• Startup Onramp announces Regional Queensland Program

  • Startup Onramp seeks to make regional Queensland
    an entrepreneurial powerhouse

    Media release - Tues 10 July 2018

    Innovation Minister, Kate Jones and Startup Onramp Founder, Colin Kinner

    Innovation Minister Kate Jones today announced a major funding commitment to support the roll-out of Startup Onramp to regional startup hubs across Queensland.

     

    Startup Onramp is a training and mentoring program that gives new and aspiring startup founders the skills and connections they need to launch and grow a globally scalable tech startup. Funding for the program is coming from the Queensland Government’s $650 million Advance Queensland initiative.

     

    Talking about the Regional Program at Ipswich-based startup hub Fire Station 101, Startup Onramp founder Colin Kinner noted that regional Queensland represents a huge untapped pool of entrepreneurial talent.

     

    “There are lots of people in regional Queensland who would make fantastic startup founders, but who lack access to the skills and networks of their city counterparts” said Kinner.

     

    “We’ll be working with regional startup hubs to deliver the Startup Onramp Regional Program – a 12 week crash course on how to start a tech startup. Funding from the Queensland Government through Advance Queensland will enable the program to be made available to startup hubs across the state over the next three years.”

     

    Boosting startup activity and improving success rates in regional Queensland is vitally important according to Kinner. He said “Three quarters of the state’s population lives outside of Brisbane, and despite a strong entrepreneurial culture in the regions there are still relatively few tech startups.”

     

    According to Kinner, the program’s core mission is to help people make the transition from employee to entrepreneur, and to give them a solid grounding in how to start a successful tech company. “Regional Queensland has lots of small business entrepreneurs. What we’re aiming to do is give entrepreneurially-minded people the skills to start and grow companies that leverage the internet to reach a global market. I’m hoping Startup Onramp will help produce hundreds of new startup founders in regional Queensland and support Queensland’s growth as an entrepreneurial powerhouse.”

     

    Minister for Innovation Kate Jones said that the Startup Onramp Regional Queensland Program would give innovators across regional Queenslanders the opportunity to acquire the knowledge, skills and connections they need to grow their tech startups.
     

    “The Palaszczuk Government is proud to support this initiative to grow the number of startups in regional Queensland and maximise their chances for success,” Ms Jones said.
     

    “Our regions are an important source of tech innovation and ingenuity and we will cultivate this talent through this program.
     

    According to Steve Baxter, Queensland’s Chief Entrepreneur, Startup Onramp is an important part of the growth of the state’s startup capabilities. “As a passionate Queenslander I know how important it is that we support our regional entrepreneurs. Getting Startup Onramp into the regions is a no-brainer. It’s about giving great entrepreneurs the skills and support they need to have a crack at building a global business, not just focusing on their local market or traditional industries”.

     

    The roll-out of the Startup Onramp Regional Program is the first step in a national expansion. According to Kinner, “Australia needs to increase the number of startup founders by a factor of ten to measure up against global startup hubs. I hope that Startup Onramp can have a meaningful impact on fostering entrepreneurship in Australia.”

     

    The Startup Onramp program will be rolled out to regional centres over the next three years. Some of the regional startup hubs planning to deliver the program include Innovation North Queensland (Townsville), The Generator (Bundaberg), Rockhampton Smart Hub, Canvas Co-working (Toowoomba) and Fire Station 101 (Ipswich).

     

    According to Nicole Lucas, Innovation Ecosystem Coordinator at iNQ in Townsville, “The startup ecosystem in Townsville is growing and has already produced some great companies like Safety Culture and JESI. Running the Startup Onramp program will help us to continue that growth and hopefully make Townsville a real startup hotspot.”

     

    Founder and CEO of SurePact, Megan Avard, completed the Startup Onramp program in Brisbane in 2017 and says she has used the knowledge and connections she gained from the program to launch the SurePact contract risk management system and gain interest from a wide range of customers. SurePact was also recently announced as a finalist in the AiiA QLD awards in the Startup of the Year and Public Sector and Government categories.

     

    According to Megan, “I had never been involved in a startup before and needed to learn about the startup world quickly. Doing the Startup Onramp program gave me a great exposure to best practice and introduced me to so many startup founders and other experts who have been invaluable as the business has grown.”

  • Regional Queensland partners

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    Innovation North Queensland (Townsville)

    Fire Station 101 (Ipswich)

    Smart Hub Rockhampton

    The Generator (Bundaberg)

    Startup Toowoomba

    Logan Startup Hub

    Sunshine Coast Regional Innovation Program​

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