The Queensland government will make $24 million in seed funding available to startups operating in the sunshine state through a newly-created Enterprise Acceleration Fund.
The $24 million fund, unveiled on Monday, will invest between $500,000 and $2.5 million in “innovative, early-stage” companies with the majority of their employees based in Queensland.
Treasurer and Minister for Trade and Investment Cameron Dick said the seed fund will allow businesses developing exciting products and services to “grow their market share”.
He said the “funding will grow over time as investments are realised and reinvested through this fund”, resulting in “a positive return for Queensland”.
“This is good news for Queensland businesses, but it’s also good news for taxpayers,” the Treasurer said opening the expressions of interest process.
“By investing in these innovative companies, the state is helping them to succeed and will get a financial return when they do.”
The fund will be independently managed by the Queensland Investment Corporation (QIC), which has invested $114.8 million in 65 Queensland businesses through other business investment funds, resulting in the creation of more than 1000 new jobs.
QIC also oversees the $100 million Business Investment Fund established as part of the state government’s COVID-19 fiscal and economic review in 2020.
The fund has invested in Gilmour Space Technologies, sports technology company VALD, cloud software start-ups Skedulo and Jocobi, and modular home manufacturer ModnPods since it was created in response to COVID-19.
The investment in Gilmour Space, estimated at between $2.5 million and $10 million, was used to ramp up headcount and rocket and satellite manufacturing last year. It formed part of its $61 million Series C round, the largest private equity raise by a space company in Australia.
Like the new Enterprise Acceleration Fund, the Business Investment Fund invests directly in local businesses and is not a grant or a loan.
It is made in businesses with significant growth potential and job creation opportunities, and are approaching profitability over the investment period.
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