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17 Jul

Dream investment for Queensland mums

by launch-admin Jul 17, 2015 0 News


MEDIA RELEASE

 

Brisbane, 23 March 2015 – The founders of specialised child-care facility, Hummingbirds Early Intervention and Education Service, have landed a life-transforming investment from Sharks Steve Baxter and John McGrath, following their heart-warming pitch on TEN’s Shark Tank last night.

 

Sharing the same vision to provide a supportive and nurturing environment for all 0-5 year-olds with a disability, good friends and business partners, Rebecca Glover and Leah James, have developed a holistic approach to child-care, offering an educational, therapeutic and social setting for kids to blossom.

 

Rebecca Glover, Co-Director of Hummingbirds, commented: “Two years ago Hummingbirds was just starting out, and now we are looking at doubling in size, so its truly remarkable to see the speed at which we are moving.

 

“As mothers to two beautiful children with disabilities, the most important thing for Leah and I is that we use the exposure from Shark Tank to raise awareness of the plight of those people caring for children with disabilities. While everyday is extremely rewarding, it’s also incredibly challenging, so we hope to garner wide recognition for the amazing strength shown by both families and caregivers.”

 

Leah James, Co-Director of Hummingbirds, added: “Before going in to pitch to the Sharks I actually had a dream Steve invested in Hummingbirds, so it was quite literally, a dream come true. Our kids are our world, they are what motivated us to build Hummingbirds, so I speak for both Rebecca and I when I say we are going to give this business everything we’ve got.”

 

On last night’s moving episode of Shark Tank, Rebecca and Leah accepted a co-offer from Mr Baxter and Mr McGrath of $80,000 for 25% of the company.

 

Steve Baxter, Internet pioneer and startup investor, said that the specialised child-care service was too important to pass up.  

 

“Not only does Hummingbirds strike a chord with me because of the simply incredible service it offers, it’s also a very smart business investment because it is essentially filling a large gap in the market. Rebecca and Leah have the heart, the passion, the wits and the business smarts, all brilliant traits in a business partner.”  

 

John McGrath, CEO of Australia’s fastest growing real estate group, McGrath Estate Agents, added: “I believe success in business always starts with a dream and the passion and determination to drive a great idea.  Rebecca and Leah have demonstrated these qualities.   I feel privileged to be working with Steve and give the support necessary to Rebecca and Leah to grow Hummingbirds and help them achieve even greater success.”

 

The investment will allow Hummingbirds to build its new premises, purchase specialised equipment and facilities and to grow the brand.

 

To find out more about Hummingbirds go to: http://www.hummingbirds-care.com  

 

– ENDS –

Media contacts

 

Ashford Pritchard, Launch Group 

E: ashford@launchgroup.com.au | M: +61 411 020 680 | T: +612 9492 1040

 

Laura Blue, Launch Group                                                                                                                           

E: laurab@launchgroup.com.au | M: + 61 416 699 925 | T: +612 9492 1000

 

About Hummingbirds

Hummingbirds Early Intervention and Education Service is a specialised child-care facility providing parents and caregivers support with raising children with disabilities. Irrespective of a child’s developmental requirements, Hummingbirds offer a holistic approach to the child’s and family’s vision, in an educational, therapeutic, social and nurturing environment. 

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17 Jul

Bottlepops tops, as founders snag $150,000 funding on Shark Tank

by launch-admin Jul 17, 2015 0 News


MEDIA RELEASE

  

Melbourne, 16 March 2015 – The founders of interactive bottle-opener startup Bottlepops have landed a life-changing investment from Steve Baxter and Andrew Banks, following a hair-raising pitch on Shark Tank, which aired on TEN last night.

 

Based on an idea hatched by sport-crazed mates Greg Jury and Stephen Brooks over a beer in Japan while returning from a volleyball tournament, Bottlepops’ talking bottle openers are a ‘world-first’ product, with a global patent pending. The result of almost a decade of product development to craft the perfect beer opening experience, the openers are designed around a host of sporting and entertainment themes. Fully customizable, they are aimed at both individual and corporate customers with order sizes ranging from 1 to over 500,000.

 

Stephen Brooks, Co-founder of Bottlepops, commented: “We are stoked to have clinched two Sharks and gained the investment we need to take Bottlepops to the next level. Having invested over $185,000 of our own money over the past ten years, we’ve started to achieve real traction in the market following our launch last year. The funds raised from Shark Tank will allow us to expand our distribution channels in the US as well as develop some exciting new product ideas.

 

“We’re also honored to be able to add the support and mentorship of two of Australia’s leading businessmen to the Bottlepops team.”

 

On last night’s episode of Shark Tank, Jury and Brooks accepted a combined offer from the two Sharks of $150,000 for 40% of their company, having wowed them with the quality of the product, and their initial market traction.

 

Steve Baxter, Internet pioneer and startup investor, said it was hugely encouraging to see a unique Australian-based innovation with so much potential for global expansion.  

