Queensland’s Business Development Fund (BDF) has supported more than 40 Queensland start-ups to help businesses turn their ideas and innovations into commercial realities – supporting over 400 new jobs and attracting new industries to Queensland.
As part of the 2018-19 budget, the Queensland Government committed an additional $40 million, bringing its total investment for the BDF to $80 million.
Investment decisions are made by an independent panel of experienced investors, and co-invests between $125,000 to $2.5 million through the fund – which must be at least matched by a private sector co-investor.
The BDF is part of Advance Queensland which is a comprehensive suite of programs designed to create the knowledge-based jobs of the future, drive productivity improvements and build on Queensland’s natural advantages.
The Business Development Fund (BDF) helps Queensland businesses commercialise cutting edge research, or innovative ideas, products and services. By focusing on the growth of innovative businesses, particularly in emerging industries, the Fund supports the creation of high value, knowledge-based and skilled jobs now and into the future.
Through providing early stage co-investment funding, the BDF promotes angel and venture capital investment in Queensland-based businesses. The BDF is part of a wider Queensland Government strategy to support a sustainable private market for venture capital finance in Queensland.
How investment decisions are made
The Queensland Government has appointed an independent Investment Panel consisting of experienced private investors who have a strong background in entrepreneurship, and early stage investment, particularly in innovative start-ups or growing technology businesses.
The Panel reviews the applications and those that best meet the investment criteria are invited to pitch. Panel members make the final investment decision based on a majority vote.
There are no Government representatives on the Investment Panel and members make an independent investment decision.
Dr Adam Kossak is a venture capitalist. He is currently Non-Executive Director of Find-Me Technologies Pty Limited and the founding partner in Aequora Capital Pty Ltd. Mr Kossak has strong commercial and analytical skills and extensive experience in start-up companies. He is a member of the Australian Medical Association and the Australian Institute of Company Directors (AICD).
Dr Patrick Silvey has extensive experience in commercialisation and is currently the Managing Director of VenturePro Pty Ltd which provides business advisory and commercialisation assistance to universities, early stage technology companies and government agencies involved in research, development and commercialisation. Dr Silvey was previously a Director in Corporate Finance at PricewaterhouseCoopers.
Troy Haines is the founder of theSPACE, a regional incubator in Cairns. Along with his team, Troy has worked with hundreds of entrepreneurs across a wide audience, from high school students, SME’s to corporate employees to help them commercialise their ideas.
Nicola Vaisey is currently Director and Secretary of Constructionarium Australia, which seeks to develop hands on practical skills in young engineers. Ms Vaisey has worked on innovation projects in the medical, engineering and infrastructure space, including developing proposals for multi-stakeholder Vaccine Pipeline projects, Big Data and Strategic planning projects with UQ, CSIRO (Pullenvale), and strategic research and partnership planning for QUT’s advanced robotic vision Centre of Excellence. Ms Vaisey has executive experience in pharmaceutical and medical devices industries.
Monica Bradley is the Director of Purposeful Capital. She designs business models and strategy for boards, corporates and social impact organisations. She is a strong advocate in the social impact and enterprise investing.
Anne-Marie Birkill is founding Managing Partner of OneVentures, a venture capital firm with $330M funds under management. With a passion for innovation and experience in the private, university and government sectors; she has worked with hundreds of technology companies as an investor, consultant, mentor, advisor, director and coach.
Michael Zimmerman is an entrepreneur, CEO and investor/board member with experience in building technology companies in enterprise software, internet and energy sectors. Mr Zimmerman has 20 years’ experience working with a diverse set of venture-backed technology companies, including a number that have expanded and developed overseas. He is currently an Entrepreneur in Residence at CSIRO.
Business Development Fund investment recipients include*:
JESI is a global management software company which has developed an affordable and scalable journey management software designed to assist companies track and monitor the safety of their staff whilst they travel.
