Start-up incubator ilab launches new grants, opens new premises

Tech start-up incubator ilab is offering competitive grants of up to $50,000 for Queensland entrepreneurs, after opening its doors to new premises and programs today.


Based in Queensland, ilab was established by the State Government in 2000 to support early stage, high-tech companies through the first few years of their development.


This is achieved by building business management capabilities, fostering mentor networks for start-up founders, and creating investor-ready companies.


ilab has incubated more than 100 start-ups and helped them raise more than $70 million in grant and investment capital to fund their growth and generate nearly 400 technology jobs.


In 2009, ilab was acquired by UQ Holdings Pty Ltd, a wholly-owned subsidiary of the University of Queensland.


With continued funding from the government, ilab has become an independent division of another UQ Holdings subsidiary, UniQuest, with its own funding and management structure.


Earlier today, ilab opened the doors to its new offices at Long Pocket, and became an operational unit of UniQuest, the main commercialisation company of the University of Queensland.


UniQuest managing director David Henderson says ilab will continue to provide a range of services to support new technology-driven enterprises, not only those based on UQ research.


“Business incubation is a valuable service that both ilab and UniQuest have provided to start-up ventures for many years,” Henderson says.


“There are significant benefits to be gained from bringing ilab under the UniQuest banner to support new Queensland businesses.”


In additional to traditional office space and mentoring, Henderson says ilab will also introduce networking, education and funding programs to support high-growth start-up companies.


The first initiative is the Germinate Program, which offers grants of up to $20,000 for Queensland entrepreneurs with business concepts or early technologies to commence minimum viable product development and marketing.


“The Germinate grants aim to give appropriate financial and practical support to local start-up ventures with high growth potential,” Henderson says.


The Germinate Program will be followed by the Accelerate Program, which includes investment of up to $50,000 for product or technical services, or used as matching funds for other grants.


UniQuest has appointed Leigh Angus as program director, and David Israel – group manager of UniQuest’s Technology Commercialisation division – to implement the new business model.


“ilab will be offering a broader range of very practical, very focused services to help new technology start-ups achieve their goals at each stage of their development,” Angus says.


“We’re very excited about this venture and look forward to playing a significant role in the growth of new tech-driven enterprises in Queensland.”


The first intake of incubatee companies at the new premises will be welcomed in June this year. Details for Germinate Program applications are available now on the ilab website.


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