 

“Bottlepops’ genius is in the simplicity of the product – it is not only functional but it has huge entertainment and novelty value. Bottlepops have the potential to be the bottle-openers of choice for sports fans across the world,” he said.

 

“I’ve always said the investors behind the business are as important or even more so than the business concept itself. Bottlepops was a no-brainer for me because the founders behind the idea are not only passionate about their product and ambitious about where they can take it, but they know exactly what they are talking about.”

 

Andrew Banks, who is Los Angeles based, added: “This product and the founders behind it are unique and the Licensing opportunities in the US market are nothing short of “huge” so we are pumped!”

 

Greg Jury, co-founder and Director of Bottlepops, commented: “We couldn’t pass up the opportunity to try out our luck on Shark Tank. The applications for the series opened around the same time we were in the midst of approaching venture capitalists about Bottlepops – the chance for exposure was too great to turn down.”

 

Bottlepops bottle-openers can be ordered online at: http://www.bottlepops.com/products/. A portion of every bottle-opener sold is donated to Cystic Fibrosis Australia to aid in their research to find a cure.

 

– ENDS –

Media contacts

 

Ashford Pritchard, Launch Group                                                                                                                              

 E: ashford@launchgroup.com.au | M: +61 411 020 680 | T: +612 9492 1040

 

Laura Blue, Launch Group                                                                                                                           

E: laurab@launchgroup.com.au | M: + 61 416 699 925 | T: +612 9492 1000.

 

About Bottlepops™

 

Bottlepops™ sport designed talking bottle openers was developed to provide a variety of gift and merchandising sectors a high quality product that delivers an all round entertaining and jovial experience for consumers. The Bottlepops™ novelty began in 2004 and launched in 2013 following years of research and development to capture the original vision. For a list of products offered by Bottlepops go to: http://www.bottlepops.com/products/

 

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17 Jul

Startup community calls for better govt policy on entrepreneurship

by launch-admin Jul 17, 2015 0 News


MEDIA RELEASE


·       River City Labs straw poll reveals top startup eco-system policy wish: incentives to bring more successful startups to Queensland

·       83% say Government is not doing enough to support State’s startup eco-system

·       Only 19% rate the Queensland opposition ALP party’s policy on startups ‘good’ or ‘very good’

·       Funding, a Brisbane startup precinct, and incentives for corporate and government bodies to work with startups also key call

 

 

Brisbane, 21 January 2015: River City Labs today released the results of a straw poll that shows Queensland’s startup community feels it is being ignored by politicians. The survey collected responses from 200 entrepreneurs, investors, startup employees, mentors and supporters. It found that 83% do not believe the state government is doing enough to support the startup eco-system, and only 19% rate the opposition’s policy as ‘good’ or ‘very good’.

 

Steve Baxter, entrepreneur, Shark on Shark Tank Australia and founder of River City Labs, said that the next government needed a wake-up call, to recognise the benefits that Queensland’s startup sector could bring.  

 

“Governments the world over are investing time, energy and resources to understand and support technology startups. They have become accepted as key drivers of employment opportunities and economic growth. Ingenuity, creativity and entrepreneurship are not finite resources, and with a little elbow grease and a lot of government support, I truly believe Queensland has the potential to be a powerhouse for global innovation,” he said.

 

The poll also asked respondents to choose the most important policy areas for the next Queensland government to consider. Interestingly, while State government funding for new startups did feature prominently, the top policy identified by the startup community was incentives to bring more successful Australian and international startups to Brisbane.

 

Queensland’s startup community government policy wish list:

 

1.

Launch financial and regulatory incentives to attract more Australian and international tech startups to operate in Brisbane

57.2%

2.

Startup funding grants for new Queensland tech startups

49.3%

3.

Establish a Queensland Startup Precinct in Brisbane to bring the eco-system closer together

42.8%

4.

Make technology education a focus in the school curriculum in Queensland

38.3%

5.

Create incentives for Queensland companies and governments to partner or work with Queensland startups

36.8%

                                                                                                                                                Source: River City Labs

 

Other areas on the startup community wish-list included the establishment of a Startup Precinct in Brisbane and improved technology education and incentive for large Queensland organisations to partner and work with startups.

 

Mr. Baxter commented: “It’s not just about ramping up investment and spending government funds to encourage new startups, although that is part of it. What the startup scene wants is a Government committed to doing things smarter, faster and more agile – and bringing our policy making into the 21st century.

 

“Startup and technology are not exactly simple areas to understand, and traditionally Australian politicians have struggled to get their heads around where they fit in to the government agenda. In recent years we have seen some market improvement steps, but based on our straw poll it appears the report card says “more effort required”. We hope that this survey will be useful to the next Government in formulating its approach to new business in the state.”

 

 

– Ends –

 

Media Contacts

 

Ashford Pritchard, Launch Group                                                                                                                          

E: ashford@launchgroup.com.au | M: +61 411 020 680 | T: +612 9492 1040

 

Laura Blue, Launch Group                                                                                                                        

E: laurab@launchgroup.com.au | M: + 61 416 699 925| T: +612 9492 1000.

