UQ and QIC partner to supercharge investment in Queensland businesses

15 February 2024

The University of Queensland (UQ) has secured funding under the Queensland Investment Corporation (QIC)-managed Queensland Venture Capital Development Fund (QVCDF) to invest in promising local start-ups.

UQ is one of the first 5 government-backed accelerators to receive funding, beating more than 85 groups that applied for a slice of the $130 million fund.

The accelerators are slated to run over a two-year period, supporting 18 cohorts with an estimated 168 companies.

Nimrod Klayman, Head of Entrepreneurship at UQ, said the University will deliver a commercially focused program to help close the early-stage funding gap in Queensland – throwing a lifeline to innovators operating in a competitive environment.

“The accelerator funding from QIC will be transformative for local founders. Through strategic partnerships and dedicated efforts, we are poised to drive tangible economic growth and foster innovation that transcends boundaries,” Mr Klayman said.

“This initiative is an unprecedented opportunity for UQ – a global top-50 university with a strong reputation throughout the state’s entrepreneurship ecosystem – to equip and empower founders both within and outside our university community.

“By leveraging UQ’s established expertise and networks, we aim to elevate the number of aspiring founders, amplify deal flow, and catalyse the creation of hundreds of new jobs. It will benefit Queensland and Australia now and well into the future by building a pipeline of innovative companies and elevating the venture capital industry.”

UQ has supported and invested in start-ups and social enterprises for the past 24 years, running some of Australia’s largest and most successful accelerator and incubator programs.

The University will use the funding to support founders to advance commercial strategies and growth through four tailored accelerators: Digital and Software as a Service (SaaS); Female Founders; National Security and Dual Purpose; and UQ Affiliates.

Each qualifying business will receive expert guidance to enhance business skills, grow networks, and boost scaling plans to help participants prepare for significant fundraising.

The Momentum Accelerator will conclude with a pitch to top investors, offering direct funding opportunities. Hosted by UQ, it’s open to all and not limited to UQ students or university affiliates.

QIC will deploy the additional funding to increase commitments to certain shortlisted venture capital funds and due diligence will commence on others to increase the thematic coverage of QVCDF investments. 

The Queensland Venture Capital Development Fund comprises three core elements: 

  • Matched Funding – Queensland Government’s cornerstone funding to support matched funding into appointed venture capital funds. 
  • Accelerator Funding – a series of accelerator programs to increase deal flow for Queensland investors. 
  • Development Program – the appointed venture capital funds and accelerators will participate in the QVCDF Development Program to accelerate, develop, and enhance the venture capital industry in Queensland. 

For more information and to apply, visit the UQ Momentum Accelerator webpage.

Media contact: Irini Cavalliotis +61 422 465 471, i.cavalliotis@uq.edu.au.