Brisbane-based Tritium’s business model includes the development of fast-charging electric vehicle technology that will enable low-emission, vehicle charging. Tritium received both an investment and follow-on investment from the BDF, with the Fund exiting its first investment in 2018.
MiCare Global operates cloud and mobile-enabled communications portals and compliance platforms which aggregates multiple apps, programs, functions and solutions into the one system.
EFTLab focuses on the electronic payment market with innovative software architecture that is customisable and scalable, enabling them to meet the future growth and changing needs of their customers.
Five Good Friends provides software platform connecting technology, people and the community by reinventing ‘traditional home care’ for the aged.
The Water and Carbon Group designs, builds and operates wastewater treatment systems using innovative systems with low energy and sustainable engineered solutions. The Water and Carbon Group received both an investment and a follow-on investment from the BDF.
GO1 operates a learning management system which helps organisations deliver compliance to their staff and volunteers. The Fund exited GO1 in 2017.
PlantMiner Group operates an online marketplace that provides construction companies with a cloud-based supplier engagement and procurement platform for plant and equipment and other key resources.
Gold Coast-based Intrepica, through its LiteracyPlanet business, runs a cutting edge, cloud-based English literacy education featuring curriculum-aligned games and exercises kindergarten and school aged students.
Lawcadia operates a legal procurement business which aims to help companies and governments in global markets rethink the way they procure and manage legal services and use data on their legal matters through its web-based application. Lawcadia received both an initial and a follow-on investment from the BDF.
Sustainable Organic Solutions have created ‘bridging’ fertilisers that allow farmers to transition to organic farming without impacting crop yield.
Valti has developed Croomo, an enterprise cloud-based platform that is redefining how modern blended learning is delivered and managed in organisations of all sizes. Valti received both an initial and a follow-on investment from the BDF.
PERKii has developed a world-first, low-calorie water and juice-based probiotic drink believed to have immunity and gut health benefits. Perkii has received both an initial and a follow-on investment from the BDF.
Find-Me Technologies has developed the Carer’s Watch featuring GPS tracking and back to base connectivity for personal security particularly targeted to loved ones and carers of older people and people with dementia. Find-Me Technologies received both an initial and a follow-on investment from the BDF.
Spare Workspace, (Spare IP Holdings) an online marketplace that allows people to book, hire or share short-term commercial workspaces. The Fund exited Spare Workspace in 2019.
iSeekplant Pty Ltd is an online marketplace connecting companies with hire equipment to companies who need equipment for mining, construction and commercial projects.
D&B Backbone, a technology brand that pioneers new ideas via disruptive innovation in the consumer electronics market across areas such as protective phone cases, smart locks and headphones.
Serene Medical Pty Ltd has developed new technology to locate and treat motor nerves for facial applications.
Lode Solutions Pty Ltd is an online employment marketplace that connects employers with talented university students ready to embark on their careers. A BDF portfolio company, Valti Pty Ltd, acquired Lode Solutions Pty Ltd in December 2018. The Fund continues to be a shareholder via its equity holding in Valti Pty Ltd.
MindHive Pty Ltd is an Idea Management Software that leverages the power of crowdsourcing for problem solving and idea generation with a particular focus on servicing the opportunities presented in the growth of civic technology.
REDEYE Apps Pty Ltd provides cloud and mobile solutions for asset and work management. RedEye has received both an initial and a follow-on investment from the BDF.
RiskWise Property Review is an independent property research and risk-rating FinTech company allowing people and organisations to individually assess investment property benefits and risks.
CruiseTraka (Fortress Capstone Pty Ltd) is a smart phone based solution used by passengers to share their cruise experience with family and friends back home in almost real time via social media and email.
Healthcare Logic is a software company dedicated to improving patient care by centralising patient-information in one place and making it available to health care professionals to improve patient-centred care and outcomes.
Obzervr Pty Ltd is an innovative, adaptive and intuitive data collection platform that helps organisations achieve a seamlessly connected field-to-headquarters process; improving efficiency and productivity, operational performance and data accessibility.
