Lord Mayor Graham Quirk is crediting Brisbane’s startup hub The Capital with helping to drive new investment and jobs in the city, with close to $15 million of new capital raised in the past 18 months. Located in the Queen Street Mall, The Capital is a Brisbane City Council funded co-working space to nurture entrepreneurs and connect startups with government, corporates and investors.

Cr Quirk said that in its first 18 months of operation, The Capital had created 185 new jobs, raised $14.95 million of capital and become home to more than 125 startup companies. “Brisbane is truly earning its place as one of the most desirable cities to grow a startup business, which is vital as cities across the world compete for talent and skills in emerging industries,” Cr Quirk said. “The Capital forges an innovative ecosystem where Brisbane’s most enterprising minds inspire, influence and work alongside each other. We opened The Capital 18 months ago with the aim of connecting startups with investors, government and corporates and we’re already seeing great success.”

Brisbane Chief Digital Officer Cat Matson said the initiative was continuing the city’s tradition of supporting innovation and talent. “Brisbane recently cemented its place as having the second-highest number of startups in the country,” Ms Matson said. “Data compiled by Startup Muster showed in 2017, Brisbane held more than 15 percent of startup offices nationally, second only to Sydney. The city has a thriving startup industry and we want emerging entrepreneurs to be able to scale their business here, because we know that Brisbane has a lot to offer as a place to work and live. In addition to spaces like The Capital, entrepreneurs have hubs like Arc Hardware Incubator in Fortitude Valley, which is enhancing the overall offering for Brisbane based startups.”

The Capital, guided by startup powerhouses Fishburners and Little Tokyo Two, is home to more than 125 scalable startups that are building a tech product or platform. The creation of a startup hub is part of a $5 million commitment over five years to nurture and expand Brisbane’s startup community.

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