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Why the Gold Coast is prime startup territory

By Greg Bell

Unicorns aren't so hard to find these days. The term 'Unicorn' refers to successful companies like Uber, AirBnB and Snapchat: small tech startups that exploded into billion-dollar industries almost overnight.

These mythical creatures aren't just found in Silicon Valley, they're popping up everywhere and Australia has their fair share of them. Companies like Atlassian, Campaign Monitor and Menulog are all prime examples of Australian-made Unicorns, according to the Australian Financial Review.

The startup ecosystem in the Gold Coast recently received a boost that is sure to attract talent far and wide. In the hopes of producing the next Unicorn, will this new hub of innovation inject a boost to industrial leasing in the area?

Gold Coast: a hotspot for entrepreneurs

In media release by the Queensland government, the Gold Coast is set to see an injection in the local startup economy with the announcement of the $8million Advance Queensland Hot DesQ entrepreneurial program will be based in the city.

According to Innovation Minister Leeanne Enoch, the two startups – Much Better Adventures and Skin Analytics, will be a welcome boost to other local businesses in the area.

"They will work very closely with local startups on the Gold Coast, sharing their experiences and providing that all important insight into how to grow a successful business," Ms Enoch said. "These startups have extensive entrepreneurial experience and business connections and will be of huge benefit to our local entrepreneurs on the Gold Coast." 

The Hot DesQ program is designed to attract both local and international interest to the area, creating a nurturing environment that will hopefully accelerate the startup industry and growth of commercial businesses in the area, according to Queensland Chief Entrepreneur Mark Sowerby.

"We're attracting some of the best and brightest from around the world. They are bringing this huge wealth of expertise, experience and knowledge in running successful startups to Queensland, which will be of enormous benefit to our local budding entrepreneurs," Mr Sowerby said.

It's not just the government supporting the innovation culture. Australian expat and Silicon Valley entrepreneur Ben Sand believes that it's start-ups on the Gold Coast and south-east Queensland that could be the big winners. Speaking to Business News Australia, the co-founder of Meta,  plans to bring $2 billion worth of investments into Australia, with a focus on south-east Queensland (including the Gold Coast), by 2018. Other programs, such as Google-powered Startup Weekend is a hotbed of activity with the hopes of creating Australia's next unicorn. Happening in March 2017, this fast-paced environment crams the highs, lows, funs and pressures in a 52 hour period turning ideas into action.

Finding the right business in the Gold Coast

According to the City of Gold Coast's 'City in focus' report, the Gold Coast holds unique opportunity for startups in the health, technology and knowledge based companies. With the Gold Coast University Hospital, Griffith University and the Gold Coast Private Hospital in close proximity to each other, there's a hive of activity in these industries waiting for the right business to come along. 

Business in general in Queensland is looking up. In the NAB's monthly business survey, business confidence Australia-wide has rebounded since mid-2016, yet it is Queensland that is leading the pack in terms of positive trends. As of December 2010, Queensland is the most positive state in terms of business confidence, highlighting an opportunity for startups to capitalise on this trend.

To find out more about locating the right industrial property to take part in this swell of innovation in the Gold Coast, start a conversation with the team at Ray White Surfer's Paradise today.

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