New and aspiring digital entrepreneurs in Brisbane are set for a boost with Lord Mayor Graham Quirk announcing a $50,000 initiative for start-ups.
The Budding Entrepreneurs Program will offer two rounds of funding each year, totalling $50,000. Entrepreneurs can apply for up to $5,000 for access to mentors, conference tickets, courses and professional advice.
The program is for entrepreneurs who have either launched a digital business recently, or who can demonstrate and detail a strong idea for one. The initiative is part of the Digital Brisbane Strategy announced in March and run by the city’s economic development board, Brisbane Marketing.
Colin Kinner, an innovation and entrepreneurship advisor to Brisbane Marketing, says the program is a simple but exciting step forward for Brisbane entrepreneurialism.
“This program is really about diversifying and growing the economy in Brisbane. It’s important for us to invest in it because it’s the economy of the future,” says Kinner. “We’re looking for people who are serious about building globally scaleable technology businesses.”
While applicants don’t need to have launched a business yet, they will need to demonstrate they’re serious about reaching beyond Brisbane, and Australia’s borders.
“We’re specifically looking for people who are looking to disrupt industries, and take away market share from older established groups and companies,” says Kinner. “They need to tell us what market they’re tackling, who their market will be, and how they’ll reach them. Because we all know the most commercially attractive markets are usually the most contested.”
Kinner says the application process will be simple but effective. “We want to know what their idea is and why it matters. We want to know the ‘so-what’ factor. It’ll be a short application, we’re not asking for a business plan,” says Kinner.
The team at Brisbane Marketing is expecting around 20 beneficiaries per round. A panel of successful entrepreneurs is being established to assess requests for more than $1000.
Applications will open 15 June. Successful applicants will be notified by July 30.