Year in review

The Coterie

Our coworking space, The Coterie has recently welcomed a swell of new members from all professions including writers, filmmakers, graphic designers, business owners, media agencies and of course, our latest Hot DesQ cohort. A number of long standing office teams have graduated, including Alpha Digital, an agency that grew from a team of two to almost thirty in the span of five years.

We’ve also had some terrific events, with ‘Hot DesQ Female Founders’ taking the crown as this year’s most attended Town Hall. Members got to hear the founding stories from women in a number of creative tech roles, which included a cooking app, cryptocurrency bank, cloud sharing, sex tech and gaming.

“The Coterie is an ideal location for us. Working alongside other innovators and entrepreneurs from around world is incredibly valuable.” – Graham Ross, Kusaga Athletic


Interview with Stranger Films

Sydney Startup Kusaga Athletic is creating eco-friendly active wear


HotDesQ recipients, Bryony Cole, Kate Kendall, Nikki Durkin, Louise Croft, Andra Georgescu


We held our third year of Fashion360, which saw a number of incredibly talented local designers make their debut into the world of fashion design. An intense six month program with each week comprising of masterclasses and workshops, as well as one on one sessions with our resident Fashion Development Manager, Thuy Nguyen.

The designers successfully showcased their lines to an audience of media giants, fashion industry experts and local investors at their runway demo day.

“I learned so much from the mentors and community at CEA, giving me the tools and solid grounding to get my label launched and looking to the future.” – Evie Willsteed, Genkstasy

The six graduates included:

  • Evie Willsteed (Genkstasy) a gender neutral, hip-hop inspired label.
  • Lorraine White (White Lane) embellished corsetry and accessories.
  • Alexandra Coleborn (Gloria Dulcie) whimsical, nostalgically inspired linen wear.
  • Tahlia and Aisha Bowie (Bowie Empire) a Torres Strait Islander lifestyle line.
  • Kathrin Bonfigt (miss Summer) a boutique beach and surf wear brand.


Breakout Australian designers unveil collection to fashion industry heavyweights

A Day in the Life: Fashion Designer Evie Willsteed

Brisbane-based Gloria Dulcie’s move to onshore production


Lorraine White, Kathrin Bonfigt, Alexandra Coleborn, Tahlia Bowie, Evie Willsteed

Startup Weekend

Startup Weekend is a 54-hour event where hackers, hustlers, and hipsters from creative and tech come together to make their business idea a reality. Teams are formed at the startup of the weekend and tasked to come up with a creative tech solution to a pressing problem. In exchange, they get a taste for what it’s really like to be an entrepreneur.

The winner of Startup Weekend 2017 was ArtLife – an app that allows you to easily retrieve photos from your life’s events. ArtLife took out the competition, beating other ideas including 3D printing for affordable houses, wearable technology to help assist athletes’ and music tech concepts to automate venue bookings. Shortly after Startup Weekend, ArtLife was accepted into the Collider Accelerator program under the name of Sortal.

Discover more about SUW 2018.

Press: ArtLife named winner of CEA’s Startup Weekend


Majella Edwards and Sarah Smith (Sortal)

Collider Accelerator

We successfully launched our first Collider Accelerator program this year and have been busily preparing for 2018. It has been a particularly exciting time for co-founding team Creatively Squared who went on to win Creative³ Pitch. Part of the prize was to represent Australia at the world renowned creative industries pitching competition, Creative Business Cup. From there they also took place in the exclusive Virgin StepUp program.

Carisma has also successfully secured a place in the River City Labs Accelerator program while Sortal has been preparing for a soft launch of their app.

The CEA team has been humbled by the incredible achievements of the investment companies – the inaugural cohort, and would like to say a special congratulations to each of them.

“I wish I had access to Collider program at the start of my startup Journey. I could have saved three years.” – Himanshu Bhutani, Shimble

The nine graduates included:

  • The Afternoon: Custom tailoring for men.
  • Alma and Bramble: An online marketplace that connects emerging designers to customers.
  • BlkTatu: Autonomous drone delivery.
  • Carisma: Visual reports for automotive customers.
  • Creatively Squared: An online collective platform that pairs content creators with businesses.
  • Peekal: A short-term retail popup that allows online fashion labels to have a retail presence at low cost.
  • Sortal: Helps customers to manage and organise their digital memories.
  • Shimble: Access international tailors at an affordable price.


QUT Creative Enterprise Australia launches Australia’s first creative tech accelerator

Brisbane Collider startups: showcasing the future of creative technology


Mark B Johnson (Entrepreneur in Residence) speaking at Collider Demo Day


In one action-packed day, we had over 400 attendees; four creative tech founders pitch their startups to investors; 21 speakers; three competition winners; four zombie hunters, and one woman who tweeted about Creative³ over 100 times!

The panel of speakers flew in from across the world to join the conversation, right in the heart of Brisbane. They spoke about many of the challenges creative tech entrepreneurs face including investment, growth, product development, and future trends for the industry.

“Terrific day at Creative3, great to have such brilliant speakers in Brisbane to talk about creative tech.” Richard Gardiner


Meet Creatively Squared, the Brisbane startup heading to Copenhagen to represent Australia in a global pitch competition

Brisbane start-up Creatively Squared wins top prize at Creative³ Pitch

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1 Reply to "Year in review"

  • comment-avatar
    Clare Treston
    December 21, 2017 (7:35 am)

    Gorgeous – congrats team! Miss you all so much. All the best for 2018 🙂

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