 

 

About River City Labs

 

River City Labs is Brisbane’s premier co-working community and central clubhouse for tech startups. They are a not-for-profit organisation aimed at fostering Queensland’s startup ecosystem.

 

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 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. 

 


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17 Jul

River City Labs hosts Startup Weekend Brisbane

by launch-admin Jul 17, 2015 1 News



MEDIA RELEASE

 

River City Labs invites entrepreneurs to join ‘Startup Weekend Brisbane’ and learn how to launch their startup in 54 hours

 

Brisbane, 1 July 2015: Co-working community River City Labs has announced that registrations to partake in Startup Weekend Brisbane (10 – 12 July) are now open with local entrepreneurs, developers and designers encouraged to join Steve Baxter and be part of the world’s largest entrepreneurial community network, Startup Weekend.

 

Startup Weekend Brisbane offers participants the opportunity to engage in all stages of the startup experience, from pre-pitching their own startup, to collaboratively working in teams to design and launch a final product, to evaluating the strengths and weaknesses of their startup with local entrepreneurial leaders.

 

Founder of CarValues.co and Startup Weekend Brisbane’s 2014 winner, Christopher Drake, said: “Startup Weekend Brisbane was one of the best experiences of my life. Unlike University, where it is all talk and no action, Startup Weekend takes you out of the building and has you talking to potential, paying customers. It’s all about validating your business idea, and making sure you are actually creating something that the market wants – not just wasting your time building something that has no business context.”

 

“Since winning Startup Weekend Brisbane 2014, my startup, CarValues.co, has had discussions with a number of major car listing platforms and large car dealers which has helped us validate our business model further. This has helped us bring on a number of student developers who are using our information to create some very exciting products.”

 

Participants of Startup Weekend Brisbane will be judged by an expert panel of entrepreneurial leaders, including River City Labs Founder, Steve Baxter, with prize packages being awarded to the standout startup pitches.

 

River City Labs Community Manager, Josh Anthony, commented: “Startup Weekend Brisbane is the perfect opportunity for entrepreneurs of all tech-levels to get involved in an event that is both highly effective and enjoyable. Participants get to work in a supportive environment alongside like-minded individuals, industry leaders and locally-established startups – What a fantastic array of skill-sets to be in the one place at the one time.”    

 

Live tweets across the weekend can be found by following the official @RiverCityLabs account and the #SWBNE15 hashtag.

 

-ENDS-

 

Media Contact:

 

Laura Blue laurab@launchgroup.com.au 02 9492 1000 / 0416 699 925

 

Fleur Brown fleur@launchgroup.com.au 02 9492 1000 / 0419 270 863

 

About River City Labs:

River City Labs is Brisbane’s premier co-working community and central clubhouse for tech startups. They are a not-for-profit organisation aimed at fostering Queensland’s startup ecosystem.

 

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 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. 

 

About Startup Weekend Brisbane:

Startup Weekend Brisbane is an intense 54 hour event where a community of local entrepreneurs, business startup enthusiasts, web and software developers, designers and marketing gurus collaboratively participate in all stages of the startup process, including pitching, business model creation, coding, designing and market validation.

 

About Startup Weekend:

Startup Weekend is a global network of passionate leaders and entrepreneurs on a mission to inspire, educate, and empower individuals, teams and communities. 

17 Jul

Startup Catalyst offers 20 young entrepreneurs trip of a lifetime to Silicon Valley

by launch-admin Jul 17, 2015 1 News




MEDIA RELEASE 

River City Labs is calling on startups to be part of Startup Catalyst’s 2015 mission

 

·       20 budding entrepreneurs from the Sunshine State score once in a life time opportunity

·       Applications open for tech savvy 18-25 year-olds to join the sponsored trip to Silicon Valley

 

Brisbane, 23 June 2015: Co-working community River City Labs has today announced applications are now open to be part of this year’s ‘Startup Catalyst’, an annual sponsored mission to Silicon Valley for 20 young budding entrepreneurs in Queensland’s tech startup scene. Startup Catalyst will take place from 28 September to 7 October 2015, with entries now being accepted at www.startupcatalyst.com.au.  

 

Following the huge success of the inaugural mission in 2014, Startup Catalyst is back for a second year with the aim to give rise to Australia’s next batch of globally successful tech entrepreneurs. Fronted by Brisbane’s own Steve Baxter, the ten-day mission will immerse 20 lucky Queenslanders in Silicon Valley’s rich culture of high-growth entrepreneurship.

 

Participants will visit the offices of global tech companies such as Google, Facebook, Twitter and Apple, attend networking events with startup founders and student entrepreneurs, meet with fellow Australians who are running startups in the Valley, and take part in educational events to equip them with an understanding of what is involved in launching a globally successful tech startup.

