Thursday, 21 August 2014

ACT students put their business skills to the test

ACT students have the opportunity to put their business skills to the test following the launch of the 2014 InnovationACT competition.

As part of the competition, participants are required to form teams and develop a business concept. The teams then take part in a 10-week educational program structured to guide teams through the development and validation of their business idea.

Completed business models will be assessed by a panel of judges from the local innovation ecosystem against criteria including how realistic and sustainable their strategy is, their stakeholder validation evidence, the capabilities of the team and their continuation plan. Up to $50,000 seed funding will be provided to the winning ideas.

The program is open to current students, staff and alumni from the Australian National University (ANU), University of Canberra, Canberra Institute of Technology, Australian Defence Force Academy, Charles Sturt University and the Academy of Interactive Entertainment.

At least 50% of the team must be students.

To find out more information visit the InnovationACT website External Link - opens in new window. To keep up to date with the latest news about the InnovationACT competition, follow it on Facebook External Link - opens in new window or Twitter External Link - opens in new window .

Thursday, 14 August 2014

Northrop’s innovation in pursuit of international markets

Originating from Canberra, specialist engineering and consultancy service, Northrop has now expanded its services across metropolitan and rural Australia, South East Asia and New Zealand.

In 2013 the company was named the winner of the Business Services category at the ACT Chief Minister’s Export Awards, acknowledging their commitment to delivering innovative and flexible designs for their clients.

Since winning the award, Northrop has also pursued projects in Hong Kong, Singapore and Qatar and now has its eyes set on projects in the United Arab Emirates and India. Dynamic marketing and the consequential recognition has been instrumental in increasing brand awareness in Asia and the Middle East.

Northrop’s Specialist Service Manager, Jason Shepherd, recognises the ACT Government and Austrade as major supporters of the company and their international pursuits.

“[Winning] has been extremely beneficial to our company as we develop our export markets. Having the ACT Government’s recognition is a big door opener and instiller of trust in us for what we do and our reliability” said Mr Shepherd.

On the topic of the company’s Canberra origins, Shepherd adds that Canberra is a great place for business.
“Costs are reasonable, services are good and lifestyle allows for work life balance. It also has good access to government and other exporters who touch on defence and law enforcement so the opportunity for partnering and brainstorming is substantial.” Mr Shepherd said

On recommending other companies to participate in the ACT Export Awards, Mr Shepherd is quick to encourage others, stating that “it is extremely worthwhile.”

Has your business had international success like Northrop? Nominations for the 2014 ACT Chief Minister’s Export Awards are currently open and close on 22 August 2014.

For more information or to apply for the awards visit the ACT Chief Minister’s Export Awards website External Link - opens in new window.

Wednesday, 6 August 2014

Speak Up About Regulation and Red Tape!

Your opinion counts to making the ACT a better place to do business!

The ACT Government wants to know about regulatory burden and red tape facing your business.

We invite you to respond to a few questions and describe how ACT business requirements affect you. Just as important, we’d like to know how you think the regulatory environment can be improved for your business.

How can I be heard?

You can provide feedback about your business in two ways:

  1. Online, by selecting the relevant link below:
    -  the hospitality sector External Link - opens in new window;
    -  the building and construction sector External Link - opens in new window; or
    -  another sector External Link - opens in new window.

  2. In a one-on-one conversation. Please email to arrange a time to have a discussion. (In consideration of time, limited places available. Requests for one-on-ones will be handled based on sector sampling needs).

Your participation will be important to help us better understand the effects of regulation in the ACT and to help us make the Territory a better place for innovation, growth and starting a business. Your input will also help support work nationally to reduce regulation and red tape. The information collected in this survey will be treated as confidential.

We would appreciate your input by close of business Wednesday 20 August 2014.

If you have any questions, please email

We look forward to hearing from you!

Tuesday, 5 August 2014

Canberra businesses recognised at Australia Startup Awards

Canberra-based business Red Robot has won the competitive ‘Product Business of the Year’ category at this year’s Australian Startup Awards External Link - opens in new window.

The awards, presented on 2 August, recognise and celebrate the best talent in young entrepreneurship in Australia. Applications are assessed by some of Australia’s most successful entrepreneurs with this year’s judging panel including BRW Young Rich List members Ruslan Kogan, Dorry Kordahi and Clair Jennifer.

Founded in 2011, winning business Red Robot External Link - opens in new windowdevelop and distribute innovative photo and imaging technologies and supplies, now becoming one of Australia's largest photo booth suppliers and exporters.

Red Robot was awarded funding under the ACT Government’s Innovation Connect grant program. Since that time the company has evolved from a simple Photo Booth manufacturer into a team of creative people specialising in the niche market of photo sharing technology. They have surpassed the $1 million milestone in domestic annual sales and are at an all-time high production output level.

Red Robot weren’t the only local business to be recognised at the awards, with Canberra’s OnTheGo Sports External Link - opens in new window named a finalist in both the ‘Product Business of the Year’ and ‘Startup of the Year’ categories.

OnTheGo Sports, who recently had success as part of the ACT Government’s Trade Mission to Singapore, was founded in early 2010. The business is fast becoming a global leader in quality custom made sportswear and uniform items, holding contracts with over 60% of Australasia’s health club market.

Monday, 4 August 2014

Benefits of Trade Mission to Singapore

Mick Spencer, Founder and Managing Director of ‪Canberra‬ business OnTheGo discusses the benefits of the ACT Government's recent Trade mission to ‪Singapore‬.