$1m funding boost for Coast IT firm to grow US markets

A SUNSHINE Coast-based IT company has secured a $1m Australian Entrepreneurs Program grant to help grow markets in North America.

Cloud DC chief executive officer Steve Robinson said it would be matched with another $1m from investors, creating a $2m kitty to aid marketing and development.

He expects to increase subscriptions to the company's OfficeBox product by between 50,000 and 100,000 and generate additional revenues of $5m to $10m a year.

OfficeBox lets users take their desktop environment with them, allowing access their desktop Office programs like PowerPoint, Outlook, OneNote, Microsoft Word, Excel, as well as line of business applications through smartphones, tablets and laptops.

Formed on the Sunshine Coast in 2011, Cloud DC operates from the University of the Sunshine Coast's Innovation Centre, which also used the OfficeBox product.

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"This will help build the size of our market," Mr Robinson said. "We'll be employing three more staff and more as we expand and grow here on the Coast.

"I've moved to Brisbane after 17 years to put me in closer contact with customers. But our development technicians and engineers live on the Sunshine Coast.

"They love being here. Our senior guys are earning six-figure incomes. IT has the ability to attract high-earning people who will put their money back into the local economy."

Mr Robinson said as long as the Coast retained the environment and lifestyle, it would continue to attract technology workers who are paid decent money.

The grant was part of a $14.6m grant allocation announced this week by Industry and Science Minister Ian Macfarlane.

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