 

River City Labs founder and Startup Catalyst’s Mission Leader, Steve Baxter, said: “Startup Catalyst has the potential to kickstart and grow the ideas of Queensland’s budding tech startup entrepreneurs. We only have to turn to the results of last year’s mission to see what kind of new talent the Valley can bring to life.”

 

Alex Ghiculescu, Director at Tanda and 2014 Startup Catalyst alumni, commented: “Startup Catalyst was such an eye-opening experience for the Tanda team. We took away sound, expert advice and hugely benefited from mixing with both sides of the tech spectrum – from those experts at Google and Facebook to fellow entrepreneurs sitting in the same boat as us at the startup related events in Silicon Valley.”

 

To check out what last year’s Startup Catalyst participants had to say about the experience head to: http://www.startupcatalyst.com.au/ 

 

The program will accept applications from young people who meet the following criteria:

·       Aged between 18 and 25

·       Reside in Queensland

·       Have coding skills

·       Have an interest in entrepreneurship

·       Are willing to share their newfound experiences with the wider community upon return

 

Those selected will be provided with return airfares from Brisbane, travel, accommodation, group meals and participation in all relevant events.

 

Any interested candidates from Universities, TAFEs, incubators and co-working spaces, or with their own startup ideas are invited to apply. Formal IT qualifications are not required, although participants will be asked to demonstrate that they have sufficient technical skills to build a usable product such as a website, app or game.

 

-ENDS-

 

Media Contact:

Laura Blue laurab@launchgroup.com.au 02 9492 1000 / 0416 699 925

Ashford Pritchard ashford@launchgroup.com.au 02 9492 1040 / 0411 020 680

 

 

About River City Labs:

 

River City Labs is Brisbane’s premier co-working community and central clubhouse for tech startups. They are a not-for-profit organisation aimed at fostering Queensland’s startup ecosystem.

 

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 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. 

 

About Startup Catalyst:

 

Startup Catalyst is an annual mission to Silicon Valley for twenty young people who have the potential to be Australia’s next batch of globally successful tech entrepreneurs.


The 2015 mission will take place over a ten-day period from 28 September to 7 October 2015 and will immerse the participants in Silicon Valley’s rich culture of high-growth entrepreneurship. The group will visit the offices of global tech companies such as Google, Facebook, Twitter and Apple, attend networking events with startup founders and student entrepreneurs, meet with fellow Australians who are running startups in the Valley, and take part in educational events to equip them with an understanding of what is involved in launching a globally successful tech startup.

 

To find out more about the 2014 mission, visit the blog or watch the highlights videos.

17 Jul

Applications now open for Brisbane Sponsored Entrepreneur Program

by launch-admin Jul 17, 2015 1 News



MEDIA RELEASE 

·       CUA confirmed as headline sponsor for Sponsored Entrepreneur Program

·       Call for Brisbane and Queensland startups to apply for free program

·       Applications close Friday 24 July

 

Brisbane, 6 July 2015: Co-working community River City Labs has teamed up with Australia’s largest customer-owned financial services provider, CUA, for their renowned, three-month Sponsored Entrepreneur Program, and is calling on local startups and entrepreneurs to apply today.

 

The Program will offer five entrepreneurs a fully paid, three-month mentoring experience to assist with growing their startup idea into a viable business. Winners will receive full-time desk membership at the Fortitude Valley startup hub, access to River City Labs training and networking events, and a number of additional benefits, including legal, marketing and PR recommendations.

 

Josh Anthony, Community Manager at River City Labs, said: “It’s really exciting that we are in a position to keep these Sponsored Entrepreneur Programs running. A free, three-month mentorship is a fantastic opportunity for an early-stage startup to really kick-start and grow their business, and take advantage of all the perks and benefits that come out of joining a co-working community.”

 

“The last installment of the Program finished up in May and saw local, Brisbane startup, Zenva Academy, carry out an impressive $30,000 kickstarter campaign, which just goes to show what sort of outcome is possible for applicants.”

           

CUA’s General Manager, Business Transformation & Technology, Sue Coulter, said she was thrilled to confirm CUA’s 12-month sponsorship of River City Lab’s hosted Entrepreneur Program.

 

“This is a really exciting opportunity for CUA to gain access to fresh, new ideas from some of Queensland’s brightest and most talented technology entrepreneurs, as well as support them to turn their startup ideas into a business,” she said.

 

“CUA is very focused on enhancing and expanding our digital capabilities and the mobile and online services we provide to customers, and this relationship with River City Labs is just one example of how we’re investing in innovation.”

 

Key Dates

·       Applications Close: Friday 24 July 2015

·       Interviews/Pitches: Thursday 30 July 2015

·       Finalists Announced: Friday 31 July 2015

·       Residency: Monday 3 August 2015 – Thursday 29 October 2015

 

Key Criteria for the applicants:

1.     Entrepreneurs can apply as individuals or as members of a Startup team.

2.     Entrepreneurs must have proof they have started working on their idea/ business via a current prototype, website, operating business.