Nexgen Plants is an emerging plant trait company delivering non-genetically modified solutions for agriculture-dependent communities.
Like A Photon Creative is a content creation production company which develops multi-platform animated content targeted at children.
Cardihab is a digital health company that provides a platform which assists cardiologists and allied health professionals coordinate cardiac rehabilitation for patients.
Commit Works provides a platform which supports planning, scheduling and works coordination to the mining industry leading to improved productivity and safety outcomes.
Maxwell Plus provides a personalised, evidence-based men’s health program to quickly, affordably and accurately detect and diagnose cancer.
CartonCloud provides an integrated transport management system and warehouse management system for freight and third-party logistics businesses.
EEVI.LIFE delivers technology for older Australians to help defeat isolation, and keep them safe and connected, to friends, to family and to life.
EatClub allows restaurants to instantly send out last-minute deals to customers when the restaurant is not booked to capacity, allowing restaurants to make a profit on tables that would otherwise have gone empty.
iStaySafe combines its bespoke software platform with innovative hardware to offer personal tracking solutions via a SAAS business model.
Emesent collects and digitises new, high-value data in mines, tunnels and other challenging underground environments using autonomous drones.
Starts at 60 is a digital destination for mature Australians, providing relevant content for people over 60 years old including events, trending stories and talkback.
Red Earth Energy Storage develops and manufactures energy storage systems for retail and business customers.
Didgigo provides solutions for travel businesses by creating quality, personalised travel documents efficiently and cost effectively.
Verton Technologies removes the need for human tag lines when using a cranes for suspended loads to provide safer working environments.
Vald Performance provide human measurement systems to provide field-based reliable data to allow health and performance professionals to make objective decisions.
Implicit Bioscience is a clinical-stage biotech drug development company focused on pioneering immunotherapy for neurogenerative and neurotraumatic diseases.
Auxita is a medical diagnosis platform that automates routine tasks, simplifies data and helps physicians make decisions faster.
Movus is transforming machines into “smart machines” across their lifecycle to improve water, food, energy and mining industries and the impact these industries have on the environment.
Kapiche is a high-performance analytics tool which helps companies obtain actionable insights from customer data and employee feedback at scale using artificial intelligence.
Aire has developed RITA, an AI-powered tool for the real estate industry which connects, synchronises and consolidates data sources to manage seller, buyer and landlord opportunities.
Chief Products develops off-road accessories for SUV, truck and 4×4 vehicles, which they market and sell internationally both online and via wholesalers.
Kira Biotech is an emerging biotechnology company developing drugs to treat immune system disorders.
ThinkTilt has developed ProForma, a user-friendly, fully integrated online form builder for Jira, available within the Atlassian Martketplace.
M3dicine is a medical device platform focused on capturing real-time vital sign data that provides insights for diagnosing, screening, management and treatment of disease.
TalentVine is a platform which enables employers to connect with multiple recruitment firms, leveraging their efforts from finding similar talent for other clients.
Concept Safety Systems is a leading provider of fire and safety evacuation plans, solutions and safety systems.
Roubler Holdings is a human resources tech company developing an all in one, ‘end-to-end’ cloud-based workforce management and payroll software (SaaS) platform. It is designed specifically to cover the entire employment life cycle, as well as the complexities of shift-based workforces in businesses that have between 100 and 10,000 employees.
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We are looking for businesses that are:
Private sector co-investors can be:
The co-investor must commit to play an active role in supporting the business requiring investment. Therefore, it is highly desirable that the co-investor has a proven track record of prior investment in start-ups and/or early stage investments, including successful investment exits and returns.
The investment must create opportunities for new, high value and skilled employment, and must have a realistic prospect of becoming commercially successful.
For more information on the Business Development Fund email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Details on other Queensland Government programs can be found on the Advance Queensland website.