The CEA Startup Fund invests in high-growth, scalable businesses that are tackling global markets in the creative industries.

The CEA Startup Fund is the first dedicated investment fund in Australia that specialises in accelerating the growth of companies in the creative industries and was established by QUT Creative Enterprise Australia. $1.2M is available for commercial investment through the Fund, with a mandate to generate a commercial return while helping creative businesses access much-needed capital for growth.

Our Investments

Since launching in July 2013, the CEA Startup Fund has invested in visual search technology company, TrademarkVision (previously See-Out Pty Ltd), prom dress fast-fashion e-retailer Fame and Partners, augmented reality nail art company Metaverse Makeovers, quality bespoke goods marketplace Handkrafted and crowdsourced live music startup GiggedIn.

Fame and Partners

CEA Portfolio Company
Fame and Partners is a vertically integrated eCommerce business that sells ...


CEA Portfolio Company
TrademarkVision is an award-winning image recognition technology company that ...


CEA Portfolio Company
Bluethumb is Australia’s largest art marketplace, connecting collectors, art ...

Audience Republic

CEA Portfolio Company
Audience Republic helps event organisers amplify their ticket sales. Organisers ...


CEA Portfolio Company
GiggedIn is on a mission to make live music a part of every person's weekly ...


CEA Portfolio Company
Travelshoot is Australia’s first destination photography service which ...

Metaverse Makeovers

CEA Portfolio Company
Metaverse Makeovers is a wearable tech startup specialising in augmented ...


CEA Portfolio Company
Handkrafted is an online marketplace that connects skilled craftspeople and ...
Frequently Asked Questions
What sort of businesses does the CEA Startup Fund invest in?

Just being “creative” or employing creative people does not make a business an investment candidate for the Startup Fund.

CEA accelerates companies with a focus on design, fashion, entertainment, photography, music, film and television, digital technology, games and interactive content.

The CEA Startup Fund is specifically focused on high-growth, scalable businesses that are tackling global markets within the creative industries. Many of the companies we have considered for investment could be viewed as "tech startups" by other investors, and we are very open to co-investing with mainstream early-stage investors including angels and Venture Capital funds.

Although we’re not limited to investing in “creative-tech” companies, the sweet spot for us is companies that use the internet to give them access to global markets and to scale rapidly in the creative industries.

For more detailed information on our investment criteria, read this article.

How much do you invest?

We invest between A$25,000 and A$150,000 in startup businesses with high-growth potential in the creative industries in Australia.

Is the CEA Startup Fund a grant? No. The fund operates as a commercial investment vehicle and takes an equity stake on an arms length commercial basis. We do not provide grant funding.

What sort of businesses does the CEA Startup Fund not invest in? The CEA Startup Fund does not invest in:
  • Creative artisans whose business is based on selling their individual creative output (eg. painters, sculptors, musicians).
  • Businesses based on selling time (consulting services, graphic design agencies etc)
  • Traditional fashion labels
This activity, while important, is not "highly-scalable". If you run one of these businesses within the creative industries, please consider some of CEA's other services.

The CEA Startup Fund also does not invest in charitable, not-for-profit or social enterprise organisations, companies seeking funding to pay off bank or personal debt and businesses that are not in the creative industries Can CEA help my business even if it does not meet the fund’s investment criteria?

If you're running a creative small business that doesn't fit our investment criteria, we'd still love to work with you - CEA offers business mentoring programs and networking events that might be more suitable to your needs. If in doubt, we're always happy to have a chat so feel free to contact us.

If you operate in the visual or performing arts and are based in Queensland, CEA is one of the consortium partners which manage the Arts Business Investment Fund. For further details on how to apply for ABIF, visit:

If you have read the CEA Startup Fund guidelines and your business meets the fund’s investment criteria,
please complete the CEA Startup Fund Expression of Interest