The University of Queensland’s commercialisation company, UniQuest, has partnered with investor Artesian Venture Partners to build a $1.5 million investment fund to invest in graduates from the university’s ilab technology incubator.

UniQuest chief executive Dean Moss says in a statement the Accelerate Investment Fund will provide private investors an opportunity to invest in several early stage start-ups emerging through ilab.

The statement says Artesian Venture Partners has committed to raising a majority of the $1.5 million fund and will be both investing in the fund itself and inviting private investors to participate.

“ilab is the premium start-up lab in Queensland,” Jeremy Colless, Artesian’s managing principal, told StartupSmart, noting that Queensland was “crying out” for more support in the tech start-up space.

He says the fund will support start-up graduates from ilab in the early funding stage and, potentially, later rounds as well, taking a direct equity stake in the companies.

The new investor fund comes as the Queensland government approves $1 million in funding over the next two years for ilab’s three-month Germinate programs that offer training, mentoring, networking, office space and up to $20,000.

Over the past two years, Germinate has invested almost $300,000 in 19 new enterprises and a further 17 companies have been supported by ilab resources and mentors.

Participants in the Germinate program have included Tiger Temple, an online street style clothing store, Veilability, a venue matching service for the bridal industry and Fizziofit, which delivers exercise, medicine and fitness technology resources for healthcare professionals.