Innovation Ministers full of praise for new CCIQ Collaborate program

Tuesday 8 December, 2015 | By: Default Admin | Tags: Collaborate, innovation, start-ups

Federal Assistant Minister for Innovation Wyatt Roy says Collaborate – a unique accelerator designed to build businesses focused on solving the problems of business – is part of the “new economy” which will drive the nation’s prosperity.

Mr Roy, the Member for Longman, was in his home State today for the official launch of Collaborate and the #SmallBusinessChallenges campaign, a day after Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull announced the Federal Government’s $1.1 billion innovation and science package.

The Chamber of Commerce and Industry Queensland (CCIQ) has joined forces with BlueChilli, Suncorp Bank and Microsoft to create Collaborate and additional initiatives aimed at helping small businesses grow and lead the charge for innovation, creative thinking and problem solving.

“Innovation is the new black,” Mr Roy said, praising the work of CCIQ and its partners; his government’s bold new plans; and the newly appointed Queensland Minister for Innovation and Small Business Leeanne Enoch.

“These are incredibly exciting times. This is the new economy we are seeing today. It will drive our prosperity. Our future is looking incredibly bright.”

The Minister said that in a rapidly changing world, Australians had to embrace a new culture of doing business to ensure future prosperity.

“The reality for all of us is we either disrupt or die,” he said.

“We need to play to our strengths. We have got the best and brightest in Queensland. We have got the lifestyle to match. We need to harness it all and start building new enterprises and give them access to an incredible marketplace.”

Mr Roy said there were numerous “problems out there that need to be solved” on behalf of small businesses, and CCIQ and its partners through the Collaborate program were providing an exceptional opportunity for entrepreneurs and start-ups to come up with the solutions.

Ms Enoch, fresh from being sworn in at Government House as the new State Innovation and Small Business Minister, said collaboration was the key to innovation.

“We must find ways of working together to create ideas for the future,” she said.

“The best way to innovate is to collaborate. We want to see universities, small business, government and industry working together … where great ideas can be turned into great commercial opportunities for our State.”

Ms Enoch, outlining the Palaszczuk Government’s own $180 million Advance Queensland innovation package, said that budding entrepreneurs and start-ups were already in Queensland and there was “no need to go offshore or to other parts of the country” to find them.

CCIQ’s CEO Stephen Tait said Collaborate had been 12 months’ in the making and that his 150-year-old organisation had changed dramatically in order to bring the program to market.

“It had become essential to take advantage of the unique culture that is developing,” he said.

Mr Tait explained how Collaborate was launched as a direct response to the challenges facing businesses and would offer free-of-charge residency, access to programs, resources, mentors and opportunities to businesses who could meet those challenges.

“We want businesses to come forward, who can meet those challenges head on and develop, create or adapt products and services that will aid the productivity, profitability and sustainability of small businesses,” he said.

“Collaborate is just the start.”

BlueChilli CEO Sebastien Eckersley-Maslin said his company was delighted to be coming to Brisbane to launch Collaborate, with the ultimate plan being to take the 10 best ideas from collaboration to market launch.

He detailed how a panel would consider applications for space within the Collaborate hub at Spring Hill and following a pitch process, businesses would be invited into a six-month residency where BlueChilli experts would put businesses through its start-up program.

The Top 10 would receive investment support up to $100,000.

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