Innovation for the real world

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QUT bluebox Challenge

Every challenge is an opportunity for an entrepreneur.

Applications are now open for the QUT bluebox Challenge!
Apply Now
  • Opportunity to present to early-stage investors
    Opportunity to present to early-stage investors
    * Subject to investment readiness and decisions by the QUT Founders Fund and invited early stage investors.
  • Participate in pitching and investment workshopsParticipate in pitching and investment workshops
  • Win cash fundingWin cash funding
  • Gain exposureGain exposure
  • Test your idea with judges, the public and investorsTest your idea with judges, the public and investors


Open to all early-stage startups (startup idea, innovation, product, process or service) with at least one QUT founder (QUT student, alumni or staff).

How it works:

  1. 1. Submit your application to the QUT bluebox Challenge. Apply now
  2. 2. Five finalist will be selected into the QUT bluebox Challenge.

The five finalists:

  • a. will receive tailored workshops to equip them to best pitch their best pitch their startup.
  • b. will get the chance to test their startup with a crowd-vote and win cash.
  • c. may also have the opportunity to pitch in front of early-stage investors*.
  • d. will compete in a shark-tank style competition for additional cash funding at the QUT bluebox Challenge Gala.
  • Additionally, applicants who did not make the finals may still be eligible to receive in-kind services and receive an invitation to the Gala.
* Subject to investment readiness and decisions by the QUT Founders Fund and invited early stage investors.


Challenge pitching cash prize:

  • 1st prize — $50,000
  • 2nd prize — $35,000
  • Crowd Vote — $15,000
  • Best Student Startup — $10,000


  • $50,000 of in-kind professional services
  • $100,000 of startup accelerator program opportunities
  • $100,000 of potential co-investment from the QUT Founders Fund*
  • $100,000 of potential co-investment from invited early stage investors*
*Subject to investment readiness and decisions by the QUT Founders Fund and invited early stage investors.

Important dates

Applications close: Friday 31 August

Outcome notifications: Friday 14 September

Crowd vote opens: Monday 24 September

Gala tickets open: Monday 8 October

Pitching investment workshops: October

Pitch practice: October

Online crowd voting closes: Friday 19 October

Finalist present full pitch at Challenge Gala: Thursday 25 October

QUT bluebox Challenge Gala

Thursday 25 October

Tickets to the Challenge Gala will open on Monday 8 October. The gala will be a chance to see some of QUT’s innovation and see the growing startup ecosystem.

Last year's finalists


Sourcing the right staff, in timely manner and within budget is difficult and time consuming but what if there was a way to source, manage, and share independent workers internally and externally? And what if there was a way for you to find your next employer easily?... read more

Creatively Squared

Creating engaging, beautiful visual content can be time consuming and challenging for companies. Creatively Squared is a new startup that matches the brands with the right creative talent to produce eye catching images at scale?... read more


For business owners, understanding who their customers are can be a major challenge. Nuarda is a new cloud based technology that can help retail business gather customer analytics easily... read more


What if you could jam with your computer and create original music? That may be just what you can do with Popgun. The Popgun team are using Deep Learning (AI) to create an exciting new musical experience for musicians worldwide... read more

Raw Robotics

As industry moves towards automation new opportunities arise, many schools around the world are including robotics in curriculums but most are too basic to provide real skills. RAWrobotics have tapped into this opportunity, creating cost effective real-world robotics... read more


Imagine being able to share your travels with your loved ones via digital pics, right as the action happens! Imagine being able to share with friends exactly where you visited via a map so they can share in your adventure. This is the aim of Storyboard... read more


Find a sun-safe, aesthetic swimsuit can be difficult for women all over the world. Beginning as an idea inspired from trends in Europe, UNE PIECE (one piece in French) has grown to sell in 38 countries and make that task a little easier as well as... read more

Application Form

Tell us about you and your team:

Frequently Asked Questions


Stage 1: Apply

Submit an online application by 31 August 2018. Apply now at .

Stage 2: Finalists announced

A judging panel will assess all the applications and select up to five finalists.

Finalists will need to prepare a 30 second speed pitch video outlining their innovation and how it could or is being progressed as a new venture. The speed pitch videos will be available for online crowd voting in the lead up to the full pitch event.

Finalists will also need to submit a slide deck for a five minute full pitch by 19 October 2018.

To help finalists prepare their speed pitch and full pitch, they will have access to pitching and investment workshops in the first half of October 2018.

Stage 3: The Pitch

Finalists will be offered an opportunity to give a 5 minute preview pitch to early stage investors in the second half of October 2018.

Each finalist must give a five minute full pitch before a judging panel and a live audience on Thursday 25 October 2018. These pitches will be delivered at QUT Gardens Point campus. The awards, including the crowd voting award, will be offered immediately following at an Awards Event.


This Challenge is open to all novel and commercially-relevant innovation, including products, processes or services, and business models, and associated ventures.

Applicants can be at any stage of development, from a new concept to a new venture formed less than three years before the time of application. Business plans are not required but we will ask for further details about your innovation and venture plans.

Applicants must confirm that the content of their innovation is owned by themselves and/or owned by QUT (or alternatively that they have the exclusive right to commercialise if the applicant is a company).


QUT bluebox Challenge is for individuals, teams and companies. Entrants can apply multiple times; as long as each application focuses on a different venture.

The Challenge is not open to visiting scholars or visiting researchers.

Individual applicants must be either a:

  • QUT student
  • QUT alumnus
  • QUT staff member
  • Team applicants, of up to four members, must include at least one actively participating member, who is either a:
  • QUT student
  • QUT alumnus
  • QUT staff member

The team will need to demonstrate that the one or more alumni/student/staff members are integral to the team have an ongoing involvement in taking the innovation forward as a new venture.

Company applicants must include at least one director and at least one shareholder, each of who is a:

  • QUT student
  • QUT alumnus
  • QUT staff member

Read the full terms and conditions here.


Submit your application online at

How do I find out more?

If you have any questions about your application contact us at

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Facebook: @qutbluebox

Twitter: @qutbluebox

LinkedIn: company/qutbluebox