Strong interest in #SmallBusinessChallenges and accelerator program
Almost 50 start-ups and entrepreneurs from across the state have kicked off 2016 by taking on the #SmallBusinessChallenges launched last month by CCIQ and Suncorp Bank.
The initiative forms part of CCIQ’s new Collaborate program, Australia’s first investment and acceleration program for entrepreneurs solving real problems for small to medium businesses.
Participants in the challenges are competing for a place in the Collaborate Accelerator program and the chance to receive up to $100,000 investment each.
CCIQ CEO Stephen Tait said the Collaborate partners wanted to hear from people who could fix the challenges facing small businesses today and help them to be more productive, profitable and sustainable.
“Businesses in Queensland are crying out for new products — apps, software and online tools — that will make running a business easier,” he said.
“This Brisbane-based accelerator program is designed to create high growth, scalable start-ups that solve real problems for small to medium businesses.
“If you can solve the #SmallBusinessChallenges then you could be one of 10 start-ups who will each receive $100,000 investment, the country’s best accelerator program, office space, corporate support and access to research, insights and be taken to market to launch your product.”
Mr Tait said Collaborate will help change an early stage idea into a viable and valuable business.
“Although there will ultimately only be 10 entrepreneurs who receive investment, the challenge is designed to deliver value to everyone who applies,” he said.
The program rewards include:
• 10 entrepreneurs will receive up to $100,000 investment each and a place in the Collaborate Accelerator program in Brisbane
• 20 finalists will receive two weeks’ free validation accelerator in Brisbane prior to the competition pitch from the start-up advisors at BlueChilli
• 50 entrepreneurs will receive free desk space in the Collaborate Incubator space in Brisbane and free access to a self-guided start-up accelerator program
• 100 entrepreneurs will receive free access to a self-guided online version of the Collaborate to Launch program
“The #SmallBusinessChallenges intake of the Collaborate Accelerator is a start-up competition open to entrepreneurs, business owners and innovators with great ideas for how technology and digital innovation can benefit small to medium businesses,” Mr Tait said.
“You can apply if you only have an idea, a prototype or an early-stage product in the market. You don’t need to have a company, or a team, or a product — all you need is a great idea that uses technology in smart ways for the benefit of small to medium businesses.
“If small businesses are already your customers, think big and see if there is an opportunity for technology to scale your business and make it a solution that millions of others could use.”
Applications close Monday, 25 January and can be made by visiting www.collaborate.cciq.com.au and completing the form. Following application, businesses will be invited to pitch their idea to a panel of experts and if successful invited to Collaborate.
Businesses that successfully complete their pitch process will be invited to a six-month residency in Collaborate which will include:
• Free office space
• Access to resources and programs to help accelerate and commercialise their idea
• Access to networks, mentors and expert advice
• Access to capital and investment opportunities
• Opportunities to go to market through CCIQ and its partner networks.