ilab, established by the State Government and now operated by The University of Queensland’s main commercialisation company, UniQuest, assists entrepreneurs and early stage high tech companies through the first few years of development. ilab provides seed funding, team development and mentoring to give the startups a greater chance of success.
The State Government funding will go towards continued support of ilab’s Germinate programs, building on the success it has achieved over the past two years of its operation. Germinate has invested almost $300,000 across 19 new enterprises and a further 17 companies have been supported by ilab resources and mentors.
The participants in the Germinate program have included Tiger Temple, an online street style clothing store, Veilability, a venue matching service for the bridal industry and Fizziofit, which delivers exercise, medicine and fitness technology resources for healthcare professionals.
ilab Program Director Leigh Angus says that the funding approval is a sign of confidence in ilab and results from the successes that have been achieved by ilab in supporting early stage technology enterprises and their founders.
“We are thrilled at the announcement of the next round of funding which will enable us to continue our work to support entrepreneurs and technology startups as they develop and grow their ideas,” she said.
ilab has had further good news this week with the announcement of a private investment fund to be established in conjunction with Artesian Venture Partners and UniQuest.
CEO of UniQuest, Dr Dean Moss says that agreement, reached recently with Artesian Venture Partners, will build a $1.5m “Accelerate Investment Fund” which will invest in a subset of graduates from ilab’s Germinate Program.
“ilab has been achieving excellent results and we are proud to come together with Artesian Venture Partners to build the Accelerate Investment Fund which will offer private investors a vehicle to invest in a number of the early stage startup businesses coming through ilab,” he said.
Artesian Venture Partners has committed to raising a majority of the $1.5m fund and will be both investing in the fund itself and inviting private investors to participate.
Jeremy Colless, Managing Principal of Artesian Venture Partners says that the ilab incubator is already producing startups that are attractive to private investors and he is looking forward to the results that the collaboration will bring.
“The program and network access that ilab provides to its program participants accelerates and focuses their business development helping create robust, scalable ventures for angel and other early stage investors,” he said.
“We are looking forward to working with UniQuest in establishing the investment fund, supporting early stage start up businesses and producing successful commercial outcomes from the burgeoning Queensland tech start-up community,” he added.
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ilab was established by the Queensland Government in 2000 to support early stage, high-tech companies through the first few years of development by building their business management capabilities, fostering mentor networks for start-up founders, creating investor ready companies, and graduating companies with increased chances of success. ilab has incubated over 100 start-up companies and helped then raise over $70m in grant and investment capital to fund their growth and generate nearly 400 technology jobs. UQ Holdings Pty Ltd, a wholly owned subsidiary of The University of Queensland (UQ), acquired ilab in 2009. With continued funding from the State Government, ilab has become an independent division of another UQ Holdings subsidiary, UniQuest, with its own funding, staffing and management structure. ilab is supported by the Queensland Government.
About UniQuest Pty Limited
UniQuest is the main commercialisation company of The University of Queensland (UQ), specialising in the commercialisation of intellectual property, research outcomes and expertise. UniQuest delivers commercialisation outcomes which are valuable for UQ and profound for business, the environment, global communities and society as a whole.
UniQuest’s two business offerings – IP Commercialisation and Expertise Commercialisation – are designed to support UQ’s global strategy, industry engagement and reputation for excellence.
UniQuest benchmarks in the top 10 percent globally for university-based technology transfer. UniQuest-licensed UQ innovations are now generating annual sales of $3 billion. UQ superconductor technology, through licensing arrangements, is used in two-thirds of the world’s MRIs and more than 79 million doses of the life-saving Gardasil® cervical cancer vaccine, patented by UniQuest in 1991, have been distributed throughout 121 countries, including 72 developing countries.
For more information about UniQuest, please visit www.uniquest.com.au.
About The University of Queensland (UQ)
The University of Queensland, Australia, is one of the world’s premier teaching and research institutions. It is consistently ranked in the top 100 in the four leading independent global rankings. With more than 45,000 students and 7500 staff, UQ’s teaching is informed by research, and spans six faculties and eight research institutes.
About Artesian Venture Partners
Artesian is an alternative investment management company, which was spun out of ANZ Banking Group's capital markets business in 2004, with backing from ANZ Private Equity. Artesian's founding partners, purchased ANZ's stake in 2005. The company has subsequently been fully owned by partners and staff.
Since 2004, Artesian has managed specialist funds focused on credit arbitrage and relative-value strategies across global financial markets.
In 2009, while continuing to manage credit relative value investment strategies from its New York, London and Singapore offices, Artesian began to make principal investments in seed/early-stage ventures from its offices in Sydney, Melbourne and Shanghai.
Artesian's venture capital investment management strategy is to create co-investment funds with specialist partners such as accelerators, incubators, angel groups and universities.
In 2011, Artesian launched the first of its early stage venture capital funds, the $10m Sydney Angels Sidecar Fund.
In early 2013, Artesian launched the $10m Slingshot Venture Fund, in partnership with the Hunter Valley based regional accelerator, Slingshot.