Qld govt backs five accelerators in innovation push

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Joseph Brookes

Five government backed accelerators will run in Queensland to get almost 170 startups in areas like health, agriculture and climate to an investment ready stage as the Miles government pours $130 million into its latest innovation push.

InnovationAus.com can reveal the first five accelerator programs to be funded from the state’s government’s new Venture Capital Development Fund (VCDF) are agritech focused Farmers2Founders, climate tech accelerator EnergyLab, The University of Queensland’s UQ Ventures, healthtech program Lumina X and the VC-led 77 Venture Challenge.

The accelerators are slated to run over a two-year period, supporting 18 cohorts with an estimated 168 companies.

Part of their operational funding will come from the $30 million component of the VCDF, while its other $100 million is going to co-fund venture capitalists that focus on the state’s startups.

With startup funding falling across Australia and Queensland’s share dropping, the VCDF is an attempt to inject capital into the innovation ecosystem by attracting venture capital firms to the state. It is also looking to build a pipeline of new companies and develop the venture capital industry more broadly.

The accelerator programs have been selected by the Queensland Investment Corporation (QIC) running the VCDF and follow the announcement of a group of VC firms receiving matched funding up to $20 million each earlier in the day.

“Through the Queensland Venture Capital Development Fund, we are partnering with venture capital investors to build early-stage investment capacity and capability in our local innovation ecosystem,” QIC private equity partner Nicholas Guest said.

“But 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.

“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.”

The five accelerators to receive operational funding from the VCDF were selected in part for their alignment with the state’s priority industries.

Farmers2Founders is a female founded company running since 2018 to accelerate the development, commercialisation and adoption of agritech solutions through a multi stage process.

Operating since 2017, EnergyLab is a clean energy and climate tech start-up accelerator and innovation network. It will deliver a Climate Tech Investment Ready Program with the new funding.

LuminaX has operated since 2021 with a focus on healthtechs and will use the funding for an accelerator program offering mentoring, coaching, capital, and industry connections.

The University of Queensland’s Ventures Momentum Accelerator funding will assist startups with initial market success. It will offer commercial strategies and growth through four tailored accelerators for Software as a Service, female founders, national security and dual purpose tech, and one for alumni.

Finally, the 77 Venture Challenge led by local venture capital firm 77 Partners is expected to support 40 frontier tech ventures to get to an investment ready stage.

Earlier on Wednesday, the QIC announced the initial five venture capital firms to receive matched funding from the VCDF are Antler, Five V Capital, Main Sequence, Mandalay Venture Partners and Salus Ventures.

Do you know more? Contact James Riley via Email.

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