Local Startup Business Driving Latrobe City’s Ecosystem

Latrobe City Council has supported local businesses and and provided resources they need to grow and succeed.

Through the LaunchVic Regional Startup Fund, Startup Gippsland is delivering the Startup Gippsland Ecosystem Activation Program over a two-year period.

The Program will encourage the development of a self-supporting startup ecosystem in Gippsland by bringing together alumni, mentors, and members of the public at networking events such as workshops, pitch events and meetups, as well as development of soft infrastructure via online alumni community management to rebuild relationships and connections across Gippsland.

Council hosted the Startup Gippsland Pitch Showcase in June 2023, which was attended by over 120 people. The project aims to re-energise Gippsland’s startup ecosystem and build community capacity to ensure local startups are always able to access connections and support.


Jon & Trey Knight, runner ups for Founder of the Year 2023, have also attended many of Council’s facilitated Small Business workshops to further enhance their knowledge and skill set.

Jon said attending the Small Business workshops and Startup Gippsland showcase has provided their startup company BuzzBay with support.

“I’ve gone from not knowing opportunities such as Startup Gippsland and Small Festivals existed, to knowing I’m in a very fortunate position being placed in Latrobe City.”

“There is so much going on to help support big ideas and small businesses,” Jon said.

Jon and his son Trey are in the process of developing an Electric Vehicle Charging network and have recently partnered with RMIT and Federation University.

This partnership came about after attending the Council’s Small Business Festival – Collaboration with Universities session and have attended multiple workshops over the past 12 months.

BuzzBay proposes providing small EV charging solutions that allow businesses and workplaces to generate profit from their carparks.

“The EV charger we are developing is about the size of a hand-dryer that can be connected to the wall. It’s designed to be effortless for the user,” Jon said.

“Electricity is everywhere in the modern world – the problem is you’d be taking someone else’s power to charge your EV.”

Jon explained the importance of energy solutions for electric vehicles in the future.

“The fundamental issue is that if you’re going to put electric vehicles on the streets without massively increasing the grid infrastructure, we need to charge EV cars during the day,” Jon said.

In regional areas such as Latrobe City, electric vehicle cars need to be charged every week.

“If everyone’s driving an EV every day and every car on the road is an EV, we will need to manage charging to keep prices low. This is the problem we’re solving,” Jon said.

Jon, who previously worked as an aircraft engineer before moving to Latrobe City six years ago, said he always had an interest in renewable energy.

“When I started this journey, I had never run a business before – I had always worked for other people and there was a big gaping hole in my knowledge of how to run a business,” Jon said.

“Fortunately, being right here in the Valley, we are surrounded by skills in business and engineering for running the power network.”

“We’ve had some fantastic conversations, usually starting with asking power engineers to kick the stuffing out of our ideas!”

As part of the partnership with Federation University Churchill campus, a local PhD student will work alongside Jon and Trey on the development of their EV charger.

Trey said supporting local students is important to the pair.

In closing, Jon and Trey encourage others who have big ideas for start-up businesses to get involved in networking events around Latrobe City.

“There’s some amazing connections at events through Start Up Gippsland, LaunchVic and the Small Business Festivals,” Jon said.

Fresh on the Scene

Experience the perfect blend of artistry, refreshment and leisure with our trio of exciting new on the scene Moe businesses – photography, bubble tea and sim golf!


Sim City Golf offers a premium indoor golf experience in a boutique setting!

Two private bays are fitted with the latest technology, offering beginners to pros an accurate and realistic experience.

Sim City Golf opened up as part of Stadium 34 in the town of Moe in June 2022. The space is available for work functions, parties and anyone who wants to try their hand at golf.

Matt, the Managing Director of Stadium 34, said the idea of an indoor golf stadium came to him during the pandemic.

“During that time, there was very minimal things we could do and golf was one of the only sports to play outside and in the open,” Matt said. ” I bought a set of golf clubs because I wanted to do something.”

“What the pandemic did do for us as a business is give us time to consider where we are going to go coming out and helped us restructure our plans.”