3.     Applications are open to entrepreneurs of all ages, gender, background and experience.

4.     Current and past members of River City Labs are eligible to apply.

5.     Entrepreneurs must be available to commit to work on their business on a full-time basis (minimum 5 days per week for the 3 month period) to develop their 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.     Entrepreneurs must be willing to share their startup journey, story and personal business profile with the 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.

 

For more information head to: http://sponsoredentrepreneurs.com.au/

 

For all the latest news and announcements, follow River City Labs on twitter at @RiverCityLabs.

 

 

– Ends –

 

Media Contact:

Laura Blue laurab@launchgroup.com.au 02 9492 1000 / 0416 699 925

Fleur Brown fleur@launchgroup.com.au 02 9492 1000 / 0419 270 863

 

About River City Labs:

River City Labs is Brisbane’s premier co-working community and central clubhouse for tech startups. They are a not-for-profit organisation aimed at fostering Queensland’s startup ecosystem.

 

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 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. 

 

About CUA:

CUA is Australia’s largest customer-owned financial institution. We started out with an inspired idea to give Australians a fairer deal, and today our commitment to help our customers enrich their lives remains at the heart of our business.

Our profits go back to customers as better-value banking products and services, rather than being paid out as dividends to shareholders. We also offer a range of insurance options, including health insurance to help you care for your family.

CUA provides customers with access to their money through rediATMs, which has a network of more than 3,000 ATMs across Australia, as well as through our 59 branches, via online banking and on our mobile banking app.

You can also get in touch with us and join the conversation on social media – receive the latest news and updates, share what makes your life rich or have your say on what’s important to you.

17 Jul

Brisbane Sponsored Entrepreneur Program returns in 2015

by launch-admin Jul 17, 2015 8 News



 


MEDIA RELEASE


·       Bank of Queensland returns as headline sponsor for Sponsored Entrepreneur Program

·       Call for Brisbane and Queensland startups to apply for free program

·       Applications close Sunday 18 January

 

Brisbane, 14 January 2015: Co-working community River City Labs has joined forces with the Bank of Queensland for a new round of their groundbreaking Sponsored Entrepreneur Program.

 

Launched last September, the Sponsored Entrepreneur Program will provide five worthy Entrepreneurs the opportunity to embark on a customised, three-month mentoring program to help turn their startup idea into a new business. Entrepreneurs will receive desk space at the Fortitude Valley startup hub, access to River City Labs training and networking events, and a plethora of business-oriented services including access to legal advice and marketing and PR recommendations.

 

Steve Baxter, entrepreneur, Shark on Shark Tank Australia and founder of River City Labs, said it was a very positive sign for the State that a visionary corporate such as the Bank of Queensland recognised the importance of backing new entrepreneurs with groundbreaking ideas.  

 

“Queensland needs more options for budding tech entrepreneurs and early-stage startups, so we are really excited to have the Bank of Queensland’s ongoing sponsorship for this program. It’s all about giving that first boost to someone with a great business idea to help them get it off the ground. It takes just one of these entrepreneurs to be successful in their venture for the whole state to experience the economic benefits through the jobs and wealth created.”  

 

River City Labs is calling on any interested entrepreneurs to apply for a corporate sponsored membership for their startup at: https://www.f6s.com/brisbanesponsoredentrepreneursprogram#/apply. The offer includes full-time desk membership, structured mentoring, and partnership and publicity opportunities for three months, fully paid.

 

Andrew Murrell, General Manager of Digital & Direct Channels, Retail & Online Banking at Bank of Queensland, commented: “We were blown away by some of the great companies that participated in the first phase of the sponsored Entrepreneur Program. By continuing our engagement, we hope to show that we share in River City Lab’s overarching mission to encourage our State’s startups. The early stages are often the most financially challenging for new ventures, so it’s a great opportunity for us to back new entrepreneurs and help support their business development.” 

 

Key Dates

•    Applications Close: Sunday 18 January 2015

•    Finalists Announced: Thursday 29 January 2015

•    Residency: Monday 2 February 2015 – Friday 24 April 2015

 

Key Criteria for the applicants:

1.     Entrepreneurs can apply as individuals or as members of a Startup team.

2.     Entrepreneurs must have proof they have started working on their idea/ business via a current prototype, website, operating business.

3.     Applications are open to 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 on a full-time basis (minimum 5 days per week for the 3 month period) to develop their 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.     Entrepreneurs must be willing to share their Startup journey, story and personal business profile with the 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.

 

For more information: http://www.rivercitylabs.net/2014/12/brisbane-sponsored-entrepreneur-program-back-2015/

 

– Ends –

 

Media Contacts

 

Ashford Pritchard, Launch Group                                                                                                                               

E: ashford@launchgroup.com.au | M: +61 411 020 680 | T: +612 9492 1040

 

Laura Blue, Launch Group                                                                                                                                

E: laurab@launchgroup.com.au | M: + 61 416 699 925| T: +612 9492 1000.

