Corporate giants back new Brisbane business ideas with startup program

Call for Brisbane and Queensland startups to apply for Sponsored Entrepreneur Program 

Brisbane, 18 August 2014 - Coworking community River City Labs and Bank of Queensland (BOQ) today launched a program aimed at helping entrepreneurs get their startup ideas out of their garage and onto the global market.

The ‘Sponsored Entrepreneur’ program will see corporations offer free resources and mentorship to Brisbane-based startup teams, with a three-month full time membership of River City Labs. Entrepreneurs will receive desk space at the Fortitude Valley startup hub, access to River City Labs training and networking events, and specialist mentorship to help them get their ideas off the ground.

BOQ is the first to back the program, and will offer five sponsorships over the next six months. River City Labs will roll out this program and get more of big businesses supporting new startups in the coming months

Steve Baxter, founder of River City Labs and a serial entrepreneur, said the program could help stimulate the Queensland economy to the tune of billions of dollars and thousands of jobs.

“We are excited to have a visionary corporates such as BOQ recognises the opportunity to grow our local business economy. Queensland has the ability to become Australia’s leading Startup State in the coming decade. If we take positive control of the growth of our entrepreneurial community, the returns to Queensland and Australia could be enormous. 

“The recent Crossroads Report by StartupAUS identified that high-growth tech startups could account for $US109 billion and 540,000 new jobs by 2033 – and we want to see Queensland attracting as many of these jobs as we can.”

River City Labs is calling on any interested entrepreneurs to apply for a corporate sponsored membership for their startup at:

The offer includes full-time desk membership, structured mentoring, and partnership and publicity opportunities for the startup for three months, fully paid.

Greg Pink, Head of SME & Commercial Broker at BOQ, commented: “We understand that the early stages of starting out is not financially viable for everyone, and we wanted to make it possible for those who have a great business idea but don’t yet have the funds to get going. By providing them with access to Brisbane’s premier co-working community, we will give them a great opportunity to working alongside like-minded people and receive guidance and support from top quality mentors. We're keeping our eye out for founders who are 100% committed and want to give their Startup the best chance to develop and succeed.”

Key Criteria for the applicants:

  1. Entrepreneurs can apply an individual or as a member of a Startup team.
  2. Entrepreneur must have proof they have started working on their idea/ business via a current prototype, website, operating business.
  3. Application is open to all Entrepreneurs of all ages, gender, background and experience.
  4. Current and past members of River City Labs are able to apply.
  5. Entrepreneurs must be available to commit to work on their business full time (minimum 5 days per week for the 3 month period) to be available to develop the business further.
  6. Entrepreneurs must be willing to share challenges, problems, and hurdles with the River City Labs community to access help from Startup peers and mentors.
  7. Applicants must be willing to share their Startup journey, story and personal business profile with River City Labs program representative and Sponsor representative for publicity and marketing purposes.
  8. No Non-Disclosure Agreements will be signed as part of this program.

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About River City Labs

River City Labs is Brisbane’s premier co-working community and central clubhouse for tech startups.

Current membership sits at over 100 members ranging from early stage startups and founders to established startups and entrepreneurs who have successfully raised capital in the last 18 months.

River City Labs is a nationally recognised brand in the startup sector within Australia. The organisation is a proven leader in this field and has a strong reputation for continuously driving the digital startup economy forward.

The founders, staff and mentors have established themselves as key people to know within the startup ecosystem in Australia have been recognised as key drivers in Queensland’s digital strategy.

River City Labs focuses on providing the right environment for entrepreneurs to make valuable contacts while learning from peers, mentors and industry experts helping them to connect, work and grow.

RCL has facilitated over 100 events in two years all focussed on early stage startups and hosted 10 successful entrepreneurs who have given their time to come and speak with our members and community about their ‘Entrepreneurial Journey’.