“I looked at some space we had in the facility and thought this space could work well for indoor golf,” Matt said.

Matt also said golf is attracting a younger demographic of people across Latrobe City as a means of entertaining and socialising.

“What’s great about the facilities on offer at Sim City Golf is that anyone can have a go! There’s a bar to relax with friends afterwards and there’s no pressure to be the best.”

Matt hopes the new skating facility and youth precinct will also help Moe thrive.

“It’s good to see Moe thriving a bit more and there’s certainly a lot on offer here,” Matt said. “There’s more businesses and facilities opening up and it’s great to see people getting more involved in sports such as golf.”


Seccombe and Co. Photography is made up of Naomi, Rachel, Jemma and Erin. Naomi specialises in Maternity, Newborn, Baby, Children and family portraiture as well as business branding and commericial photography. Rachel and Erin take care of pre-school and daycare portraits and Jemma is the resident editing wizz who assists in all areas.

A fully equipped studio is located in Moe, offering a professional service throughout the photography process. Seccombe and Co. pride themselves on exceptional service and providing quality images and amazing products that stand the test of time.

Owner Naomi Seccombe started her photography 10 years ago from home. “I started by photographing portraits of my family and friends and things just started growing from there,” Naomi said. Photography has been Naomi’s passion since high school. “My husband’s a jockey and I started photographing his horse racing as a bit of fun!”

Now with a successful portrait studio, Naomi has a busy December with interactive studio Santa and Christmas mini sessions for families and kids alike.

“We like to offer an interactive, fun session so there’s snow that kids can play with and muck around!”

Naomi is excited about the new Moe precinct opening and said it’s fantastic for the community.

“I’ve taken my family there and our six and nine year old’s had an absolute ball,” she said. “The bigger kids and adults are so accomodating in helping everyone, it’s a nice inclusive community vibe.”

Naomi hopes smaller businesses can thrive in Moe for the future.

“There’s lots of opportunity for smaller businesses in the shops now,” Naomi said. “It would be great to see them filled and supported in a way they can thrive.


Get ready to enhance your taste buds with freshly brewed bubble tea!

Infintea is a bubble tea shop on Albert Street in Moe, which opened in June 2023. Creating an immersive and cute experience for customers, this venue is a fantastic place to quench your thirst!

Bubble tea – also known as ‘boba’ – is a popular drink originating from Taiwan made by blending tea with milk, fruit and fruit juices, then adding tasty tapioca pearls and shaking vigorously.

Each bubble tea is carefully crafted with high quality ingredients and attention to detail. Classic flavours include pearl milk tea, brown sugar, taro, coconut, banana, mango, pineapple and thai as well as chocolate, oreo and matcha.

Fruit tea drinks are also on offer with Jasmine Green Tea as the base.

Freshly baked donuts are available everyday – which includes creme cheese, strawberry jam and sugar glazed varieties.

Grace, the owner of Infintea, said she feels welcomed by the town of Moe and is excited for the future.

“Moe has been good to us since day one,” Grace said. “The community has greatly supported us even when the weather is not too good! We still have our regular local customers come by to say hi.”

“We have regular customers as well from Trafalgar to Traralgon. We strive to continue providing good customer service and tasty drinks and donuts for many days to come.”

Haunted Hills

An epic weekend adventure

The newly upgraded Haunted Hills biking park is making its mark as one of Latrobe City’s most scenic trails.

It’s time to prepare your bikes and get your adrenaline pumping at the Haunted Hills Bike Park.

Situated near Moe in eastern Victoria, the park includes over 15 kilometres of progressive trails that caters from beginners through to advanced levels. Haunted Hills is open all year round to mountain biking enthusiasts of all levels, with the natural surroundings offering beautiful scenic views to enjoy.

Dubbed as the hero track of the G7, the Haunted Hills Bike Park is the network of seven central Gippsland bike parks, which includes Maryvale Pines Bike Park, SWG in Glengarry, Erica Bike Park, Mt Baw Baw Bike Park, Blores Hill MTB and Avon-Mt Hedrick Reserve.