 

 

About River City Labs

River City Labs is Brisbane’s premier co-working community and central clubhouse for tech startups. They are a not-for-profit organisation aimed at fostering Queensland’s startup ecosystem.

 

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 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. 

17 Jul

Morgans meets QLD’s highest profile startup investment event

by launch-admin Jul 17, 2015 1 News


       


MEDIA RELEASE

 

Australia, June 12 2015: Co-working community, River City Labs, has today announced the seven finalists selected to pitch their businesses to potential investors at QLD’s highest profile startup investment event, RiverPitch. Sponsored by Australia’s largest retail stockbroking network, Morgans, RiverPitch will take place on Friday 19 June.

 

RiverPitch is a bi-yearly event that brings together investment-ready ideas (and teams) with actual investors in order to help get the ideas funded. The event aims to provide a different approach to capital funding by bringing together pre-screened investors and pre-screened entrepreneurs in a social environment.

 

Seven out of ten startups that underwent a rigorous, live pitching session at River City Labs have been selected to be part of the official RiverPitch event, where they will have the opportunity to win over some of Australia’s most reputable investors, including Ezidebit founder, Michael Dempsey and RiverPitch founder, Steve Baxter.

 

General Manager at River City Labs, Peta Ellis, said it was great to see such an impressive lineup of businesses come through the RiverPitch application process.

 

“We had an impressive number of startup businesses come through the application process for this round of RiverPitch. While only seven finalists were chosen to attend the official event, my hat goes off to all of those who entered, particularly the top ten, as they showed amazing initiative and potential.

 

“Over the next couple of weeks, the seven teams will receive further pitch training from both myself and River City Labs mentor in Residence, Peter Laurie, to ensure they are more than ready to pitch to and manage questions from investors of Michael’s and Steve’s caliber,” Ms Ellis said.

 

The seven RiverPitch finalists are:

1.     StreetEats – Allows users to order and pay for street food using their smartphone, then track their order before being notified about when it’s ready.

2.     Hire-Hive – A marketplace for film & video gear rentals.

3.     Outbound – A social network for travellers.

4.     Medical Medial  – Connects doctors with doctors.

5.     TrackActive Health technology – Builds innovative exercise prescription and monitoring solutions for the medical, health and fitness industry.

6.     Men on the Moon – Delivers ‘engagement as a service’ for bricks and mortar retailers to their consumers via a smartphone app & a patented smart security tag with their products Pin and Point and Rocket Buy 

7.     Obzervr – The next generation Environment Monitoring software.

James Macaulay, Director of Morgans, said: “Over the past 30 years, Morgans has been fortunate to work with many of Queensland’s and Australia’s most successful businesses and entrepreneurs. All of these entrepreneurs faced enormous challenges in their startup phase and a common theme in their ability to navigate this has been their willingness to seek out, work with and learn from mentors and like-minded individuals.

 

“River City Labs is connecting our next generation of talented entrepreneurs with appropriate mentors and peers through initiatives like RiverPitch. As sponsors of the event, it is a privilege to join forces with them in order to nurture and inspire Australia’s next startup success stories.”

 

Ms. Ellis added: “Morgans are experts in the business arena so it’s great to have them on board the RiverPitch train. This means not only will the seven startups have access to brilliant, investor minds and fellow, like-minded entrepreneur peers, but they’ll also have the opportunity to chat with and seek advice from finance masterminds.”

 

Investors who are looking to invest in tech startups are encouraged to purchase their tickets to join the Morgans Sponsored RiverPitch event at: https://www.eventbrite.com.au/e/riverpitch-june-2015-tickets-16973048846

 

– Ends –

 

 

Media Contacts

Ashford Pritchard, Launch Group                                                                                                                               

E: ashford@launchgroup.com.au | M: +61 411 020 680 | T: +612 9492 1040

Laura Blue, Launch Group                                                                                                                                

E: laurab@launchgroup.com.au | M: + 61 416 699 925| T: +612 9492 1000.

 

About RiverPitch

RiverPitch is a bi-yearly event that brings together pre-screened investors and pre-screened entrepreneurs in a social environment where developed ideas can be pitched. This invite only event brings together investment-ready ideas (and teams) with actual investors in order to help get the ideas funded. RiverPitch is supported by a community of investors formed to help the early stage and startup sector access funding. RiverPitch aims to provide a different approach to capital funding and de-formalise the search for the next investment.

 

About Morgans

Morgans is Australia’s largest national full-service retail stockbroking and wealth management network with over 300,000 clients, 500 authorised representatives and 850 staff operating from more than 60 offices in all states and territories. They have an award-winning research team, providing research on a wide range of ASX listed companies and regular market updates. 

17 Jul

Sponsored Entrepreneur Program uncovers Brisbane edutech startup success

by launch-admin Jul 17, 2015 1 News



                                                                    


MEDIA RELEASE


Brisbane, May 4, 2015: The latest cohort of Brisbane startups have graduated from the Bank of Queensland’s River City Labs Sponsored Entrepreneur Program, with startup Zenva Academy stealing the show with a $30,000 kickstarter campaign.

