River City Labs sold to ICT professional association ACS

River City Labs sold to ICT professional association ACS

River City Labs (RCL), the incubator behind some of Queensland's most successful tech startups, has been sold to ICT professional association ACS.

ACS is the professional association for Australia's ICT sector, and intends to invest heavily in the future of the incubator.

The association's acquisition will take effect immediately, and includes the operations of the RCL Accelerator and Startup Catalyst.

ACS says it intends to invest $7.5 million in RCL over the next three years to ramp up the incubator's mission to support tech entrepreneurs.

RCL was founded by serial entrepreneur and Shark Tank judge Steve Baxter (pictured right) in 2012 to foster the growth of tech scale-ups in Queensland and build the platform solutions for the world of tomorrow.

Since its launch, more than 700 founders have set up home in the RCL, with just under 29,000 people passing through its doors, attending more than 1000 startup and community events.

In May 2018 Baxter circulated a call seeking expressions of interests to take over the space with the capacity and passion to continue his work. Over 20 expressions of interest were received.

ACS president Yohan Ramasundara says the association is excited to continue the important work done at RCL.

"We're tremendously excited by being afforded the opportunity to grow River City Labs," says Ramasundara.

"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 startups, 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."

Baxter says that though he is stepping back from RCL he will still be involved at the incubator as an advisor and will continue to be a major influence.

"After six amazing years, I'm truly excited to see RCL evolve," says Baxter.

"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."

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