OQCE is championing the incredible work Queensland startups do day in day out


Throughout COVID-19 we have been keeping our finger on the startup ecosystem pulse to ensure we can be as supportive as possible, while providing for the current needs of startups.

We’ve used multiple feedback channels to stay across this, including short surveys, increasing communications and high activity on our social pages (Facebook and Twitter).

We want to thank everyone who has participated so far. We are listening. And acting. Our team is continuing to navigate internal systems and processes, advocate to external stakeholders and shareholders, and champion the great work Queensland startups continue to do.

Our most recent survey showed:

  • 69% of you are benefitting from Jobkeeper. We will continue to lobby for its extension and inclusion of broader pre-revenue startups
  • 20% of you have received Queensland Government grants, including loan schemes or adaptation grants
  • In terms of revenue, 59% of startups have long lead times or are still in pre-revenue stage
  • On the subject of how much runway you had: 23% had only two months remaining, 34% had six months and 25% had 12 months. This means that 82% of startups require capital this year
  • 90% of you consider access to government funding would help support extending your runway

We are using this information to guide our strategies and work alongside you to keep Queensland startups going strong.

There have also been some great news stories where we’ve seen startups - as Leanne says - pivot, persevere and pirouette in order to make it through.

One such story is from Thomas Lespes Muñoz, CMO of 2M Language Services, who has been delivering language access in these challenging times. 

When social distancing rules forced the cancellation of all onsite events, conferences, seminars, court hearings and meetings in general, thousands of language and translator interpreters were out of a job overnight.

With this in mind, Brisbane-based innovative language services and technology provider 2M Language Services was quick to respond with its remote solutions:

The 2M RSI platform enables multilingual support for virtual events such as conferences, web meetings and online training sessions. Users can login to the platform and listen to the speaker in their language of choice, by selecting from the large range of languages offered. The speech is then interpreted simultaneously by professional conference interpreters logged onto the platform and located remotely.

Take BHP’s CEO Mike Henry for example, he now conducts his weekly Town Hall Meetings via the RSI platform. A typical scenario includes 3 BHP speakers in remote locations, one 2M interpreter in Buenos Aires, one 2M interpreter in Brisbane and over 2000 BHP attendees located across Australia, US and Latin America. Through remote simultaneous interpreting, the 2M team enables seamless multilingual support week after week.

Having seen the many advantages, including extensive savings in travel expenses and increased domestic and international reach, we think virtual meetings and events are here to stay post-COVID-19 and we will continue to help businesses navigate this.

In the time of COVID-19 language access to health information has been and is essential.

Our 2M Lingo platform has been crucial in supporting this as it allows a user to book or access on demand a certified interpreter with specific subject matter expertise from their phone, tablet or computer. This interpreter then appears via video to provide professional language support between the parties. For example, a nurse dealing with a foreign language patient can quickly access professional interpreting support to ensure that all information and care provided is understood.

2M had been investing in video remote interpreting technologies for years, but the market wasn’t ready yet nor were the interpreters, who saw it as a threat to their livelihoods. With the cancellation of face-to-face events, our remote interpreting technologies suddenly became a lifeline.

The 2M team is proud to have participated in maintaining and providing jobs for Australian interpreters that would have been lost otherwise.

The COVID-19 forced shutdown has also led to a sharp increase in eCommerce, online courses and other digital services. Meaning, the demand to translate and localise content in order to reach international markets and multilingual audiences has skyrocketed. For example, streaming giants Netflix and Amazon Prime Video took the opportunity to add language subtitles to their back catalogues after a spike in new subscriptions.

In order to deliver on increasing volumes within shorter timeframes, brands have needed to look for ways to automate and streamline translation and localisation processes. And that is where we have come in. 2M translation API and content connectors automate the content flow between the client content management systems and 2M’s data-secure translation management platform, saving precious time in email communication, file transfer and processing. With our help, organisations have been able to streamline content updates across multiple languages and for various markets in a more efficient and quicker manner.

Yet again we see that technology is the single most economic driver of the future. And what has made the company resilient is not only the ability to pivot and adapt in times of crisis but to be at the forefront of technology. Technology with human-in-the-loop future proofs the business model beyond COVID-19.