A map of the Queensland innovation ecosystem was recently released, capturing a representation of spaces, institutions, and organisations involved in helping entrepreneurs build, grow, and scale.
Caveats and descriptions
Work in progress and missing logos
As soon as the map is released, we become aware of missing logos. There are so many great organisations involved that support the entrepreneur’s journey. Some will be missed from the map, and many embarrassingly obvious. If this is you, apologies, please comment below or send me an email.
Scope and context
The scope of the map is the state of Queensland, and organisations with a base of operations in or operating out of Queensland. Other maps exist for a specific region like the Sunshine Coast which may have further detail.
The construct of an “innovation ecosystem” is used to capture the underlying system that drives innovation. Another construct that could be used is the “entrepreneur ecosystem” to place the emphasis on the entrepreneur as the primary actor, similar to the use of a “startup ecosystem” which narrows the focus further to the structure of the startup.
Innovation ecosystem is used for now, and it may evolve to entrepreneur ecosystem.
Level of detail
The map focuses on the organisation level of those involved in supporting the entrepreneur journey. It does not get to the detail of individual startups or entrepreneurs. A map for individual startups is in progress.
Building on past work
The map builds on past thinking, including:
- Ways to look at ecosystems,
- A map of the Australian innovation ecosystem,
- A map of Queensland’s innovation spaces and programs, and
- Examples of other ecosystem representations
A further list is maintained on the OQCE website. The map also builds and supports the great work being done by others including Techboard, Startup Muster, StartupAus, and other great national lists such as the Airtree Spreadsheet and the Australian Startup Resources list from Right Click Capital’s Garry Visiontay.
Also a shout out to other Australian states and cities doing great work in this area. Keen to continue to share and learn from each other’s efforts for the benefit of the entrepreneurs.
Taxonomy / Categorisation
There are many involved in the journey of an entrepreneur and innovation development. A note on the segmentation used:
- Coworking / Innovation Hubs: An innovation hub is distinguished as a physical or virtual space that has resources and programs dedicated to helping entrepreneurs build, grow, and scale. This is distinct from a coworking space which can also provide a shared work environment but does not have a stated purpose and supporting resources focused on startups and entrepreneurs.
- Connection, Events, and Education: A catch-all for entities that support the entrepreneur journey but are not in the other categories. This includes what I refer to as “glue” agencies, seperate entities that bring the ecosystem together. Each region typically has one, such as Startup Mackay or Startup Toowoomba, and each state has an overarching entity such as The Office of the Queensland Chief Entrepreneur, LaunchVic and StartupVictoria, and MeshPoints and StartupWA in Western Australia.
- Accelerator, Incubator, and Ideation programs: Structured programs for supporting entrepreneurs that have a start and a stop and are typically cohort based. Some of these may be one-off and others are ongoing.
- Hackerspace / Makerspace: Places that offer physical technologies to create, while not necessarily focusing on entrepreneurial outcomes. An over-emphasis on commercialisation can impact on the creative process, but the hacker tinkering with VR may come up with a new scalable piece of hardware.
- Investment and Advisory: Investment from angel groups, venture capitalists, and other advisory groups with access to funds. These are outside of traditional banking financial institutions.
- Corporations: These are companies active in supporting entrepreneurs through investment and public programs. This is an area in particular that will expand rapidly as more corporations who are doing great work in supporting entrepreneurs are added.
- Government: These are the government agencies or entities that exist almost entirely on government funding with programs specifically for startups and entrepreneurs. There are many economic development departments in local governments that are investing in spaces and programs for entrepreneurs, and listing each may become an all or nothing approach. This will evolve.
- Universities: Universities with programs specifically designed for supporting entrepreneurs beyond academic theory or traditional curriculum.
- Current omissions: Current omissions that need to be added include dedicated entrepreneur media such as Beach City Media and research (CRCs, CSIRO, Data61). The map also does not get to the level of detail of individual service providers.
The map is not perfect, and as mentioned there are known omissions. But in the interest of shipping over perfect, it will do for this release. All data points are also in a back end system and a more dynamic version is in progress.
Your feedback is welcome. Please comment below and let me know what is missing to be included in the next release.
Sources and about me
The map has been developed as part of my role with the Office of the Queensland Chief Entrepreneur, working with the Queensland MIT REAP project, and ongoingPhD research as part of a wider Australian project.
Background as mentor, investor, entrepreneur, running an innovation hub, and now researching how best to make a broader impact on humanity.