• An appropriate Australian visa will be required to participate in the program once notified of your success. 

    Your Visa cannot be obtained through the Hot DesQ program and each recipient will need to apply for a visa directly through the Australian Government.

    Before you apply to the Hot DesQ program, please review the visa options available for your entry into Australia to work/start a business, to ensure you are eligible. Information on visas can be found at: http://www.australia.gov.au/help-and-contact/faqs/visas-and-immigration



  • 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 commence the Hot DesQ program.

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

The Hosts

  • 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. Please review your Hosts carefully before choosing and consider location and other information key to your particular startup. Should you be shortlisted, you will then be able to provide your preferences for your Host organisation and allocations will be confirmed. You can find more information about the Host organisations on the Why Queensland page.

    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.

  • No. We embed you with one 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.

The basics

  • Hot DesQ is Australia's first startup attraction 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.   

    • 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
    • Applicants may not have existing team members in Queensland
  • Hot DesQ applications for Round 2 are now closed. Contact hotdesq@dsiti.qld.gov.au to register your interest in Round 3.

    • 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 video interview with the judging panel.
    • Successful candidates will be announced by mid-2017

    For more detailed information about the program, eligibility and your application see the Hot DesQ Guidelines.

  • Applications close on 3 May 2017 and we expect to announce winners by mid-2017.

    We know visas and moving can take time, but our cohort will need to arrive in Queensland from Monday 7 August - Friday 18 August 2017

    Please keep this arrival date in mind, when nominating team members to relocate to Queensland.

  • Nominated team members of the successful applicants will need to base themselves full time in Queensland for at least six months to develop their startup. Of course, we’d love you to stay a lot longer!


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

  • No, your first payment will be made once you have established in Queensland and have a current Australian Business Number. However, you are able to apply the grant retrospectively to cover expenses such as any cost to visas, relocation costs and establishment costs, but you will not receive your first payment until you arrive in your Host organisation. 

  • 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.  Interstate Applicants will also need to ensure that a Queensland address is their main business location.
    Further information can be found at: https://www.ato.gov.au/business/international-tax-for-business/foreign-residents-doing-business-in-australia 

  • The Hot DesQ program has partnered with a number of organisations to help make your startups transition to Queensland as seamless and painless as possible.

    Varying from accounting to airlines, our partners will have you settled and growing your business in Queensland in no time.

    See the ‘Our Partners’ section on the home page for more information.

Program requirements

  • Three 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
    • Mentor local startups – it is a requirement of the program that you mentor at least two Queensland startups throughout your participation in the program.
  • 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.

    See the Hot DesQ Program Requirements for more information.

Other Details

  • 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, and the Australian Government.

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

  • 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 short term travel to develop your startup, strengthen networks, and access customers and investors. However this should be on the basis that you are living in Queensland, your Host and the Hot DesQ team are aware of your travel and your startup is being developed here. 

Let's talk money

  • 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, your startup community involvement and connections, the stage of your startup or product, market potential, and your impact of being in Queensland.

    The maximum funding of AUD$100,000 will be awarded to highly-experienced, innovative and connected startups, with the minimum funding amount as part of the Hot DesQ program being AUD$50,000. 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, for more information about the broader Queensland Government support, visit www.advance.qld.gov.au.  

  • 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 full-time in Queensland and getting engaged with the local startup community. 

    For more information about payment milestones – see the Hot DesQ Guidelines.


  • 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 and connections
    • stage of development and business traction
    • business model and approach to market
    • 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
  • Yes, however we’re keen to welcome a mix of early stage startups and experienced entrepreneurs to Queensland – check out the selection criteria for more information.

    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 or relocate your startup 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 entrepreneurial connections, or your impressive experience – all in 2 minutes or less.

    Your pitch video will form a key part of your application, so think about including:

    • About yourself, your team members and your experiences
    • Why are you applying to Hot DesQ?
    • What’s your existing product or startup? 
    • What value will you add to the Queensland startup community?
    • What problem are you solving?
    • What markets are you trying to capture?

    Think of it like your pitch to investors, but not as formal. It doesn’t need to be professional quality – just a phone is fine, as long as our judges can get some more information about you and your team and why you want to come to Queensland.

  • 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.

Application process

  • A panel of assessors and judges with business and investment expertise will review applications to determine the best startups to be offered a Hot DesQ place in Queensland.

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

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

    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.

About the program

  • There are a number of 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 landing support  to ensure the applicants settle in quickly.

    The Hosts also offer unique sectoral opportunities, such as tourism, ag-tech, mining, med-tech, social enterprise and robotics as well as providing specialist support like app development, B2B sales, creative industries, prototyping and e-commerce.  

    When you apply you can nominate your preferred region to base your startup – find out more about Queensland, on the Why Queensland page.  If you are successful in being shortlisted, you will be able to select your Hot DesQ Host organisation to base yourself for the duration of the program.

  • The program will provide desks in your Host organisation for up to four team members relocating to Queensland. If your startup has more team members wanting to relocate, you are still welcome to apply, however additional desks will have to be paid for.

  • As part of the Hot DesQ program, we need a team member from your startup to be based full time in Queensland working on your startup. Should other team members choose to visit or participate part-time, we would be happy to welcome them.

  • 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 here in Queensland.

    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.

About the Application

  • Applications are only accepted online.

    The application process has three stages:

    1. Stage One – you need to complete an online form AND submit a 1-2 minute video pitch.
    2. Stage Two – your application will be assessed against the selection criteria by a panel of independent assessors.
    3. Stage Three – if you are shortlisted, you will have a video interview with the panel of independent judges.