Government re-opens program to lure innovators to Queensland

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The government’s Australian-first Hot DesQ program aimed at luring some of the world’s best startup talent to Queensland will open up for a third round of funding at midday today (14 August).

Innovation Minister Kate Jones said Hot DesQ provided up to $100,000 equity-free funding to high-calibre start-up founders to relocate and help grow the entrepreneurial ecosystem in Queensland for at least six months.

“Through our Hot DesQ program, we’re attracting some of the world’s most promising innovators to our state by providing funding, support from a range of corporate partners and access to new markets like the Asia Pacific,” she said.

“All of Queensland benefits from this injection of start-up talent that gives back to the local entrepreneurial community while broadening our connections and opening up access to global markets.

Having returned to Brisbane as a participant of Hot DesQ Round Two after building a $50 million start-up with his last venture in San Francisco, entrepreneur Chris Raethke regularly mentors and hosts technical information sessions for local start-ups.

Mr Raethke is basing his next enterprise, Pinch Labs, in Queensland and has already hired six full-time and part-time local staff members.

Local entrepreneur Ben Hallet said having Mr Raethke as a mentor has helped him grow and fund his own start-up.

“No one has taken as much time to understand our business as Chris,” Mr Hallet said.

“He brings his invaluable US experience to the table and helps you to think and operate at a Silicon Valley level.

“He has been advising us week by week on all aspects of our start-up including tech, marketing, team culture, operations and mental health.”

Mr Raethke said Queensland’s start-up scene is at a tipping point, making it an ideal place for entrepreneurs at all levels.

"It's exciting to see there's been a solid movement in start-up thinking in Queensland, and a big part of this is thanks to Advance Queensland, alongside leaders in the ecosystem stepping up and giving back,” Mr Raethke said.

“We are looking forward to seeing the next batch of entrepreneurs as part of the program and will definitely be promoting to our network.”

Over 50 start-ups have been funded through the Advance Queensland Hot DesQ initiative, with nearly $4.5 million awarded over the previous two rounds.

Further, more than 3800 attendees from across the Queensland start-up community and broader innovation ecosystem have benefited from events and workshops delivered or attended by Hot DesQ entrepreneurs.

Hot DesQ applications are assessed against program criteria through a multi-stage competitive application process by a panel of independent assessors, with a focus on the contribution applicants can make to grow the success of Queensland start-ups.

Applications for international and interstate start-ups to participate in Hot DesQ round three open midday (AEST) Tuesday, 14 August and close at midday (AEST) Wednesday, 19 September 2018.

For more information visit

Minister for Innovation and Tourism Industry Development and Minister for the Commonwealth Games
The Honourable Kate Jones

Kate Jones : Queensland Government, Minister for Innovation and Tourism Industry Development and Minister for the Commonwealth Games :
PO Box 15033, City East QLD 4002, Queensland Wide
07 3719 7530
13 74 68
Kate Jones : Queensland Government, Minister for Innovation and Tourism Industry Development and Minister for the Commonwealth Games
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