Prolific angel investor and BlueChilli advisor Alan Jones will next year join QUT Creative Enterprise Australia (CEA) as entrepreneur in residence for its creative tech accelerator, Collider.
In this role, Jones said he will focus on supporting founders to develop their brand voice, provide direction on how they can create a consistent customer experience, and assist with the practical application of behavioural economics, unit metrics and product marketing.
“Through my background in tech investing I’ll also help our founders to understand how and why investors make their decisions. I’m there to be a support; startup life has very big highs and very deep lows, and sometimes we just need someone to help us through the challenges before us,” he said.
The Collider program was launched earlier this year to fill the gap the CEA team saw for startups in the creative industries looking for access to accelerator programs, with set up supported by funding from the Queensland government’s Advance Queensland innovation initiative.
With ‘creative tech’ covering everything from wearables to digital media, virtual reality, robotics, 3D printing, games, and fashion tech, the first cohort featured startups including Creatively Squared, Carisma, and Peekal.
The appointment of Jones comes just a few months after he was announced as entrepreneur in residence for KPMG Australia’s new High Growth Ventures division. Here he is working with the team to strengthen its product offering for local startup founders and encourage startups to look at how they can work with corporates.
Jones will pause his work with KPMG and BlueChilli while in Brisbane for Collider, which is set to run from April to July, however said he will “be on-call” for startups working with these organisations.
To top off what already looks set to be a busy year, Jones will also be looking to launch a venture capital fund next year, but he said the opportunity to work with Collider was too good to pass up given his love of the creative industries; Jones previously owned a record label, worked in journalism, plays a number of instruments, and has made a couple of documentaries with a friend.
“I think I’m not alone, I think Australia has some of the best creative professionals in the world and we really punch above our weight,” he said.
“Some of our strongest tech startups also sit in the creative space if, as Collider does, we include the creativity of the marketing startups that Australia produces such as Campaign Monitor, easily one of the biggest online marketing startups in the world, or BigCommerce, which helps people sell their creative arts to the world.”
Also growing globally and fitting under the creative tech umbrella are the likes of Canva, RedBubble, Shoes of Prey, and Mon Purse.
CEA portfolio startups Trademark Vision earlier this year announced a partnership with IP Australia to integrate its trademark recognition technology into the Australian Trademark Search tool, while Fame and Partners last year raised $10.2 million to fund its expansion to New York.
Mark Gustowski, acting CEO of CEA, said the second iteration of the Collider program will look to provide participants with more global opportunities.
“Looking at the way we’ll roll out next year is incredibly exciting. While supporting market development in Australia we also have a real focus on key international markets where we think Australian creative startups will really resonate, including Europe and Asia,” he said.
Applications for the second Collider program open on January 22. Participants will receive $30,000 of pre-seed investment in exchange for four percent equity.
Image: Alan Jones. Source: Supplied.