Qld tech start-ups to benefit from new govt grants

Tuesday, 10 July, 2018

Qld tech start-ups to benefit from new govt grants

Hundreds of thousands of dollars in grants will be awarded to Queensland tech innovators as part of a new government scheme.

The Startup Onramp Regional Queensland Program will help start-ups to acquire the knowledge, skills and connections they need to grow their business.

“Innovation is all about creating sustainable jobs here in Queensland. This program is designed to help tech entrepreneurs to scale up their start-ups to employ more people,” said Queensland Innovation Minister Kate Jones.

“Regional Queensland is a great source of tech innovation and ingenuity and we want to help showcase that to the world.

“Start-ups are an important part of our workforce in Queensland. That’s why we’re investing in businesses that show great promise to create sustainable tech jobs in our state.”

The first Startup Onramp pilot program was held in May 2017, before Startup Onramp was officially launched for Brisbane entrepreneurs in April 2018.

The Startup Onramp Regional Program sees an expansion of the program to regional Queensland.

Startup Onramp founder Colin Kinner said that massive economic growth can be driven by start-ups founded in regional Queensland.

“This isn’t just about helping small business; it’s about supporting regional start-ups that start small but could become the next tech giants and create large numbers of high-value jobs,” Kinner said.

Queensland’s Chief Entrepreneur Steve Baxter noted the importance of creating more globally viable tech businesses.

“As I travel around Queensland I’m seeing some incredible entrepreneurial talent, and the Startup Onramp program will provide skills and, importantly, the connections that will help entrepreneurs understand what it means to go global from day one,” he said.

The Startup Onramp Regional Queensland Program, which will be made available to start-ups across the state over the next three years, is one of a variety of programs available to support regional tech entrepreneurs.

Member for Ipswich Jennifer Howard said programs to support innovators in Ipswich are part of the Palaszczuk government’s strategy to diversify Queensland’s economy.

“Investing in tech start-ups is an important way for the government to create jobs in places like Ipswich in years to come,” she said.

“Startup Onramp was hugely successful when it was held in Brisbane earlier this year. I’m proud that innovators in Ipswich will have a chance to access hundreds of thousands of dollars in funding to scale up their businesses as part of this program.”

Jones said Advance Queensland programs are shining a spotlight on the opportunities available in Queensland.

“Some of the best international start-ups are coming to Queensland through our Hot DesQ program, and are deciding to make it their permanent home,” she said.

“Combined with what we’re doing for our homegrown innovation talent with programs like Startup Onramp, we’re working hard to create an innovation ecosystem that will support jobs growth in Queensland.”

Holospace, a start-up that creates holograms for education, entertainment and advertising, moved its headquarters from New Zealand to Ipswich under the Hot DesQ program.

Holospace founder Chris Mather said that the experience of joining the Ipswich start-up ecosystem convinced him to stay permanently.

“It was incredible to see such an active ecosystem, with a huge number of attendees to meet-up groups, hackathons and conferences,” Mather said.

“We are entering a rapid-growth stage, bringing on five full-time and part-time employees, and are focused on increasing global distribution of our HoloSpace product range for export from Australia to the United States, Japan and Singapore.”

The Startup Onramp Regional Queensland Program and Hot DesQ programs are part of the $650 million Advance Queensland whole-of-government initiative to transform the state’s economy, create knowledge jobs of the future and build Queensland’s reputation as a global innovation and investment destination.

Image credit: ©Sergey Nivens/Dollar Photo Club

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