 

Hosted by Brisbane co-working community River City Labs, the second run of the Sponsored Entrepreneur Program – which launched in September last year – saw five, early-stage startup founders move through a three-month mentoring program to help with their business development; The startups also received free workspace at the River City Labs Fortitude Valley co-working hub.

 

Brisbane startup, Zenva Academy, which offers online education for budding games and mobile app developers, proved to be the stand out success of the program after their 30-day crowd-funding goal of $4000 turned into $30,448 and they succeeded in bringing 572 backers on board.

 

Pablo Farias, Found of Zenva Academy, commented: “The Sponsored Entrepreneur Program was a fantastic opportunity for an early stage venture such as ours. The ability to concentrate on building our startup was invaluable, thanks to the space at River City Labs and the great mentorship on offer. We took away a lot of practical and helpful skills from the experience, and have built up a really strong network. Without the program, we wouldn’t have been able to launch such a successful crowd-funding campaign.”

 

Peta Ellis, General Manager at River City Labs, said it was great to see such strong, entrepreneurial spirit and commitment shown by the five participants over the three-month program.  

 

“It is wonderful to see the collaboration of Queensland corporates and startups beginning to sow the seeds of success for Brisbane’s startup scene,” she said. “Without the participation of BOQ this program wouldn’t be possible. Great startups like Zenva Academy really benefit from the hand up, and hopefully they can continue to grow. If we want to develop a vibrant tech startup and innovation eco-system in Brisbane we need more programs like this to help more startups get launched.”

 

Andrew Murrell, General Manager of Digital & Payments at Bank of Queensland, said: “We are committed to helping more entrepreneurs launch their business and drive innovation right here in Queensland. It is exciting to see such great results in such a short time, and this shows the great opportunities that stem from fostering innovative new ventures.”

 

Some of the other teams that came through the program include car-valuing portal, Carvales.co, online flower marketplace, Unique Blooms and customised, online grocery list, HungryBear.cooking.

 

– Ends –

 

 

Media Contacts

Ashford Pritchard, Launch Group                                                                                           

E: ashford@launchgroup.com.au | M: +61 411 020 680 | T: +612 9492 1040

Laura Blue, Launch Group                                                                                              

E: laurab@launchgroup.com.au | M: + 61 416 699 925| T: +612 9492 1000.

 

 

About River City Labs

River City Labs is Brisbane’s premier co-working community and central clubhouse for tech startups. They are a not-for-profit organisation aimed at fostering Queensland’s startup ecosystem.

 

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 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. 

15 Jul

StartupAUS Media Statement – 13 May 2015

by launch-admin Jul 15, 2015 0 News


Budget 2015 acknowledges importance of small business, but lacks of focus on needs of tech startups.

Budget 2015 offered the government an opportunity to help Australia transform into a nation that fosters technology entrepreneurs and high-growth companies as drivers of economic growth and job creation.

Despite an encouraging move by the government to back small business, this year’s budget does not address the needs of a vital part of Australia’s economy: its tech startup eco-system.

StartupAUS is pleased to see moves by the Government to support crowd-sourced equity funding and to fix the tax treatment of employee share schemes. We also applaud financial measures that make it easier for Australians to start new companies. The fact that the government has recognised that startups play a major role in the future of Australia’s economy is hugely encouraging.

However, we believe an overall strategy is needed to accelerate the growth of Australia’s tech sector and to bring the Australia in line with the rest of the world when it comes to supporting startups. 

Budget 2015 did not address many of the key issues affecting the startup ecosystem: lack of venture capital, lack of technology and entrepreneurial skills development, and a lack of investment in soft infrastructure.

Five key issues the Budget did not address:

1.     Confusion between “small businesses” and “startups”

Startups are very different to small businesses. Startups are emerging high-growth technology-based business that are tackling global markets and have the capacity for massive and sustained growth, enabling them to become significant global businesses within a short period of time. Worldwide, startups have been shown to be a major source of job creation and economic growth.

On the other hand, most small businesses provide less differentiated products or services, are often trading in a confined geographical area, and although they provide an income to a significant proportion of the workforce, are generally not a major source of economic growth or job creation.

Budget 2015 has delivered initiatives that primarily of benefit to small businesses – such as the streamlining of business registration and lowering of the company tax rate. It has not delivered the initiatives we believe are needed to address the major issues affecting Australia’s tech startup eco-system.

The recent Crossroads report set out an eight-step roadmap to building a competitive startup ecosystem in Australia, one that would help startups compete on a global scale. StartupAUS urges the government to use the learnings from other countries that have been set out in detail in the Crossroads report as it develops its own startup-focused policies and programs, and to engage with the startup community to ensure it is developing programs that will have the maximum possible impact.

