Thursday, 26 March 2015
Innovative local startup Enabled Employment has taken out Optus’ Your Shark Tank competition.
Enabled Employment’s success in the Your Shark Tank competition also comes in the same week as the company was named a finalist in the Startup Hero category of the Startup Smart Awards, making them a great example of the type of innovative start-ups that are emerging from Canberra.
The Canberra based startup provides an innovative new approach to eliminate the barriers to employment for people with a disability, using flexible arrangements to enable highly capable people with a disability to find productive and well-paid employment.
Enabled Employment’s innovative business model has been recognised and supported locally. The company, who are currently members of Entry29 Co-working which is located at the CBR Innovation Network, received early development funding under the ACT Government’s Innovation Connect program. They were also part of the first intake in the GRIFFIN Accelerator, a program also supported by the ACT Government in partnership with local entrepreneurs, mentors and investors.
Chief Minister Andrew Barr said "The ACT Government recognises the importance of innovative entrepreneurs and startups and the significant role they play in growing and diversifying the local economy, both now and into the future, and I am pleased that the ACT Government has been able to assist Enabled Employment".
Optus says ‘yes’ to supporting big ideas and innovation, and Your Shark Tank invited companies from around Australia to submit their business ideas to a judging panel. Earlier this week, Enabled Employment CEO, Jessica May pitched her startup to the panel of ‘sharks’ alongside the four other shortlisted competitors from across Australia.
The Innovation Connect program encourages innovation among local businesses and helps to develop new companies and technologies in Canberra by providing matched-funding grants of up to $50,000 to assist early stage ACT businesses and entrepreneurs to accelerate the development of products and services through commercialisation pathways.
Friday, 13 February 2015
On Friday 13 February 2015 ACT Chief Minister Andrew Barr MLA launched the 2015 GRIFFIN Accelerator program; a program conceived and managed by Canberra entrepreneurs who invest in, host, teach and mentor selected start-ups to create successful new businesses.
GRIFFIN has already completed one very successful program last year with all five participating start up companies receiving investment offers from around Australia at the end of the three month immersive commercialisation program. The 2015 GRIFFIN program will be bigger than 2014, with early planning to support up to 10 new innovative business start-ups.
The Chief Minister said "The ACT Government has placed support for business innovation centrally in its economic development agenda. We know that business innovation and entrepreneurship are essential to expanding the city’s economic base, diversifying our economy and creating new jobs for the future. Our policies and programs to in this area have been successfully guided by Growth Diversification and Jobs, A Business Development Strategy for the ACT".
"In my Ministerial Statement to the Legislative Assembly earlier this week, I announced new directions around procurement reform and advocacy for local SMEs and these directions will form an important part of a second phase of Business Development Strategy to be released in the first half of this year. Greater synergy between innovation policy and government procurement is something I know the business community is keen to see."
"I am delighted the ACT Government has been able to play a role in the establishment of the Griffin Accelerator through administrative funding support in 2014, and in 2015 through our support for the CBR Innovation Network" said the Chief Minister.
Innovators and entrepreneurs from Canberra and Australia are encouraged to apply for the GRIFFIN accelerator’s three month program supported by the CBR Innovation Network. For more information visit the GRIFFIN Accelerator website .
Thursday, 25 September 2014
The five teams participating in Canberra start-up accelerator program, GRIFFIN Accelerator presented to investors in Sydney and Canberra this week, generating substantial investor interest.
On Tuesday the teams pitched to Sydney based investors at ATP Innovations, who partnered with the Canberra mentors to run the program. From an audience of over 45, mostly potential investors, all five teams received genuine initial interest from investors.
In Canberra on Wednesday the teams pitched to an audience of over 60 people in a joint event with Capital Angels and again received strong interest. Across the two venues, teams received 46 expressions of interest not counting any additional contacts made during post-pitch networking.
In both venues the audience overwhelmingly voted that the quality of the pitches exceeded their expectations.
GRIFFIN mentor and investor Dr Craig Davis said “We are delighted at the level of initial interest the companies are getting from investors. We feel we found five great teams and the accelerator added real value, but we’re astonished to have all five teams doing so well. Syndicates are forming but its not too late for investors who couldn’t make the presentations to get on board.”
Forty teams applied to GRIFFIN accelerator and through a competitive process the best five were selected. After 3 months intensive work guided by the GRIFFIN mentors, all five teams have real customer traction, are making rapid progress and are ready for investment. The teams are presenting their business to investors seeking Angel or Seed investment.
The five teams are:
Enabled Employment: www.enabledemployment.com
Enabled employment enables employers to tap into a huge untapped talent pool of Australians living with a disability using telework technology to remove barriers.
Made for Me: www.madefor.me
Madefor.me is a marketplace connecting designers, local manufacturers, and consumers who want unique, made to order 3D printed designs.
Quizling is taking the ‘quick quiz’ and building a social-gaming platform to engage learners across the classroom and across the world. With enterprise level analytics and privacy management, Quizling is the complete platform for learning.
Symberra is a cloud-based data analytics platform that specialises in large-scale data modelling and simulations. Our optimised data storage and simulation algorithms enable domain experts to gain in-depth insights from big data in a fraction of the time required today.
Facebook for Auctions - with a motto “Social Local Fast”, Snapknock is the only pre-loved belonging
buy and sell platform built with social in mind from ground up. With emphasis on people, not items
or businesses, Snapknock takes social commerce to the next stage.
3 of the participating teams, Made for Me, Quizzing and Enabled Employment, have also received support through the ACT Government's Innovation Connect program.
The program is being run in collaboration with Ignition Labs part of ATP Innovations. Hamish Hawthorn, CEO of ATP Innovations said “We are delighted to be able to support the first accelerator program to be run in Canberra. There is a terrific group of mentors who have committed their time and expertise. We are now looking forward to seeing these five companies go on to become significant commercial enterprises”.
Jessica May from Enabled Employment said “we are very excited to be making so much progress already filling jobs and growing so fast. The positive response from investors is a dream come true and we’re ready to start detailed discussions about how we’re going to grow this business even more rapidly”.
The GRIFFIN Accelerator program is being run with the assistance from the ACT Government and has broad support from a wide variety of organisations including: ANU Connect Ventures, ATP Innovations, The Australian National University, Australian Capital Ventures Limited, Capital Angels, CollabIT, CSIRO, eGov Cluster, Entry 29, Lighthouse, NICTA and the University of Canberra.