Queensland Government backed Horizons Accelerator helped Brisbane Airport Corporation learn to innovate

 By Ben Hutt, Chief Program Director, Slingshot Accelerator

A boost for regional entrepreneurship, Horizons was the first accelerator program of a three-year engagement with the Queensland Government’s Advance Queensland initiative.

Last year, Slingshot Accelerator won this grant to run the Horizons accelerator to support the development of local Startup talent and tourism. Given the role innovation plays in growing an already $25 billion asset for the Queensland economy, Brisbane Airport Corporation (BAC) signed on as the corporate partner.

“BAC chose to be involved in a Slingshot program because we really needed to learn. But we’re also very keen to identify and support new ideas. We think that by pushing existing boundaries, we will be able to tap into disruptive thinking and technologies that will help us look for new ways of growing passenger demand into Queensland and to create unique tourism experiences – not only for our business, but for new businesses.”
Julieanne Alroe Former CEO, Brisbane Airport Corporation

Highlights from Demo Day

The cohort boasted some of the most experienced travel entrepreneurs in the industry, including InnaReviews cofounder Paul Lupson who was formerly a director at Expedia and RoomRanger, a StartMate alumni whose experienced team have worked on product for leading companies, like ANZ, Heinz, Wesfarmers and Nestle.

Horizons also saw Slingshot reaffirm its support of Not-For-Profit businesses, with the inclusion of Indigenous Tour Agency and Reef Restoration Foundation.

At Slingshot we often say that to raise a child takes a family, but to raise a Startup takes a community, and we all know what an amazing community Queensland have.

As with all our accelerators, we gather a really eclectic, special group of people; and the Horizons cohort, which ran out of Cairns and Brisbane, is no exception. There were some amazing businesses, all at different stages of their lives.

The process Startups go through is really interesting, where Slingshot spends about a month helping re-refine the business model and get close to customers – understand that they’re solving a problem that is meaningful, not just to them, but to someone who is actually going to give them some money at some point in time – and then we help them grow.

For a full list of the Horizons alumni, click here 

The Horizons Accelerator will be run again in late 2018.

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