating more strategic relationships between major customers and their small to medium suppliers. Anthony can assist in understanding and interpreting the needs and requirements of major buyers and communicating your capability in a compeling manner.


Rowyn is the director of RDH Intergration Services which specializes in connectivity to Technology. Rowyn can assist with IoT and LorWan deployments, network design, CCTV and IP camera solutions, WiFi surveys and heatmaps, LoRa sensor networks and LoRa surveys, UHF radio solutions and satellite installation.


Senior lecturer in Geotechnical Engineering at the USQ School of Civil Engineering and Surveying. Ali works in the fields of Geomechanics covering a wide range of applications in Civil and Mining Rock. Ali is currently at the Centre for Future Material at the
focusing on cutting edge research studies in the field of Geotechnical Engineering in collaboration with industry


Joy Taylor


Joy is the Co-Founder of Canvas Coworking and Facilitator for Startup Toowoomba. She works to help entrepreneurs build their skills, behaviors and connections. As well as developing & delivering quality program content used across Australia, Joy has a global network to leverage via her role as a Global Startup Weekend Facilitator.

Cameron Newton


Cameron is the Head of the School of Management at the QUT Faculty of Business and Law. He is actively involved in research related to stress, organisational culture, and organisational effectiveness with a focus on employee wellbeing.

Henri Burgers


Henri is a Senior Lecturer in Strategy and Entrepreneurship at the UQ Business School.  Henri has worked with leading firms, industry associations and governments across the globe, and delivers workshops on strategic decision-making and agile innovation.

Designed to drive the next wave of innovative growth within the resources sectors, MIRA Darling Downs is powered by Startup Toowoomba and will support the development of all aspects of your unique value proposition, new business model and innovation strategy. It will equip you with the skills and capabilities to develop your ideas, gain new opportunities, and grow your business.

MIRA Darling Downs is a pre-accelerator intended to help these businesses improve and accelerate their commercial outcomes including increasing competitiveness, gaining traction in the market with their solutions and establishing robust and sustainable businesses.

In collaboration with the team from QUT Centre for Mining, Equipment, Technology and Services Business Innovation, this year’s program will also include access to additional tools, research and resources developed to support the growth of businesses in the METS sector.

MIRA Darling Downs is a way that you can test the transfer of your parallel technology from one industry like Agriculture, Farming, Energy & Resources, Water, Transport and Logistics into the Mining sector. Break out of your box! Test it within METS.

MIRA Darling Downs connects entrepreneurs with companies in the mining, METS and energy resources sectors to identify mentors, and the potential for product and services trials.


Past participants in MIRA were asked if they would recommend this program to other businesses and why?
Here’s a couple of the responses!

It’s a good opportunity to step outside the day to day operations of your business and look at your ideas through a different prism.

Yes, very much so. Because, I found it to be a fantastic environment to help take your product to the next level. Brilliant facilitators and a well structured learning program that forces you to look at your business with different lenses.

Yes. The refinement of the approach to marketing and the fine tuning of the pitch was invaluable.

When asked about their key learning, participants said among other things…

It has given me the opportunity to reflect on my own business, kind of a health check? For what Lex and I are doing together, it has helped us to consider the different aspects of collaborating. Legals, exit plans etc.

The Value Proposition template was a huge asset in helping articulate what our product does for customers.

The importance of having polished pitches of appropriate duration polished for a range of potential / existing clients and stakeholders. Having a Unique Value Proposition – what differentiates us from the competition.

Further feedback from the 2020 MIRA Program

Great conversations with the mentors and that is a lot of the reason why you would join in the MIRA program. Trent H – Jurra Industries

Hugely beneficial to hear from different people who are experts in their fields and connected in to industry and those people who have gone before us and hear what they’ve been doing. Darren O – SensaWeb

It has been super interesting and super helpful to speak to some of the guys here. To have the guys with Mining experience give us feedback and insights has been so valuable as neither of us have that ourselves. Simon T – SensaWeb.



If you still have questions contact David on 0422 590 552


Applications Open – ‘APPLY NOW

Applications Close – 20 August 2021

Session One – Thursday 26 August 2021

Session Two – Thursday 2 September 2021

Session Three – Thursday 9 September 2021

Session Four – Thursday 16 September 2021

Session Five – Thursday 23 September 2021

Session Six – Thursday 30 September 2021

Demo Day – Thursday 7 October 2021


9am Commencement

(Group) Content – topics include:
Purpose & Objectives
Business Models & Pipeline
Customer Segments & Value Proposition
Branding & Marketing
Innovation Culture
Introductions, Networking and Pitch Development.

Lunch – cohort plus facilitators and mentors

(Individual) Mentor conversations – with experts and mentors from METS industry, research and professional partners.

Note: If there is a COVID lockdown in Toowoomba, sessions will be conducted online.


The team from Startup Toowoomba have delivered numerous pre-accelerator programs over the past six years throughout Queensland and internationally, and are well positioned to provide this program with support of numerous companies in the METS sector located within Southern Queensland, QUT CMBI, METS Ignited Australia and the Queensland Government.

Action shots from  MIRA 2019

In 2020 we are virtual and online!