SURF’s up for new Gold Coast accelerator


Gold Coast accelerator Start-Up Really Fast (SURF) officially launched on Wednesday and is seeking startups that wish to participate in its pilot program.


SURF is a 12-week full-time mentor-driven program that aims to help businesses find a business model, win customers and gain traction.


Funded by the City of Gold Coast, SURF’s key focus is on startups that are chasing large global markets with exceptional technical expertise.


Acting Mayor Donna Gates says in a statement the city’s support for the SURF program was tied to the aims of the Economic Development Strategy.


“City-wide this financial year, we have allocated a total of $2.8 million for industry incentive and business programs with the aim of creating more jobs,” she says.


“In backing this program, we are working towards diversifying our economy and building the innovation sector. By 2020, our aim is to see a city thriving with knowledge-based, start-up and entrepreneurial businesses.”


Gold Coast-based incubator Silicon Lakes launched SURF, and director Aaron Birkby says the program was about getting a product to market as quickly as possible.


“We are aiming to find innovative or unique ideas for new hardware and software solutions that solve real-world problems,” he says.


“We are looking for talented and driven entrepreneurs who aim to be the best in the world in their particular business field. It’s those crazy people with the ability to get things done, no excuses. Our mission is to help these selected start-ups build scalable global businesses right here on the Gold Coast.”


Birkby said they were also seeking student interns from universities or high schools to join the chosen companies and work with them in delivering their projects.


SURF is open to companies anywhere in the world, though they must reside on the Gold Coast for the 12-week duration of the program.

A maximum of six startups along with six student interns will be chosen to participate in the program which will give them a range of resources including mentoring, opportunities to pitch to investors and the chance to travel to Silicon Valley in the USA.


Applications close on August 17 with the successful applicants announced on August 25. The program runs from September 1 to November 21.


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