Queensland brings sportstech accelerator ASTN north to back 40 startups

- June 11, 2024 2 MIN READ
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As the Brisbane Olympics loom in 2032, the Queensland government is keen to get local sportstech startups on the podium with new accelerator programs.

The state government-backed Queensland Investment Corporation (QIC) is bringing Melbourne-based Australian Sports Technologies Network (ASTN) north with funding from the QIC-managed Queensland Venture Capital Development Fund (QVCDF).

The accelerator and entrepreneurship programs delivered by ASTN will support up to 40 Queensland sportstech startups to get them investment-ready.

The latest investment comes after QVCDF backed several VCs in recent weeks to encourage them to set up shop in the Sunshine State.  including impact venture firm Pollination as the cornerstone investor in a $150 million fund for climate solution startups, plus four generalist funds, including local VC Sprint Ventures and Sydney-based Tidal Ventures.

QIC private equity investment director Leo Channon said the programs will focus on what local companies need to do to attract the right investors for commercialisation.

“The Queensland Venture Capital Development Fund continues to mobilise global venture capital into Queensland, having now committed to ten local, interstate and global venture capital funds to establish or grow their Queensland investment focus,” he said.

“To sustain this growth in capabilities and investor demand, we need to be cultivating a pipeline of investment-ready businesses that provide quality deal flow to these VC funds.

“That’s where the accelerator programs come to the fore, and in ASTN, you have a demonstrated track record of scaling and commercialising technologies, helping startups secure millions in early-stage and venture capital funding.”

Queensland is now home to nearly 20% of Australia’s sportstech startups. The ASTN Sports Innovation Report 2023 found that 19% of startups and 18% of sportstech workers are based in South-East Queensland.

ASTN Executive Chair Dr Martin Schlegel said the group will build a bespoke program of early-stage, mentorship and growth accelerators focused on identifying scalable companies that are investment ready.

“We look forward to working closely with QIC and our robust network of startups, scaleups, established sportstech companies, government and the wider sports community to take Queensland’s sportstech sector to its next phase of growth in the development and commercialisation of new products and innovations at the intersection of sportstech,” he said.

“Queensland has a higher ratio of early-stage startups compared to other states, and we are actively building that pipeline from early stage to growth stage.

“By providing dedicated programs for Queensland entrepreneurs, startups and scale-ups, we can capitalise on this growth and further bolster the local sportstech ecosystem in the lead up to Brisbane 2032 and beyond.”

More ASTN’s accelerator programs is available at astn.com.au.