The one thing Hot DesQ winners should pack in their suitcase

Hot DesQ is the Queensland government’s startup attraction program. We caught up with Queensland Chief Entrepreneur, Mark Sowerby, to find out more about how businesses can catch the next wave to Queensland, fast becoming Australia’s startup state.


Queensland Chief Entrepreneur, Mark Sowerby

Where did the idea for Hot DesQ come from?

The StartupAUS Crossroads report, commissioned on behalf of the national tech startup community, suggests that attracting international entrepreneurs helps to accelerate the growth of the Australian startup ecosystem.

Elements of the Hot DesQ program were developed together with the startup industry, along with consultation with the Queensland Startup Working Group which is comprised of some of the state’s key entrepreneurial leaders.

What type of startups are you hoping to attract to Queensland?

Queensland is a huge region, with innovation opportunities in every sector. We’re looking for applicants with a variety of skills, ideas and experience that want to get engaged in our startup ecosystem. The ideal startups to attract are the ones that are going to stay and build their business from Queensland.

How many businesses arrived in the first round and who were they?

Round 1 of Hot DesQ awarded 25 startups from around the world funding to grow their businesses in Queensland.

These startups include nine interstate and 16 international startups from eight countries, including the UK, Israel, Brazil and Germany as well as the global startup hub of Silicon Valley.

Most recipients in the first round relocated in January and February and the program has already seen success with 34 entrepreneurs engaging with startups across Queensland. As part of the mentoring requirement embedded in the program, this means nearly 40 Queensland-based startups have already benefited from one-on-one time with these world-class entrepreneurs.


Businesses included:

· FlowPay Australia — moving to Brisbane from Silicon Valley, FlowPay is commercialising a new payments technology that allows money to flow continuously.

· KoalaSafe — moving to Cairns from New South Wales, KoalaSafe helps make digital parenting easier — using a smart phone app and router to monitor and control time limits, filtering, and usage reports across all digital devices in the home.

· CRiskCo — moving to Brisbane from Israel is revolutionising the credit approval process using artificial intelligence to help credit providers and small businesses understand their credit risk.

· Much Better Adventures — moved to Brisbane from London, Much Better Adventures is an award-winning platform making it easy to book active experiences with expert local guides and hosts.

· Eternime — moved from Silicon Valley to Brisbane, Eternime is an Artificial Intelligence biographer that collects all your thoughts, stories and memories, then preserves them for eternity.

The complete list of Round 1 recipients can be found on

So we’ve opened round 2. What can Queensland expect?

Startup Entrepreneurs are very hungry, very motivated animals. The local business and tech communities can expect some pushy people who want to make things happen fast. Visitors look at our city and state with fresh eyes and that creates fresh ideas. Foreign startups can sometimes be better at seeing opportunities we’ve missed.


For applicants, why should they apply for Hot DesQ?

Queensland has the fastest growing startup ecosystem in the country. We’ve moved into second place in the race to host the largest number of startups in Australia. We have the networks, talent and now the structures — with facilities such as The Precinct and other co-working and collaboration spaces — that give startups the best chance of success. Queensland is also a fantastic place to live.

Tell us one thing Hot DesQ’ers should pack in their suitcase when they move to Queensland?

A favourite T-shirt. It won’t get cold enough for anything else.


The team from Suncayr

To find out more about how your startup could relocate to Queensland visit Advance Queensland’s Hot DesQ. Round 2 is open now.

Last updated 19 Jun, 2018
Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs 3.0 Australia (CC BY-ND 3.0) ( )

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