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    Coat of ArmsMedia Release
    Minister for Innovation, Science and the Digital Economy and Minister for Small Business
    The Honourable Leeanne Enoch

    Queensland open for the next wave of global startups

    Minister for Innovation, Science and the Digital Economy and Minister for Small Business
    The Honourable Leeanne Enoch

    Thursday, April 27, 2017

    Queensland open for the next wave of global startups

    The Palaszczuk Government has issued a fresh call to international and interstate startups to relocate to Queensland – the ‘startup state’.

    Innovation Minister Leeanne Enoch said round two of the Advance Queensland Hot DesQ initiative – which offers visiting startups a maximum of $100,000 equity-free funding to relocate to Queensland – was open.

    “Hot DesQ is an Australian-first program attracting international and interstate startups to Queensland – creating new jobs, mentoring local entrepreneurs and connecting with regional businesses,” Ms Enoch said.

    “It’s luring successful international and interstate startups to Queensland, and is helping to strengthen our startup ecosystem while leveraging our state’s unique industry strengths.

    “The program enables global startups to grow their business in Queensland in our connected, collaborative and fast-growing entrepreneurial community, and access new markets in Asia-Pacific.

    “We have startup hubs based all around Queensland aligned to our industry strengths including tourism, agribusiness, mining, energy and health.

    “Hot DesQ offers everyone from early-stage and established startups to successful Australian expats the chance to base themselves in Queensland and share their knowledge, experience and ideas, and give back to the local startup community,” she said.

    Last October, Ms Enoch announced the 25 inaugural recipients of the Advance Queensland Hot DesQ initiative, representing a commitment of more than $2 million.

    Hot DesQ round one recipients included startups from the United Kingdom, Israel, Brazil, Germany and Silicon Valley, in addition to domestic startups from interstate.

    All the way from Israel and now based in Brisbane, fintech startup CRiskCo is revolutionising the credit approval process using artificial intelligence to help credit providers and small businesses understand their credit risk.

    CRiskCo CEO Erez Saf said: “Coming from Silicon Valley and Tel Aviv, I am surprised at Queensland’s vibrant culture of startups and innovation. There is so much happening in this space.

    “The tech talent that is available here is world class, and we are working with entrepreneurs, universities, investors, businesses and government to understand what’s really possible for our business.

    “We already feel engaged in the startup ecosystem here, having been involved in a fintech hackathon, attended numerous startup events – including a dedicated artificial intelligence event – and presented to university students,” he said.

    Brisbane entrepreneur Andrew Price who runs Blender Guru, a local startup committed to providing video tutorials for 3D software, has been mentored by CRiskCo CEO Erez Saf for the past two months.

    “Running a startup is tough at the best of times. Erez has helped me understand the specifics of how businesses like mine have succeeded before me. His experience from Silicon Valley and Israel’s startup community has been hugely helpful as it's helped me see the bigger picture and the number of extra zeros you should be aiming for as revenue.

    “The Hot DesQ initiative is having a positive impact on the startup community already. Having access to international expertise has been invaluable and is boosting the startup ecosystem in Queensland – a real game-changer for the state and something the startup community really needs,” he said.

    Ms Enoch said the startups have successfully set up shop and were already advancing their work in fields such as tourism, artificial intelligence, mechatronics and robotics, and health.

    “The expertise and international connections these startups bring to our local startup sector are invaluable,” Ms Enoch said.

    “One Hot DesQ recipient, fintech startup FlowPay, arrived in Queensland from Silicon Valley in January and has employed a Brisbane-based developer to join the team.

    “Another recipient, adventure tourism startup Much Better Adventures, relocated from London in February, and by the end of March had employed an additional full-time local team member.

    “Hot DesQ recipients are adding significant value to Queensland’s startup ecosystem, sharing their expertise and helping to mentor and develop new local startups and businesses,” Ms Enoch said.

    Applications for international and interstate startups to participate in Hot DesQ round two close midday (AEST) Wednesday 3 May, 2017. For more information visit HotDesQ.com.au.

    ENDS

    MEDIA: 0412 393 909