 

2.     No commitment to creating and implementing a national innovation strategy

Australia urgently needs a national innovation and entrepreneurship strategy, and a central agency to drive the innovation agenda. The lack of policy co-ordination and funding for implementation reduces the effectiveness of existing government programs, while decision making regarding regulations and support for startups is falling through the cracks as a result of there being no single portfolio with responsibility for innovation and startups.

The recent announcement of plans to reduce red tape and lower costs of business formation is positive for small businesses, but of limited relevance to tech startups, which are still lacking many of the basic support programs available to startups in other countries.

3. No investment in education that will equip young Australians to build the businesses of the future

If Australia is to undergo the economic transformation that is needed to see us prosper beyond the resource boom, we need to be producing more STEM graduates and more people with programming skills.

We also need to encourage an entrepreneurial mindset in young Australians and equip them with the practical skills to successfully launch and grow businesses with global potential.

The Budget offers no indication that the government recognises this looming skills shortage or has any plans to address it.

4. No investment in improving the funding climate for Australian startups

In Budget 2014, the Government announced a “saving of $845.6 million over five years” by scrapping Commercialisation Australia and the Innovation Investment Fund, a reduction of support of nearly $170 million a year.

The Entrepreneurs’ Infrastructure Program (EIP) is now the government’s only substantive program remaining to support tech startups, and this year was the subject of funding cuts totalling $27.3 million over five years.

There was no commitment in Budget 2015 to give the accelerating commercialisation stream of the EIP a greater focus on tech startups. Nor was there any new initiative to stimulate greater levels of angel or venture capital investment.

In contrast, China recently announced the creation of an A$8.3 billion seed-stage National Venture Capital Fund, and many other countries including the UK, Singapore, Israel and New Zealand continue to deliver funding programs specifically aimed at stimulating greater levels of private investment in startups.

5. No investment in the soft infrastructure needed to support a growing startup ecosystem

Many countries have invested in the establishment of national networks of entrepreneurship centres and incubators as a means of support growing clusters of tech startups. Australia has a number of high quality incubators, but still lacks a national framework for the support and growth of this vital piece of soft infrastructure.

For inspiration we need look no further than our neighbours in New Zealand, Singapore and China as exemplars of national networks of government-supported startup incubators aimed at accelerating the growth of their national tech startup ecosystems.

 

 

 

Professor Jana Matthews, StartupAUS board member commented: “If Australia is to remain “The Lucky Country”, we need to evolve, and shift from programs focused extraction to commercialising innovation and growing companies. We’re pleased that the government have recognised that the future of the economy rests on the new companies that are starting up now. What is missing is an overall strategy for the government to develop the vital sector called the technology sector.

 

“In order to do that we, we need to give people the skills and knowledge they need, both in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) so that they can build tech startups, and also entrepreneurship so they can turn those startups into high-growth business that will create jobs.

 

“Beyond skills, we need government leadership and tangible support for tech entrepreneurs and investors to drive the startup ecosystem.”

 

Peter Bradd, StartupAUS board member commented: “The budget does contain big wins for small business, but not the big wins we need for tech startups in Australia. As the Treasurer himself said “People ask me where are the future jobs going to come from.” We know that high-growth businesses create the vast majority new jobs. In the United States, research from the Kauffman Foundation shows that the fast growing 4% of companies there create 70% of the new jobs. Research in the United Kingdom has seen similar findings of 1% of companies creating over 68% of new jobs, and the conservative government has implemented the Future Fifty Program to encourage more growth-stage digital businesses. 

“It is widely accepted that tech startups are amongst the fastest growth companies. The budget demonstrates that the Government is grasping the problem of moving away from an extractive economy to a knowledge driven one, with services and small business prioritised. However, we need to put tech startups on the top of the agenda if Australia is to safeguard its economic future.” 

 

Colin Kinner, author of the StartupAUS Crossroads report commented: “Australia urgently needs to develop a strategy for an “Economy 2.0” that can sustain our way of life beyond the resources boom. There is little in this budget to suggest that the government has grasped the importance of investing in the tech sector, despite evidence from around the world that high-growth tech startups are a massive driver of economic growth.

“The government needs to act to prevent any further erosion in support for knowledge-intensive industries and tech startups at a time when every other developed economy is providing increasing levels of support for tech startups.”

 

– Ends –

 

Media contacts:

 

Ashford Pritchard, Launch Group

E: ashford@launchgroup.com.au | T: 02 9492 1040 | M: 0411 020 680

 

Louise Proctor, Launch Group

E: Louise@launchgroup.com.au | T: 02 9492 1003 | M: 0452 574 244

 

About StartupAUS

 

StartupAUS is a not-for-profit entity with a mission to transform Australia through technology entrepreneurship.

 

StartupAUS believes a strong home-grown tech sector is vital to future Australian jobs and wealth. But getting there will require a national imperative to create the right environment, with a supportive culture and more entrepreneurs with the right skills.

 

For more information: www.startupaus.org.


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