Queensland is backing 5 accelerators, including Farmers2Founders & Energylab, to help 100s of startups get VC-ready

- February 15, 2024 2 MIN READ
QIC Private Equity partner Nicholas Guest
QIC Private Equity partner Nicholas Guest
More than 160 early-stage Queensland startups will be supported to become venture capital investment-ready under accelerator programs delivered through the Queensland Venture Capital Development Fund (QVCDF). 

The fund, managed by Queensland Investment Corporation (QIC), will support an initial five accelerators to run thematically relevant programs focused on the state’s priority industries. The accelerators are: Farmers2Founders, ​EnergyLab, UQ Ventures, Lumina X and 77 Venture Challenge

QIC Private Equity partner Nicholas Guest said the QVCDF is partnering with venture capital investors to build early-stage investment capacity and capability in our local innovation ecosystem, and to achieve that, they need to also develop the founders.

“To sustain growth in the number of early-stage investors in Queensland, we know we need to be growing the number of investment-ready opportunities too,” he said.

“That’s exactly what the Fund’s accelerator programs are designed to do, providing start-ups with mentorship and operational advice to steer a path toward financial investment.

“Developing a pipeline of early-stage businesses ripe for venture capital investment not only increases deal flow for investors, but fosters maturity in the local start-up sector.”

Guest said that the program is designed to attract more capital into Queensland and encourage more innovative companies to set up and grow in the state.

“The first five accelerators to be provided operational funding will do that job exceedingly well,” he said.

Farmers2Founders, is woman-led multi-stage accelerator program pathway launched in that 2018 to accelerate the development, commercialisation and adoption of agritech solutions. It supports and invests in purpose-driven agtech startups and founders, from early venture creation through to global expansion.

EnergyLab is Australia’s largest clean energy and climate tech startup accelerator and innovation network and will deliver the Queensland Climate Tech Investment Ready Program.

The University of Queensland’s (UQ’s) Ventures Momentum Accelerator, in partnership with QIC, has launched a next-stage program for startups with initial market success. There are four tailored accelerators: Digital and Software as a Service (SaaS); Female Founders; National Security and Dual Purpose; and UQ Alumni.

Lumina X, founded in 2021 in Economic Development Queensland’s Cohort Innovation Space, has built a reputation  with healthtech founders, offering an accelerator program for startups to fast-track their growth through mentoring, coaching, capital, and industry connections

77 Venture Challenge, let by local VC 77 Partners, will support 40 frontier tech ventures to accelerate from pitch ready to investment ready, alongside a strategic partnership with US VC Bee Partners. Program alumni include Y Combinator-backed GreaseBoss. 

Over a two-year delivery period, the accelerators funded by the QVCDF will support a total of 18 cohorts with an estimated 168 companies, also enlisting support from the Queensland university network. It will assist regional founders across Toowoomba, Gladstone, Cairns, Townsville, Airlie Beach, Mackay, Rockhampton, Bundaberg and Hervey Bay.

More on the VC development fund at qic.com/qvcdf.   

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