What is Business Development Fund?
The Business Development Fund is a program that helps Queensland businesses commercialise cutting edge research, or innovative ideas, products and services.
The Business Development Fund focuses on the growth of innovative Queensland businesses, particularly in the emerging industries of tomorrow. It will create high value, knowledge-based and skilled jobs now and into the future.
Through providing early stage co-investment funding, the Business Development Fund promotes angel and venture capital investment in Queensland-based businesses. This helps to facilitate the development of a sustainable private market for venture capital finance in Queensland.
The Queensland Government has appointed an independent Investment Panel consisting of experienced private investors who have a strong background in entrepreneurship, and early stage investment, particularly in innovative start-ups or growing technology businesses. The Panel reviews the applications and those that best meet the investment criteria are invited to pitch. Panel members make the final investment decision based on a majority vote.
There are no Government representatives on the Investment Panel and members make an independent investment decision.
As part of the 2018-19 budget, the Queensland Government committed an additional $40 million, bringing its total investment for the BDF to $80 million.
Investment decisions are made by an independent panel of experienced investors, and co-invests between $125,000 to $2.5 million through the fund – which must be at least matched by a private sector co-investor.
The BDF is part of Advance Queensland which is a comprehensive suite of programs designed to create the knowledge-based jobs of the future, drive productivity improvements and build on Queensland’s natural advantages.
An application must meet the following criteria to be eligible for Fund investment:
- The business must have the majority of its assets and employees located in Queensland.
- The co-investor’s investment in a business must at least match the investment sought from the Fund.
- The business must not have property development, land ownership, finance, or construction as its predominant activity.
- The business must not be an investment fund.
A co-investor can be:
- an individual investor
- an angel investor
- an investment business including a venture capital fund, or
- a syndicate of investors.
A co-investor must demonstrate a number of attributes, these are:
- Demonstrated commitment to, and track record in, making investments in seed and early stage businesses.
- Experience in providing support, management and mentorship to seed an early stage businesses.
- A strong and established reputation
- Ability to manage Fund reporting.
As the Fund aims to expand venture capital activity in Queensland, it seeks to encourage new co-investors to enter the market. Therefore, if a co-investor does not possess all of the attributes, it would need to demonstrate capacity to fulfil the role of a co-investor in investing, mentoring and supporting the growth of the business.
The business requiring investment must:
- Be commercialising research, an innovative idea or an innovative product or service.
- Require seed, early stage or follow-on investment.
- Create opportunities for new, high-value and skilled employment.
- Have a realistic prospect of becoming commercially successful.
- Be or become a proprietary or public company prior to any investment.
- Be an Australian registered company, or an Australian registered subsidiary of a foreign registered company, prior to any investment.
Applications open on an ongoing basis.
How to get the Business Development Fund?
You will need to focus on:
- Market opportunity – How well you understand your market
- Commercialisation strategy – Provide a brief outline of your commercialisation strategy
- Competitor analysis – Who are you competitors and what is different about them
- Company valuation – Provide a methodology justification for your company valuation
- Use of funds – Provide a brief outline of how you intend to use the investment funds
- Employment opportunity – Provide a brief outline of how you can provide employment opportunities in Queensland
- Co-investor position – Provide a brief outline of the co-investor’s track record and the role they will play in the your company
- Government priorities – Outline how Fund investment in the business will promote the Government’s priorities
JESI Management Solutions
JESI is a global management software company which has developed an affordable and scalable journey management software designed to assist companies track and monitor the safety of their staff whilst they travel.
Brisbane-based Tritium’s business model includes the development of fast-charging electric vehicle technology that will enable low-emission, vehicle charging. Tritium received both an investment and follow-on investment through the BDF.
MiCare Global Pty Ltd
MiCare Global operates cloud and mobile-enabled communications portals and compliance platforms which aggregates multiple apps, programs, functions and solutions into the one system.
EFTLab focuses on the electronic payment market with innovative software architecture that is customisable and scalable, enabling them to meet the future growth and changing needs of their customers.
Five Good Friends
Five Good Friends provides software platform connecting technology, people and the community by reinventing ‘traditional home care’ for the aged.
Water and Carbon Group
The Water and Carbon Group designs, builds and operates wastewater treatment systems using innovative systems with low energy and sustainable engineered solutions. The Water and Carbon Group received both an investment and a follow-on investment from the BDF.