ACS announced as new owner/operator of River City Labs & Startup Catalyst

Brisbane, 7 September 2018: ACS, the professional association for Australia’s ICT sector, today announced its acquisition of River City Labs Group including the operations of the RCL Accelerator
 and Startup Catalyst with immediate effect, with a commitment to invest $7.5 million over the next three years in ramping up its mission to support tech entrepreneurs.

Founded by Steve Baxter in 2012, the River City Labs Group fosters the growth of tech startups and scale-ups in Queensland and is focused on building the platform solutions for the world of

On the 9th of May, Steve Baxter circulated a call seeking expressions of interest from corporates, community groups or individuals with the vision, the capability and the passion to take control of
 future operations and ownership of River City Labs Pty Ltd. Over twenty EOIs were received, which were then short listed first as a group of six, and then again as a list of four.

“We’re tremendously excited by being afforded the opportunity to grow River City Labs. ACS’ vision is for Australia to be a world leader in technology talent, that fosters innovation and creates new forms of value. We understand that new jobs growth in a digital economy comes from tech startups, and we are pleased to be in a situation where we can contribute to growing the tech ecosystem both in Queensland and more broadly across the country” said ACS President Yohan Ramasundara.

For existing tenants and partners of the RCL Group, services will continue unchanged. The team will remain the same with Mr Baxter still involved as an advisor and continuing to be a major influence.

“After six amazing years, I’m truly excited to see RCL evolve. When we launched this process it was 
about finding the right custodian for RCL, not just to maintain business as usual but to take it to the
 next level. The ACS came to the table with fresh new ideas, a compelling vision for supporting tech 
entrepreneurship in QLD and beyond, and a willingness to invest. There are so many people who’ve
 contributed so much to this journey, thanks to all of you. But don’t go anywhere – the job has only 
just begun,” he said.

Since its launch. More than 700 startup founders have set up office at River City Labs. Just under
 29,000 people have passed through the doors, attending more than 1,000 startup and community
events. It has run programs in partnership with some of Australia’s biggest 
companies, including BOQ, CUA, Suncorp and Telstra. RCL is a leading provider of startup-related programs in Australia, including River Pitch, a quarterly event bringing together pre-screened startups and investors; the RCL Accelerator and Startup Catalyst.

The RCL Accelerator, powered by muru-D has graduated 28 Queensland startups including
 Travello, Maxwell MRI and Punta. Startup Catalyst takes startups, investors, corporates, tech-savvy
youth, and innovation leaders to international startup hotspots including Silicon Valley, London,
Berlin, Israel, and Asia.

Key messages

1. The acquisition takes effect immediately and all team members have been asked to remain in their current roles.
2. Steve selected the ACS based on its capabilities, commitment and ability to take RCL to the next level.
3. The services that RCL & Startup Catalyst offers now will not change, and Mr Baxter will still be involved and continue to be a major influence.
4. More than 700 startup founders have set up office at RCL since its launch in 2012.
5. ACS is committed to continuing RCL’s & Startup Catalyst’s growth and ensuring a thriving tech ecosystem both in Queensland and across the country.




About ACS

ACS is the professional association for Australia's Information and Communication Technology (ICT) sector. More than 42,000 ACS members work in business, education, government and the
community. ACS exists to create the environment and provide the opportunities for members and partners to succeed. ACS strives for ICT professionals to be recognised as drivers of innovation in our society, relevant across all sectors, and to promote the formulation of effective policies on ICT and related matters. Visit for more information.


Further information
Troy Steer | Director Corporate Affairs & Public Policy | M - 0417 173 740 | E –


About RCL

River City Labs fosters the growth of startup companies wanting to solve big problems. We provide resources to empower, support and connect entrepreneurs. Central to everything we do is a focus on collaboration and connection.

River City Labs powers a range of programs, events and engagement opportunities, enabling our corporate partners to innovate differently and embed their teams within the startup community.