Entrepreneurial talent to call Cairns home
Two technology startups will relocate to Cairns and strengthen the growing entrepreneurial ecosystem under the Palaszczuk Government’s $8 million Advance Queensland Hot DesQ program.
Innovation Minister Leeanne Enoch said the Australian-first program will see two technology startups – Deepblu Incorporated from Taiwan and KoalaSafe from Sydney – relocate to the innovation and startup hub theSPACE in Cairns.
“These startups have extensive entrepreneurial experience and business connections and will be of huge benefit to our local entrepreneurs in far north Queensland,” Ms Enoch said.
“They will work very closely with local startups in Cairns, sharing their experiences and providing that all important insight into how to grow a successful business.”
KoalaSafe, which has offices in Sydney and Silicon Valley, has developed a device allowing parents to control what their children view on the internet and the amount of time they spend online with a simple smartphone interface, helping provide a solution to the growing problem of internet and gaming addiction.
Taiwanese startup Deepblu Inc has developed a tech-driven dive logbook and social network for scuba divers and free divers in which they can record and share their diving stories.
Ms Enoch said the Hot DesQ program was designed to attract international and interstate startups to locate to Queensland for at least six months by offering up to $100,000 for them to pursue business opportunities and help build a vibrant entrepreneurial culture in Queensland.
“Round One of Hot DesQ will see 25 recipients move to Queensland, and be based from Cairns to the Coast,” Ms Enoch said.
Queensland Chief Entrepreneur Mark Sowerby said the program was developed following consultation with the local startup industry, which identified attracting international and interstate entrepreneurial expertise as critical to accelerating the growth of a startup ecosystem in Queensland.
“We’re attracting some of the best and brightest from around the world. They are bringing this huge wealth of expertise, experience and knowledge in running successful startups to Queensland, which will be of enormous benefit to our local budding entrepreneurs,” Mr Sowerby said.
“The strategic thinking behind the Hot DesQ program is that these overseas and interstate entrepreneurs can invigorate an entrepreneurial culture in Queensland by mentoring and guiding our local startups to grow and mature and to form those all-important global connections.”
KoalaSafe Co-founder and software engineer Adam Mills said he was delighted to be moving to Cairns and looked forward to working with local entrepreneurs through providing insights into how they established themselves, the importance of global connections, and their success in raising capital and building a cashflow.
He said with the help of over 440 Kickstarter backers from 21 countries who pledged over $100,000, the startup was able to complete the first version of their KoalaSafe device and fund their first production run.
“We currently manage over 10,000 devices in over 21 countries,” Mr Mills said.
Founder of theSPACE in Cairns, Mr Troy Haines said they were excited to host Deepblu and KoalaSafe as part of the Advance Queensland Hot DesQ program.
“We’re committed to supporting entrepreneurs to build their businesses. Having Deepblu and KoalaSafe spend six months working from theSPACE will enable us to support both these teams,
whilst leveraging off their networks, talents and resources to support our local entrepreneurs,” Mr Haines said.
“We’re seriously excited by the opportunities that this will bring to all our regions and entrepreneurs. Well done Hot DesQ and Advance Queensland, fantastic initiative.”
For the full list of Hot DesQ recipients, see http://advance.qld.gov.au/entrepreneurs-startups/startup-attraction-hot-desq.aspx