Detailed FAQ


Hot DesQ is a brand new program that offers everyone from early-stage and established startups, to successful Australian expats, the chance to base themselves in the Queensland startup community.

We are offering up to AUD$100,000 to add your startup smarts to our industry strengths so you can make all the right moves.

We want new entrepreneurial talent to come to Queensland and share knowledge, experience, ideas and give back to the local startup ecosystem.


The basics


Who can apply?

  • International or interstate startups/entrepreneurs that are committed to moving to Queensland (for at least 6 months) to work on their startup full-time
  • Startup teams up to 5 years old
  • Individual entrepreneurs looking for their next venture
  • Teams to have a maximum of 4 members (that will relocate to Queensland)
  • Applicants (and team members) must be aged 18 years or over


Application process?

Applications are only accepted online.

The application process has two stages:

  1. Stage One – you need to complete an online form AND submit a 1-2 minute video pitch.
  2. Stage Two – if you are shortlisted, you will have a Skype interview with the board of judges.

More details about eligibility and applications are below.


What does Hot DesQ expect from me?

Two things:

  • Get engaged! Through Network Points activity we want you to share your skills, experience and contacts with local Queensland startups
  • Grow your startup! Queensland’s vibrant and energetic startup community will help you do it


How does the funding work?

The judging panel have the discretion of awarding up to $100,000 (Australian) per successful startup. The judges will evaluate the applicant’s level of experience and potential of their startup, and then if shortlisted will allocate funding accordingly.

The minimum amount awarded will be $50,000 to more emerging entrepreneurs and startups, through to $100,000 to applicants that have high-levels of experience and skills, and evident potential to make a significant impact in Queensland.      

When applying to Hot DesQ please consider that if shortlisted you may be awarded $50,000. Only the top tier of applicants will be awarded the maximum amount.


How do I get paid and when?

You will receive an initial payment of 25% when you first arrive in Queensland and have commenced with your Host, and then monthly payments of 10% for the duration of the program. You will then receive your final milestone payment of 25% that will help you with further capital to continue to grow your business in Queensland.

Your monthly payments will be made on the basis that you are working full-time on your startup, and have earned adequate Network Points for the month – as verified by your Host.  


What are Network Points?

Hot DesQ Network Points are a proxy to measure your contribution to the Queensland startup ecosystem.

1000 Network Points are required to be earned over the 6 month duration of the program.

There are numerous activities that you can get involved in to earn your points. Activities range from engaging in social media, subscribing to industry newsletters, participating at a startup weekend, presenting at events, or delivering a lecture at a Queensland university. Different activities are worth different points. The point’s values reflect the effort and community value of the activity. So giving a lecture to students at University is worth more than blogging online.

You get to choose what you do, as long as you earn the minimum number of points per month (150) to stay on the program. Your Host will validate the activities for reporting.

You’ll be given the list of activities and the point’s values in your welcome pack when you arrive.


How long does Hot DesQ last for?

Successful applicants will base themselves in Queensland for at least 6 months to develop their startup ventures. At the end of your 6 months, we will provide your final milestone payment, which we hope will help you to stay in Queensland and continue to build your business.

All program participants are responsible for ensuring they have the correct visas to work and operate a business in Australia. 




Do I need to speak English?

Yes. You will need to be able to communicate in English both verbally and in writing.


What needs to be in my pitch video?

The pitch video needs to be short – 2 minutes or less. In the video, you could consider some of the following questions:

  • Introduce yourself/the team, your background and experience
  • Why are you applying to Hot DesQ?
  • What’s your existing product, or new startup idea? 
  • What value will you add to the Queensland startup community?
  • What problem are you solving?
  • What markets are you trying to capture?
  • What’s your ambition?

The online application portal will ask you to upload your YouTube or Vimeo link. Make sure there is NO password protection please. The video must be in English.


What are the selection criteria?

The assessment process will consider:

  • startup background and/or entrepreneurial experience
  • stage of development
  • business model
  • global scalability
  • references from entrepreneurs, startup sector, customers
  • clarity of the startup idea and how it will be relevant to the marketplace
  • why you want to build your startup in Queensland
  • English language level




When can I apply?

Applications open 1 May 2016 and close on 31 July 2016. Applications can be submitted at any stage during that period.

Only one application per startup team can be submitted in 2016.  


