Queensland’s technology ecosystem and export opportunities are being enhanced by Palaszczuk Government funding of a trial program supporting companies ready to scale up and take their products into the global markets.
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk announced at an innovation forum she hosted in London that her Government would contribute $150,000 to fund The Global CEO Scale-Up, in partnership with the Queensland University of Technology’s Creative Enterprise Australia (QUTCEA).
“We’ll fund up to eight businesses ready to scale-up in targeted sectors, including the food industry, for an eight-week program to support their entry into the London market,” the Premier said.
“This aligns two of Queensland’s traditional strengths—agriculture and foods—with innovation, emphasising its value as we grow and transform.
“We’re committed to startups becoming scale-ups because they drive jobs and growth, and this is how we capitalise on our innovation investment.
“Global CEO Scale-Up will provide education, mentoring, support and in-market facilitation for Queensland companies ready to scale up internationally and spend time on the ground.
“This is yet another example of my Government helping to drive forward Queensland’s innovation ecosystem and export opportunities which foster innovation, deliver jobs and establishes our State as an international entrepreneurial hotspot.
“Queensland has 19 per cent of Australia’s startups—more than Victoria and second only to New South Wales.”
Mark Gustowski, CEO of QUTCEA said The Global CEO Scale-Up program would provide an intensive, streamlined path to scale for growing, export-ready Queensland SMEs.
“It will provide connections, learnings from proven market leaders and access to networks across a range of industry verticals, giving them the confidence, tools and support needed for a successful international launch,” Mr Gustowski said.
“Through the funding of scale-up programs with strong international components such as this, the Palaszczuk Government is realising a core part of the economic legacy of the 2018 Commonwealth Games.”
Ian Mason, Entrepreneur in Residence for the program and former Head of Development at Virgin StartUp, said Queensland had taken huge steps toward creating an environment in which start-ups could thrive under the Palaszczuk Government.
“Scaling a business however, is significantly harder than starting one and requires a vastly different skill set in order to succeed at doing so,” Mr Mason said.
“Therefore, it’s important that the state also builds capacity to support established founders through programs such as The Global CEO Scale-Up. I’m delighted that the Premier has been able to make this announcement and look forward to welcoming the chosen businesses into the program later this year.”
The Premier was addressing a gathering of Queensland and British companies, entrepreneurs, and international business representatives at the Queensland Innovation Forum—hosted in partnership with the Commonwealth Bank of Australia—to engage and support pioneering innovation Queensland companies operating in-market, and to promote the State’s innovative technology sectors.
“London hosts one of the biggest and most vibrant startup communities in the world, so it speaks volumes about our reputation in the international tech ecosystem and entrepreneurial community that Queensland companies are succeeding here,” the Premier said.
“Queensland is Australia’s innovation State because my Government is creating the right environment and ecosystem for tech companies to flourish, so innovators and entrepreneurs know they will be supported all the way to succeed.
“Underpinning this is our $650 million Advance Queensland initiative which fosters innovation, builds on our natural advantages, raises our profile as an attractive investment destination, and delivers jobs.
“Advance Queensland has supported 4,450 innovators with projects driving more than 14,800 jobs, which is great for Queensland’s economy, great for increasing engagement, and great for startups, innovators and entrepreneurs.”
The Queensland Innovation Forum was led by Queensland Chief Entrepreneur Leanne Kemp who facilitated the discussion with the panel including the Operating Officer of TechnologyOne Anwen Robinson, the Chief Operating Officer and founder of Go1 Chris Eigeland, and the Innovation Manager of Commonwealth Bank of Australia Mukund Umalkar.
“The Forum will help to foster the growth of Queensland companies and also encourage the corporate community to support our entrepreneurs,” Premier Palaszczuk said.
“My Government ensures innovators and entrepreneurs receive the right support at the right time, so Queensland’s economy continues to thrive into the future.”
The Premier is in London on the last leg of her 11-day trade mission to the United Arab Emirates, Germany and the United Kingdom.
Premier and Minister for Trade
The Honourable Annastacia Palaszczuk