ACS, the professional association for Australia’s ICT sector, today announced its acquisition of River City Labs Group including the operations of the RCL Accelerator and Startup Catalyst with immediate effect, with a commitment to invest $7.5 million over the next three years in ramping up its mission to support start-ups and tech entrepreneurs.
On 9 May 2018, Steve Baxter circulated a call seeking expressions of interest from corporates, community groups or individuals with the vision, the capability and the passion to take control of future operations and ownership of River City Labs Pty Ltd. Over twenty EOIs were received, which were then shortlisted first as a group of six, and then again as a list of four.
Founded in Brisbane by Steve Baxter in 2012, the River City Labs Group fosters the growth of tech scale-ups in Queensland and is focused on building the platform solutions for the world of tomorrow.
“We’re tremendously excited by being afforded the opportunity to grow River City Labs. ACS’ vision is for Australia to be a world leader in technology talent, that fosters innovation and creates new forms of value. We understand that new jobs growth in a digital economy comes from tech start- ups, and we are pleased to be in a situation where we can contribute to growing the tech ecosystem both in Queensland and more broadly across the country” said ACS President Yohan Ramasundara.
For existing tenants and partners of the RCL Group, services will continue unchanged. The team will remain the same with Mr Baxter still involved as an advisor and continuing to be a major influence.
“After six amazing years, I’m truly excited to see RCL evolve. When we launched this process it was about finding the right custodian for RCL, not just to maintain business as usual but to take it to the next level. ACS came to the table with fresh new ideas, a compelling vision for supporting tech entrepreneurship in QLD and beyond, and a willingness to invest. There are so many people who’ve contributed so much to this journey, thanks to all of you. But don’t go anywhere – the job has only just begun,” he said.
Since its launch more than 700 start-up founders have set up office at River City Labs. Just under 29,000 people have passed through the doors, attending more than 1,000 start-up and community events. It has run programs in partnership with some of Australia’s biggest companies, including BOQ, CUA, Suncorp and Telstra.
RCL is a leading provider of start-up related programs in Australia, including: River Pitch, a quarterly event bringing together pre-screened startups and investors; the RCL Accelerator, and Startup Catalyst. The RCL Accelerator, powered by muru-D, has graduated 28 Queensland startups including Travello, Maxwell MRI and Punta. Startup Catalyst takes start-ups, investors, corporates, tech-savvy youth, and innovation leaders to international start-up hotspots including Silicon Valley, London, Berlin, Israel, and Asia.