Sun starts to shine on Brisbane start-ups

Population: 2.04 million


Start-up survival rate: 72.3% (2007 to 2009)


Nestled in the population boom area of south eastern Queensland, Brisbane is Australia’s third most populous city, although it is occasionally overshadowed by its showy neighbour, the Gold Coast.


While Queensland is first and foremost a tourist destination, Brisbane is home to a buzzing start-up scene, with a strong IT focus.


But like many Australian cities, Brisbane is suffering from a brain drain as innovative companies look to larger markets.


Indeed, many of the city’s most successful start-ups depart Brisbane early, such as Kondoot, a live video network founded by University of Queensland graduates Mark Cracknell and Nathan Hoad.



Launched last year in the United States, following a soft launch in Australia, it was revealed earlier this month that Kondoot is set to close a $3.2 million funding round led by US investors.


The company is planning to open a New York office, with the IT team expected to relocate there.


Fellow Brisbane start-up We Are Hunted recently struck a partnership deal with online music giant Spotify, which will see its technology rolled out on a global basis.


Spotify chose 10 partners to work with on its new App Finder, and We Are Hunted was the only Australian business to make the cut.


Co-founder Richard Slatter says the company is considering a relocation, also to the US.


“We get 75% of our traffic from the US and it’s challenging to grow the site when we don’t have anyone on the ground there. We will look at having a New York office,” he told StartupSmart.


Other up-and-coming Brisbane start-ups include group buying website AdviDeals, which offers daily advertising deals to small and large businesses, and iPhone music app LiveScene.


Then there’s Reload Media, a Brisbane-based consultancy specialising in search engine optimisation, internet marketing, online strategy, IT management and usability.


Founded in 2006 by Llew Jury, the business is now a leading digital strategy firm, appearing in StartupSmart’s Top 50 in 2011.



Brisbane is also home to, which allows restaurants to post last-minute and unlimited future booking availability, as well as display offers and photos.


Another one to watch out for is multimedia website Space Hero, founded by Grey Rogers, who is making a name for himself in commercial property marketing.



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