CEA helps Hot DesQ entice more startups to Australia

Australia’s creative-tech hub, QUT Creative Enterprise Australia (CEA), has today announced that two new startups will establish Australian operations onsite, via Queensland Government’s Advance Queensland Hot DesQ initiative.

Artificial Intelligence (AI) biographer, Eternime, has secured a $100,000 grant from HotDesQ to help expand from its Romanian base. Fresh from concluding a similar program at Startup Chile, Eternime will complete a six-month stint at CEA where it will continue to evolve its platform that collects the thoughts, stories and memories of users, building them into a personalised avatar that will make users virtually immortal.

To date, Eternime has already secured a waitlist of 30,000 users globally looking to establish an online historical footprint.

The other startup to benefit from the Hot DesQ initiative is Sydney-based custom fashion house, Citizen Wolf, who’s fashion-tech platform recently secured a spot in the Creative3 Pitch finals in September.

Inspired by the success of Shoes of Prey and CEA-backed Fame & Partners, Citizen Wolf will use the $50,000 Hot DesQ grant to launch a second retail presence in Brisbane, where it will continue to develop its platform that creates 100 per cent organic, handmade cotton t-shirts tailored to fit your shape and style, using an intuitive Self-Fit® system.

Both startups selected CEA from the 13 Queensland Government approved Hot DesQ hosts, due to a natural alignment of their creative-tech business models. To date, CEA has supported over 500 creative industry businesses on site, collectively raising over $60 million in capital.

CEA will host Eternime and Citizen Wolf for a six-month period, helping the teams to connect to the local startup networks, provide access to mentors and its onsite coworking space, The Coterie, business advice, access to its incubator masterclass program, and other levels of support required to accelerate their growth.

CEO of QUT Creative Enterprise Australia, Anna Rooke, said: “We are very excited to welcome both Eternime and Citizen Wolf to CEA. Both startups are building amazing platforms within the creative-tech arena, and we look forward to helping them accelerate their growth throughout the Australian market.

“We’ve recently seen huge success stories arise in the Australian creative-tech space, such as Redbubble’s $288 million IPO, as well as Canva’s recent $20 million raise. This is just the tip of the iceberg as we continue to back this emerging innovation category,” Ms Rooke added.

CEA was the first host to welcome a Hot DesQ recipient, with U.S. startup TimeLooper joining in July. The arrival of Eternime and Citizen Wolf is testament to Hot DesQ’s mission to entice more international and interstate startups to the state.

Speaking on Eternime and Citizen Wolf’s arrival in Queensland via the $8 million Hot DesQ program, Innovation Minister Leeanne Enoch said, “The Palaszczuk Government is positioning Queensland as a global hub for creative and innovative tech startups.”

“The talent we are attracting to Queensland through the Hot DesQ program bring with them great experience, international connections and networking potential that can only benefit our growing startup ecosystem.

“By supporting our local innovators and entrepreneurs through Advance Queensland and providing them with exposure to successful and experienced startups from other countries we are creating the right conditions for economic growth and job creation,” Ms Enoch said.

The Hot DesQ initiative is part of the $405 million whole-of-government Advance Queensland agenda providing a suite of programs to support the growth of startups and business, and increase innovation activity and venture capital investment.

This Australian-first Hot DesQ program is modelled on successful international programs such as Startup Chile, which has been running since 2010, and the French Tech Ticket, which was launched just last year.

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