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Vincents targets advice specialty at Qld start-ups


The brainchild of an undergrad accountant, the initiative will offer an “all-encompassing” advisory service to early-stage tech companies.

By Christine Chen 13 minute read

Brisbane mid-tier firm Vincents has launched a practice area focused on advising technology start-ups to capitalise on growing demand.

It said the practice, led by directors Steven Roberts and Sam Heaney, aimed to use the firm’s existing expertise and client base in R&D, capital raising and financial advisory services to offer an “all-encompassing” advisory service.

Mr Heaney said he expected demand to be strong as start-ups navigated the challenging economic conditions.


“We’re seeing a change in the market where businesses aren’t being given capital as easily and freely as they once were,” he said.

“Founders are needing a lot more education and hand-holding through these times to understand how they can utilise their resources to maximise value and to achieve the targets and goals.”

“What I’m looking to achieve is to create a strong support system for the start-up businesses going on that journey and to create a good opportunity for staff internally to work through the division and continue to grow it.”

The move was the brainchild of financial analyst Charlie Selth, 20, (pictured right) who pitched the idea to executive chairman Jonathan Dooley (left) while working as a undergraduate accountant at the firm last year.

“I find the relationship-orientated nature of the start-up space really clicks with me and is something that I’m passionate about,” said Mr Selth, who works at the firm while studying commerce and economics at the University of Queensland.

“When I heard the leadership team was looking for input as to ways to grow the firm and grow the firm’s service offerings, I saw a clear opportunity for Vincents to capitalise on its existing skill sets and formalising an offering that aligned with a new area, being start-ups.”

Mr Selth said he drew inspiration from similar operations at BDO and Pitcher Partners, using their “trials and tribulations” to inform his approach.

He said there would be “room for more players to work together” thanks to increasing investment in the start-up space, citing the creation of the Enterprise Acceleration Fund as a key driver of future growth.

The fund, worth $24 million and administered by the Queensland Investment Corporation (QIC), can invest $500,000 to $2.5 million into early-stage, local start-ups.

In August, the QIC invested in advertising software start-up Cartelux, used by automotive giants like BMW and Honda.

Mr Selth said Vincents had been targeting technology clients, springboarding off the firm’s “strong history” of supporting R&D-intensive businesses.

“We see [R&D] as critical to the development of these companies into truly valuable businesses,” Mr Selth said.

“We’ve had a really, really overwhelming response to the offering and it’s been really exciting. We’re working through that with our new clients and we’re really looking forward to seeing them flourish.”

“Vincents is really conscious about the founder journey and appreciating the challenges of being a founder. Throughout this whole period, we’ve taken an active approach to really looking to understand the challenges of founders and incorporating that into our offering in a way that is going to be commercially viable and supports their needs.”

Mr Dooley praised Mr Selth’s initiative.

“We are delighted Charlie’s vision has come to life and become a fully integrated offering among our services,” he said.

“A difficulty when working with founders is that many ventures don’t get off the ground straightaway so – working with Charlie – we’ve structured this offering to support them right through the process, helping them emerge with a highly investable business.”


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