The Queensland Investment Corporation (QIC) is gearing up to propel over 160 early-stage startups in the state towards becoming venture capital (VC) investment-ready, courtesy of accelerator programs backed by a substantial $130 million state government fund.

Managed by the QIC, the Queensland Venture Capital Development Fund (QVCDF) is set to channel its resources into five accelerators: Farmers2Founders, EnergyLab, UQ Ventures, Lumina X, and 77 Venture Challenge. This move comes on the heels of the recent announcement of the fund’s investment in VC firms like Antler, Five V, CSIRO-affiliated Main Sequence, Mandalay, and Salus, which could potentially attract up to $200 million in matched funding.

Nicholas Guest, QIC Private Equity Partner, highlights the significance of investing in Queensland accelerators, citing it as a critical step in nurturing a robust venture capital industry. By partnering with venture capital investors, the QVCDF aims to cultivate early-stage investment capacity within the local innovation ecosystem, thereby fostering growth opportunities for startups and attracting more capital into Queensland.

Accelerator programs funded by the QVCDF will span a two-year period, supporting a total of 18 cohorts comprising approximately 168 companies. These programs will leverage Queensland’s university network and extend support to regional founders across various cities, including Toowoomba, Gladstone, Cairns, Townsville, and others. The overarching goal is to reduce the challenges faced by early-stage companies, provide exposure to investors, and facilitate better access to financing.

LuminaX, in partnership with the City of Gold Coast, Mater, Griffith University, and LX Health, will spearhead a HealthTech Accelerator, offering up to 14 slots for startups. Dren Xerxa, director of LX Health, underscores the significance of such programs in nurturing new digital health companies with global scalability potential, ultimately leading to positive health outcomes for communities.

The University of Queensland (UQ) is set to play a pivotal role in the initiative, delivering commercially focused programs to bridge the early-stage funding gap in the state. Nimrod Klayman, head of entrepreneurship at UQ, emphasizes the transformative impact of accelerator funding, which will equip and empower founders to drive tangible economic growth and innovation. UQ’s accelerators, spanning various sectors including Digital and Software as a Service (SaaS) and Female Founders, aim to amplify deal flow, create new job opportunities, and bolster the venture capital industry.

The Momentum Accelerator, hosted by UQ, will provide a platform for startups to pitch to top investors, offering direct funding opportunities. This inclusive initiative, open to all, underscores the university’s commitment to fostering entrepreneurship and driving innovation beyond its campus borders.

As Queensland’s startup ecosystem continues to evolve, initiatives like the QVCDF and accelerator programs play a pivotal role in catalyzing growth, fostering innovation, and positioning the state as a hub for entrepreneurial excellence. With strategic investments and collaborative efforts, Queensland is poised to chart a path towards sustained economic prosperity and technological advancement in the years to come.

By Admin

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