The basics

  • Hot DesQ is a startup relocation program, providing successful applicants with funding to base themselves in Queensland, Australia for a minimum of 6 months to grow their venture.

    As well as receiving funding of up to $100,000 (AUD), Hot DesQ participants will also be embedded within an established startup community, and be provided with free co-working space for 6 months, access to mentors, and support to achieve Hot DesQ Network points.   

  • Anyone currently based outside of Queensland with an existing startup, a new startup idea, or entrepreneurial experience can apply. Individuals and teams up to 4 people are eligible for the program.

  • Hot DesQ applications will be accepted from May 2016 until end July 2016. There will be an annual call for entries in following years.


  • Queensland is a huge region, with innovation opportunities in every sector. We’re looking for applicants with a wide variety of skills, ideas and experience. 

    Important factors in your application are:

    • your startup background
    • entrepreneurial experience
    • stage of development (if an existing startup)
    • business model
    • references from entrepreneurs, startup sector, customers
    • clarity of the startup idea and how it will be relevant to the marketplace
    • why you want to come to Queensland
  • No. We’re keen to welcome a mix of emerging and experienced entrepreneurs to Queensland.

    Hot DesQ is the right place for you if you’re:

    • an established startup that is looking to expand into the booming Asia-Pacific markets
    • a successful Aussie expat wanting to try your next venture back home
    • an emerging startup team or entrepreneur keen to be part of a vibrant and welcoming startup community, with a sensational lifestyle
  • Yes! We want you to tell us about your cool startup, your awesome next big idea, or your impressive experience – all in 2 minutes or less.

  • Yes. We want you to connect and collaborate with our local Queensland startups, entrepreneurs and investors. So basic English language skills (verbal and written) are required.

About the program

  • The level of funding that successful applicants are awarded will be decided by the expert Hot DesQ judging panel. They will take into account your level of experience, the stage of your startup or product, market potential, and your impact of being in Queensland.

    The maximum funding will be $100,000 to highly-experienced startups, with a minimum amount of $50,000 paid to emerging and early-stage startups. Only the top tier of applicants will be awarded the maximum amount. All funding is paid in Australian dollars, and is equity-free. 

    Hot DesQ recipients also get free co-working space for 6 months, plus access to apply to other government funding programs, such as the $10 million Ignite Ideas Fund, or the $40 million Business Development Fund. 

  • As the Hot DesQ program is for 6 months, payments will be made over the course of that time.

    You will receive a proportion of funding when you first arrive and then monthly payments thereafter. Your payments will be made on the basis that your Host verifies you’re working on your startup and getting engaged with the local startup community. 

  • There are 13 Hot DesQ Hosts across Queensland to choose from. They will provide access to free co-working space, mentors, business advice, networks and other support services. They will also provide a landing service to ensure the applicants settle in quickly.

    When you apply you can nominate 2 preferred Hot DesQ Hosts – and if successful you’ll be allocated to 1 of your preferred Hosts to base yourself for the duration of the program.

    The Hosts span 1700 kilometres (over 1100 miles) – from tropical rainforests and the Great Barrier Reef, through to sensational surf. The Hosts also offer quite unique sectoral opportunities – including tourism, ag-tech, mining, med-tech, social enterprise and robotics.  

  • Once we’ve helped you get settled and hooked up with your Host, it’s time to build your business.

    Your Host will help you get started, and provide access to mentors and business advisors to get your startup growing.

    Hosts will also support you to make connections and be really active in the Queensland startup community. The reason we want you to get engaged, is to connect with heaps of people in different places, and share your knowledge and skills with the locals. To measure your activity, we’ve developed Hot DesQ Network Points.

  • Network Points are how we will measure your contribution to the Queensland startup ecosystem. There are loads of activities that you can get involved in to earn your points – such as social media engagement, mentoring at hackathons, sharing knowledge with other startups, organising meetups, or giving a talk at a Queensland university.

    Different activities are worth different points. The point’s value of activities reflects the effort and community value. So giving a lecture to students at University is worth more than blogging online.

    You will need to earn 1000 points over the duration of the 6 months, with a minimum of 150 points per month. You get to choose what you do, as long as you earn the minimum number of points for 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.

  • Applications close at the end of July and we expect to announce winners by October 2016.

    If that’s you, the sooner you can make it, the better!

    We know visas and moving can take time, but we would like to have all successful applicants in Queensland by January 2017.

  • Successful applicants will need to base themselves in Queensland for at least six months to develop their startup. Of course, we’d love you to stay a lot longer!

  • 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: http://www.australia.gov.au/help-and-contact/faqs/visas-and-immigration

    • First, you’ll need to complete an online application form and submit a 1-2 minute video pitch.
    • Shortlisted applicants may have follow-up questions from judges.
    • Finalists will then be invited to take part in a Skype interview with the judging panel.
    • Successful candidates will be announced by October 2016.

    For more detailed information about the program, eligibility and your application click here

  • Hot DesQ applications will be accepted from May 2016 until end July 2016. There will be an annual call for entries in following years.