Startups eligible for Mayor’s award

Lord Mayor Quirk

Lord Mayor Graham Quirk

Lord Mayor Graham Quirk is searching for the next crop of Brisbane’s most talented and innovative technology start-up companies.

Applications will open on March 1 for round two of the Lord Mayor’s Budding Entrepreneurs Program, part of Brisbane Marketing’s Digital Brisbane Strategy, designed to provide practical support to young entrepreneurs to encourage more start-up success stories across Brisbane.

“The Budding Entrepreneurs Program is one of Digital Brisbane’s most successful initiatives, with the first round attracting hundreds of applications and introducing us to some talented young technology start-up pioneers,” Cr Quirk said.

“My expectations were vastly exceeded by the original ideas and talent of all who applied in the last round and I would encourage any budding entrepreneurs, even those who missed out in the first round, to get their applications in now.

“The 12 successful applicants, who shared in $25,000, were businesses that impressed us by tackling global markets or solving problems through technology.

“These are young technology start-up pioneers, often teaching themselves the skills they need to develop and launch innovative businesses.”

Round two of the Budding Entrepreneurs Program will again offer $25,000, and entrepreneurs can apply for grants of up to $5000 for activities such as attending a start-up event or conference, obtaining professional advice, membership of a start-up support program, entry into education programs or funding for trade missions.

Past grant recipients said their funding went a long way towards helping their start-up businesses.

Mat Chen, who developed buding.com.au, an interactive website for Chinese students, strongly recommended that other budding entrepreneurs apply.

“This Budding Entrepreneurs Program encourages entrepreneurs to introduce their hard word to the public, expand their network and get more opportunities and supporting funds,” he said.

Alex Ghiculescu who launched Tanda, a fully integrated cloud-based rostering, time, attendance and reporting system for small businesses, said the Lord Mayor’s Budding Entrepreneurs Program grants were a great way to give your business a kick-start.

“I would definitely suggest applying to anyone who’s ready to get their hands dirty in building a business,” he said.

“Sometimes the hardest thing is getting started, and the grant is a great way to give you a kick in the backside and encourage you to take the next step – whether that’s building a product, building a team, or just getting more serious about what you’re doing, as it was in our case.”

Cr Quirk said start-up companies with the potential to grow quickly, just like Tanda and buding.com.au, were important to the future of Brisbane’s economy.

“Start-up companies, which have relatively low entry costs, have the potential to reach global markets and bring hundreds of millions of dollars into the Brisbane economy,” he said.

“Why wouldn’t we want to encourage as many of them as possible?”

The next funding round of the Lord Mayor’s Budding Entrepreneurs Program will open for applications on March 1 and close on March 31.

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