When do I move to Queensland?

Hot DesQ applications close at the end of July 2016, with shortlisting and assessment taking place over the next 2 months. Winners will be announced in October 2016.

If you’re offered a position on Hot DesQ, we’d love you to come as soon as you can, but all recipients will need to arrive in Queensland by Monday 16 January 2017 (at the latest).


Application process


Who reviews my application?

A panel of judges with industry expertise will review applications to determine the best startups to move to Queensland through Hot DesQ.

The judging panel will be profiled throughout the course of the application period.


Who has access to my application?

Hot DesQ judges and officials will review all applications. All documents will be kept completely confidential and only able to be accessed by judges and staff directly involved in delivering the program.

When you lodge your online application, you’ll have the option to accept an emailed receipt of lodgement.


Will I be notified if I’m successful or not?

Every applicant will be officially notified, whether successful or not.

If your application is deemed unsuccessful by the panel of judges you will receive an email notifying of the decision.

If your application is successful, you will receive an email outlining the next steps for the program, and contact details to engage directly with Hot DesQ staff.


Will I get any feedback if rejected?

No. Feedback is unable to be provided to all applicants.

The judging panel may provide feedback to those shortlisted applicants that participate in a skype interview, however that will be at the discretion of the panel.


If my application is not successful, what can I do?

If your application is not successful in the 2016 program, you may apply again in the 2017 program. 


If my startup gets selected, what are the next steps?

If your application is shortlisted by the panel of judges, you will be contacted by email to arrange a Skype interview. You may also be asked to provide written answers to any further questions the judges may have.

Further information will be provided at the time if you are shortlisted to interview stage.


The Hosts


What is the role of the Host?

A network of Hosts has been established across Queensland and successful applicants will get to nominate their preferred Hosts with which to base their operations for the duration of the program.

Hosts will provide free co-working space, access to mentors, networks and other assistance. They will also provide landing support to help applicants settle quickly into life in Queensland.

Your Host will support you to get started on building your startup, and will also support you to make connections and be really active in the Queensland startup community and achieve your required level of Network Points through active involvement with local startups. The reason we want you to be an active member of the Queensland startup community is to connect with heaps of people in different places, and share your knowledge and skills with the locals.

Hosts are also responsible for providing regular reports to the Queensland Government about applicant information, program milestones, outcomes, and achievement of mandatory levels of Network Points.


Can I change Hosts once I get to Queensland?

No. We embed you with 1 ongoing Host to ensure you (and your team) get the best start and are able to settle quickly and focus on building your startup. We also need to ensure that each Host has the ability to give you the best experience and attention. To achieve this, we embed Hot DesQ participants in 1 Host location.




Who will help me before my arrival to Queensland?

If you are successful, both the staff at Hot DesQ and your Host will be able to help you with any questions you may have about relocation, and help facilitate your move to Queensland.


Do I get a visa through Hot DesQ?

No, entrepreneurs selected through Hot DesQ have to apply for visas through the Australian Government.

Before you apply, please review the visa options available for your entry into Australia to start a business and ensure you may be eligible. Information on visas can be found at:


Can I be accepted in the program and get my visa rejected?

Yes. Your application for a visa must follow standard procedures through the Australian Government. If you are not successful in gaining an appropriate visa you will not be able to start the Hot DesQ program.

We suggest that before you start your application that you review visa requirements in order to avoid any problems.


Other Details


Can I apply for other grants once I am in Queensland?

Yes. You can apply for other grants programs that you are eligible for while you’re here. Innovation and startups are receiving unrivalled support in Queensland right now, and there are a number of grants programs you may be able to apply for from both the Queensland Government’s, as well as from the Australian Government. Your Host will help you identify grants you may be eligible to apply for.

For more information on the Queensland Government’s support programs for startups please visit: Advance Queensland.


Can I travel and work on my startup?

You are required to be based in Queensland for the duration of the program and working full-time on your startup. This doesn’t preclude you from travelling to develop your startup, strengthening networks, and accessing customers and investors. However this should be on the basis that you are living in Queensland and your startup is being developed here. 


Will I need to register as a business in Queensland?

Yes. Successful applicants will need to register for an Australian Business Number (ABN) and be registered for GST in order to receive funding from the Queensland Government. Applicants should designate their main business location as Queensland.
Further information can be found at: