For years Ballarat tech entrepreneur Casey Thomas has been working tirelessly to launch her interactive virtual reality game, Drone Legion.
While basing herself out of Ballarat’s Tech School and collaborating with other regional Victorians on the project, Ms Thomas said the job has required significant travel to Melbourne and overseas to help promote the technology.
The 28-year-old said securing the cash and support to get tech projects off the ground had been the most difficult part of operating in regional Victoria.
“The number one thing that kills most startups or entrepreneurship is the lack of support and money,” the Dark Shadow Studios chief executive said.
On Wednesday Innovation and Digital Economy Minister Phillip Dalidakis will unveil $2.4 million in startup development funds which will be distributed to 15 projects across 26 local government areas.
The cash will be provided directly to councils or through consortia, which will then be used to develop programs or nurture startup activity throughout a region.
The City of Ballarat will receive $100,000 for STARTUP BALLARAT!, a program of meetups, hackathons, masterclasses and co-working trials.
The program will help to address issues startups face when getting off the ground while helping to attract more investment in the region.
Research conducted by LaunchVic in late 2017 revealed just three per cent of Victorian tech startups were located outside of metropolitan Melbourne.
In a statement, Mr Dalidakis said “every startup has a role to play in Victoria’s future, whether they’re from Mildura or Maribyrnong, and this investment will ensure regional Victorian startups have access to the same resources as those in the city”.
“Having that money here in Ballarat is going to open so many doors for not just for myself but everybody else, and encourage more people to start their own businesses,” Ms Thomas said of the investment.