Families and biking enthusiasts gathered to celebrate Halloween at the Haunted Hills Spooky Epic Weekender in late October, 2023. The theme is an ode to the area’s mysterious history, which is steeped in spooky stories of strange noises and ghost sightings.

Latrobe City Council partnered with Rocky Trails Entertainment, Destination Gippsland, Haunted Hills Bike Park and Gippsland MTB to showcase the three-day event of epic mountain bike racing.

Riders, families and visitors were able to take advantage of the wide range of amenities available at the venue, including the asphalt surface pump track, toilet, BBQ s, shelters, car park and a wash down station.

The weekend racing also included the Pump and Flow Pumptrack Shootout, and the classic Cross-Country Endurance lap racing event – the Haunted Hills Shimano MTB Grand Prix.

“We had over 200 students who travelled across Victoria, including Geelong and Melbourne come up and participate in the Gippsland Schools MTB Schools Comp,” Jo Parker, National Event Manager for Rocky Trails Entertainment said. “This is the second year we’ve had this event and it’s doubled in size.”

The special edition of the Gippsland Schools MTB Schools Comp, held on the Friday, offered racing categories for years 5 to 12. The races are aimed at encouraging youth in healthy social and active recreation as well as a heightened appreciation of nature.

“There’s a large opportunity for people to come out and still ride it and understand it. It caters for riders of all abilities, which is the beauty of the Hills,” Jo said. “Families can come out, sit under the shelters and barbeques and still feel like they are close to their children.”

Nick King, Latrobe City Citizen of the Year 2023 and Specialist Trails Consultant, said the Haunted Hills Mountain Biking Park encourages the younger generation to get outdoors.

“Events such as these opens up avenues for students who don’t typically follow your mainstream sports like football, cricket and baseball,” he said. Female participation is up too, which is really great. Some of the girls shred down these trails faster than the boys!”

Nick, who is an avid mountain biking enthusiast, also mentioned the importance of showcasing the beauty of Gippsland through the mountain bike parks and progressing the sport.

“We are hoping to bring all the Gippsland mountain bike parks as one unified outdoor experience. There’s also great career opportunities for students through engaging in projects and events such as these.”

Sumo Skate

The opening of the upgraded skate park in Moe has attracted new business ventures to the town, such as Sumo Skate Store.

Situated in George Street, Sumo Skate Store opened its doors to skating enthusiasts in early October, 2023. The shop made its grand entrance with a pop-up store and paint your own deck workshop which got the community creative with decorating their own blank skateboards.

Owner Pascal Fullerton, who moved to the area 13 years ago from England, said the skating community is growing in Moe.

“I think it’s slowly growing; we’ve had kids come down from Maffra, Sale and Warragul. They are coming from all over the place to skate at the park and coming in to see what we have at the shop.” Pascal said. “We’ve also seen people in their thirties and above coming out, getting a skateboard and having a go at the park.”

A wide array of skating equipment is available at the store to cater for every need, such as skateboards, clothing, roller skates and scooters. Pascal said keeping items such as these helps create a thriving skating community.

“If you need or want something the only access to that is through the internet, and sometimes you have to wait five or 10 days for something, whereas now you can just walk across the street!” he said. “Our store also provides a little hub for kids to fix up their scooters. We help them keep their stuff together and keep them rolling.”

The 51-year old father dreamed of opening a skate shop to help young people get off their phones and find a community.

“Skating is good for people and mental health because it creates a space where everyone can help each other and teach one another,” he said. “It’s also a great way to get the younger kids involved especially when they see the older ones getting out there.”

“The skating community is all about sharing knowledge and acceptance of everyone. There’s a lot of ‘we’ involved and looking out for your mates. That’s what helps us keep going.”

As for future goals, Pascal hopes more people from across the Latrobe City will try out skating in Moe and be part of something bigger.

“Skating is not just about doing fancy tricks. It is also about falling and getting back up, which I think relates to life. We all need someone to help pick us up when we fall.”

“And that’s what skateboarding can teach you. You may fall but you get back up and just keep rolling!”

Read more: Sumo Skate