Brisbane is emerging as an international leader in innovation, tech and design fostering young entrepreneurs and their projects.

Lord Mayor Graham Quirk

Lord Mayor Graham Quirk

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In Brisbane we have a growing community of exciting and inventive start-ups with low entry costs and the potential to reach global markets and bring significant investment into the Brisbane economy.

Already Brisbane is in the top 15 per cent of innovative cities worldwide for nurturing innovation according to the latest 2thinknow Innovation Cities Index. This is a confident view of Brisbane’s economy which reflects Brisbane’s place in the world.

As a city it is vital we take hold of each and every opportunity to benefit from innovation. The index ranks 445 cities and Brisbane jumped 25 places from number 85 to 60, ahead of cities like Moscow, Abu Dhabi, Geneva, Edinburgh, Kuala Lumpur, Auckland and Rome.

Last year I launched the Budding Entrepreneurs Grant Program to support innovative entrepreneurial projects and provide opportunities for service and product development.

As part of this program, I announced that this year Council would assist 12 young Brisbane entrepreneurs with funding to help them get their technology start-ups off the ground. These young entrepreneurs—some of Brisbane’s brightest and best—will share in $25,000 of funding.

Overall, 114 applications were received for this year’s grants. Our young entrepreneurs should be commended for their efforts! In the last two years, the Budding Entrepreneurs Grant Program provided $50,000 to 24 up-and-coming tech entrepreneurs to help them get started. It is a hand up, not a hand out, to ensure we retain great talent and business ideas here.

Grant recipients have used their funding to help with costs of researching and making their dreams a reality; including memberships at local incubator spaces including River City Labs, iLabs and QUT Creative Enterprises; to attend start-up education programs or trade missions; and for professional advice.

What was remarkable about all of this year’s applications is that each of them clearly demonstrated detailed market research and long-term business growth and scale opportunities.

These young entrepreneurs are using initiative and often self-taught skills to tackle global markets and create business solutions through technology. Transforming ideas into reality is a challenging task – as a city we want to be providing practical support to our emerging innovators so that we can see their innovations come to fruition.