Brisbane entrepreneurs boost global prospects with grants

A world-first virtual reality experience to combat discrimination, a children’s interactive storytelling book and a paperless raffle ticket app are among the successful recipients of grants from the inaugural Lord Mayor’s Global Entrepreneur Program.

Lord Mayor Graham Quirk announced the 11 grant recipients today, following a competitive judging process involving more than 90 applications.

Cr Quirk said the Global Entrepreneur Program was part of a commitment to help grow existing businesses and to ensure Brisbane remained globally competitive in emerging industries.

“Brisbane is home to some of the world’s brightest minds and the Global Entrepreneur Program attracted some of the city’s leading businesses with huge growth potential,” Cr Quirk said.

“Each of the 11 grant recipients will be awarded up to $5000 to help their business reach new customers and tap into global markets.

“It’s important we embrace our Brisbane-based entrepreneurs, and the funds will help these businesses to finalise overseas contracts, meet with global investors and obtain professional advice for expanding.”

Judging panellist and Brisbane Chief Digital Officer Cat Matson said the program was continuing the city’s tradition of supporting innovation and talent.

“To have such unique businesses being established and run from our own backyard is immensely validating for Brisbane’s reputation as a talent hub,” Ms Matson said.

“Among those successful is Equal Reality, a business dedicated to overcoming discrimination in the workplace – which is solving a real-world issue.

“Another recipient, Virtual Legal, is breaking down the cost and access barriers to obtaining legal advice, regardless of geographic location or financial background.

“It’s promising to see such talent among this group as their businesses will ultimately bring benefits to the wider Brisbane community.”

Since 2012, more than 70 budding entrepreneurs have received funding to take their early-stage startups to the next level.

The Lord Mayor’s Global Entrepreneur Program is part of the Digital Brisbane 2.0 strategy, which outlines Brisbane’s commitment to evolving the city’s digital capabilities.