Qld Govt launches $24m fund to support start-ups

The Queensland Government has announced the launch of its new $24 million Enterprise Acceleration Fund dedicated to growing Queensland start-ups and supporting jobs which will invest between $500,000 up to $2.5 million in early-stage Queensland companies.

The investments will focus on businesses “developing new products and services” and will have a majority of their employees based in Queensland. The investments will also provide seed funding which will grow over time as investments in other businesses are realised and reinvested, Queensland’s Treasurer and Minister for Trade and Investment Cameron Dick said in the statement.

Through the fund, which will be independently managed by the State’s investment manager Queensland Investment Corporation (QIC), the state is expecting to get a financial return and support increased access to investment capital and jobs growth.

The fund will build on other Queensland business investment funds managed by QIC that have invested $114.8 million in 65 Queensland businesses and created more than 1,000 jobs.

QIC also manages the $100 million Backing Queensland Business Investment Fund (BQBIF) which was established as part of the Queensland Government’s 2020 COVID-19 Fiscal and Economic Review.

The BQBIF supports established small and medium businesses (SMEs) which “innovate, realise their potential, and promote job creation in Queensland”.

BQBIF primarily considers co-investment opportunities alongside a third-party, with primary objectives being to increase access to growth-stage capital in Queensland and generate returns.

“This is good news for Queensland businesses, but it’s also good news for taxpayers. By investing in these innovative companies, the State is helping them to succeed and will get a financial return when they do,” the Treasurer said.

“This new $24 million fund will back those businesses and help them to grow their market share.

“That means more jobs for Queenslanders. And it means a positive return for Queenslanders, because the seed funding will grow over time as investments are realised and reinvested through this fund.”

Dick said that last year BQBIF invested in Gilmour Space, helping the company to build sovereign satellite and rocket manufacturing capabilities and boosting their local workforce.

“Funding will also support construction of the company’s unique Eris rockets featuring new and innovative hybrid propulsion technologies, helping to propel the next stage of Gilmour Space Technologies’ path to orbit.”

Queensland’s innovative companies are encouraged to apply and consider expressing interest in the Enterprise Acceleration Fund.