QUT Creative Enterprise Australia launches dedicated creative industries accelerator

- March 31, 2017 2 MIN READ
QUT Creative Enterprise Australia

QUT Creative Enterprise Australia (CEA) has launched Collider, an accelerator program designed for the creative industries.

Though, as the name suggests, CEA is focused on helping creative businesses through its coworking spaces, investment fund, expert assistance, and Creative3 creative tech conference, its only dedicated accelerator program to this date has centered on the fashion niche.

The new Collider program will give 10 early stage creative tech startups, working around areas such as wearable tech, virtual and augmented reality, 3D printing, gaming, music, film, IoT and more, access to CEA’s coworking space, international mentors, masterclasses, and $20,000 in seed funding in exchange for four percent equity.

Kicking off in June, the program will run for three months, with startups to be given the option to spend another eight weeks at CEA should they need further support.

Collider will be led by CEA entrepreneur in residence Mark B Johnson who, among other things, held a variety of roles over a decade at Apple and was an associate partner at Mobius Venture Capital.

Mark Gustowski, executive manager of CEA, said that though there are now great opportunities for tech companies seeking access to global accelerator programs, there is a significant gap when it comes to the creative industries.

“Technology is everything these days, and we want to be able to support entrepreneurs with creative ideas to fuse with technology to build a commercial model that will be sustainable in this digital age,” he said.

“The creative industries contribute around $90 billion to Australia’s economy every year, yet there is limited recognition and programs targeting this sector. We know there are already successful creative tech accelerators run in the UK and USA, so we are looking forward to delivering a first for Australia.”

From Canva to RedBubble, Shoes of Prey, Mon Purse, and a host of others, a number of Australia’s creative startups are growing globally. Looking at CEA’s portfolio startups, Fame and Partners last year raised $10.2 million in funding to expand to New York, while Trademark Vision earlier this year announced a partnership with IP Australia to integrate its trademark recognition technology into the Australian Trademark Search tool.

Recognising the potential of the sector, the Collider program is being launched thanks to funding from Advance Queensland, the state government’s $400 million plus innovation program; of this, $9 million has been put towards the creation of new industry-focused accelerators.

CEA has received funding under this umbrella, joining the likes of BlueChilli and mining program Unearthed.

The organisations is also a host through the Advance Queensland Hot DesQ program, last year welcoming US virtual reality startup TimeLooper, Romanian startup Eternime, and Sydney company Citizen Wolf to its space.

Image: Mark Gustowski. Source: Supplied.