Queensland Connects

Bringing together key innovation ecosystem leaders to solve a regional challenge or unlock a key sectoral or regional opportunity that will help connect and grow the sector or region.

  • Expressions of interest for the next cohort are expected to open in late 2023.

About the program

Queensland Connects is a regional entrepreneurship acceleration program that supports regional leaders to develop a detailed understanding of the strengths of their region or sector. The aim of the program is to educate and allow leaders to:

  • Identify local solutions which strengthen their region/sector’s innovation and entrepreneurship ecosystem
  • Implement initiatives which build connections across the region or sector’s innovation ecosystem
  • Accelerate economic growth and job creation through innovation-driven entrepreneurship

The program brings together teams who nominate to work on a shared vision and collaborative initiatives for an identified regional/industry challenge (their ‘must win battle’) or to unlock key regional opportunities that will help connect and grow the region or sector. The teams are made up of key regional innovation ecosystem leaders, including:

  • Entrepreneurs
  • Corporate representatives and enterprises
  • Universities and research institutes
  • Government
  • Investors and/or risk capital representatives

To help develop strategies and initiatives to help solve their challenge or unlock key regional opportunities, each team will work with the Queensland University of Technology (QUT) and will leverage the internationally regarded Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Regional Entrepreneurship Acceleration Program (REAP) framework and resources.

Queensland Connects is part of the Queensland Government’s Advance Queensland Regional Futures initiative.

Program structure and timeframes

The program is structured around three interactive, two-day intensive workshops.

During the workshops, each successful team will work directly with QUT, dedicated mentors and other regional teams to gain feedback and support.

Input from MIT faculty members will provide a global perspective to the program. This will assist in gaining a deeper understanding of economic development around the world and from learnings across the broader MIT REAP community.

Between workshops, each team can leverage coaching to help them develop their strategy and activities in their region and to help solve their challenge or seize their opportunity to connect and grow their region or sector.

Key documents

More information

Find out about the background and intent of the Queensland Connects program:

Watch these videos to learn about the experience of the Cohort 1 teams:

Learn about the Cohort 2 teams:

Two further cohorts are underway:

  • Cohort 3 has teams from Ipswich / Mount Tamborine, Townsville and Logan.
  • Cohort 4 teams are part of a dedicated round focused on Climate and Disaster Resilience and Preparedness. This Cohort is jointly funded by the Australian and Queensland governments under the Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangements. Peak Services is an additional delivery partner. 
  • Cohort 3 and 4 teams will complete the program by the end of 2023

Learn more about the MIT REAP approach