NQ innovators look towards a bright future

At no time in history has there been a greater need to support our startup and entrepreneurial community to ignite innovation, spur economic diversity and rise to the challenges faced since the coronavirus pandemic.

Startups have a critical role in Queensland’s future. Their insight and adaptability will ensure that the state is repositioned to take advantage of the new opportunities arising from the rapid advancements in digital technologies.

The Queensland Government recognises the importance of providing the right foundation for startups to grow, particularly in regional areas to create jobs and economic diversity in their local community.

To help maximise the chance of their success, the Queensland Government has partnered with Startup Onramp, a leading provider of training and mentoring programs for startups, to provide free access to their Founders Course for regional innovators.

Since the rollout of the course in 2020, more than 100 businesses from regional Queensland have taken part in the program which aims to boost the number of high-growth startups being formed in the regions.

Startup Onramp CEO Colin Kinner said now was a critical time for innovative thinking among business owners and aspiring entrepreneurs.

“The coronavirus pandemic has presented some incredible challenges, and there is a need to reposition our economy to focus on creating businesses that will flourish in an increasingly online world.

“The course provides real-world advice, such as practical steps on how to test ideas, build the right team, launch products, navigate legal pitfalls and raise money from investors.

“Our graduates have a clear roadmap for their startup journey from idea validation to generating their first revenues and achieving growth,” Mr Kinner said.

The Smart Precinct NQ in Townsville is one region to have already graduated a cohort of startup founders through the program.

Chief Operating Officer at Smart Precinct NQ Nicole Lucas said she was excited to give their early-stage entrepreneurs the opportunity to complete the Founders Course.

“After just one module, the members of our cohort are already viewing their business differently, with many reassessing their idea and/or direction,” Ms Lucas said.

“Well done to Startup Onramp for creating such a user-friendly, educational experience for our entrepreneurs. This will be a game changer for us here in Townsville.”

Claire Lawson of Townsville-based T-Air said that a main driver for taking part in the course was to understand what makes some startups succeed and what makes others fail.

“It is the only course I have seen that was suitable for very early-stage startups and in particular those that have a great idea and are thinking of starting up,” Ms Lawson said.

Through the course, Ms Lawson discovered how she would be able to market her idea – T-Air, a hygienic bathroom product, and grow her business.

“Doing this as a cohort of 12 participants had so many advantages; from being able to test ideas in a safe environment, and networking with a group that understands the rollercoaster ride you go on as a startup,” Ms Lawson said.

“Without the course I would never have narrowed down my key customers to understand what drives them to make the purchase.”

The Startup Onramp Regional Queensland Program is part of the $755 million Advance Queensland whole-of-government initiative to transform the state’s economy, create knowledge jobs of the future and build Queensland’s reputation as a global innovation and investment destination.

For further information or to register your interest in the program, visit www.advance.qld.gov.au/entrepreneurs-and-startups/startup-onramp.

Last updated 09 Feb, 2021
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