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 or expand 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.   

  • Any entrepreneur currently based outside of Queensland with an existing startup or entrepreneurial experience can apply. 

  • 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!

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.

About the program

    • 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 startups throughout your participation in the program.

    For more information about the requirements as an incoming startup – see the Hot DesQ Guidelines. 

  • 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.

  • 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. It is also a requirement of the program that you mentor at least two startups throughout your participation in 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.

  • An Australian visa will be required to participate in the Hot DesQ program, but will not be provided through the Hot DesQ program.

    You will need to apply for a visa directly  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/information-and-services/immigration-and-visas


  • 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.