Showing posts with label Inspiration and Recognition. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Inspiration and Recognition. Show all posts

Thursday, 18 June 2015

Launch of 2015 Chief Minister’s Export Awards


Nominations are now open for the 2015 ACT Chief Minister’s Export Awards, which recognise the important contribution that local businesses make to our economy through job creation and broadening our economic base.

The ACT has a thriving community of exporters. We contribute over 35 per cent of all Australian Government goods and services exported, and in 2013-14, 10 per cent of all Australian services in research and development (R&D) were exported from the territory to global markets – a significant national contribution.

The Awards, delivered in partnership with the Canberra Business Chamber (CBC), also acknowledge the innovation, hard work and success of Canberra businesses in reaching markets overseas.

From 2015, the ACT Government will double its funding for the Awards, providing $135,000 each year. This funding will be used to grow the Awards, highlighting those companies who are contributing to the more than $1.2 billion worth of products and services being exported annually from the ACT.

The ACT is also ranked nationally as having the highest concentration of knowledge-based activity, and the government is committed to continuing to work with our business community and higher education sector to reduce barriers and create an environment that fosters growth, innovation and entrepreneurship. The 2015-16 ACT Budget will deliver $11.75 million in new funding to support Confident and Business Ready: Building on Our Strengths, the ACT Government’s new business development strategy.

ACT Chief  Minister Andrew Barr said "I would like to take the time to acknowledge the work of the CBC, the ACT Exporters’ Network, and the positive working relationship the ACT Government has with Austrade and the ACT exporting community."

Previous Chief Minister’s Export Awards winners in all categories include Seeing Machines, Aspen Medical, Intelledox, Bearcage Pty Ltd, Datapod and the Royal Australian Mint.

"I urge all exporting businesses to enter these important awards and look forward to another excellent field of nominees. I also encourage those seeking export markets to take advantage of the ACT Government’s trade mission program" said the Chief Minister.

Find out more about the ACT Chief Minister's Export Awards.

Friday, 12 June 2015

Actsmart awards for top local businesses


Businesses across the Canberra region were recognised for their commitment to saving energy, water and the environment at the sixth annual Actsmart Business Sustainability Awards today.

Minister for Environment Simon Corbell presented 11 awards in categories ranging from Waste Minimisation to Innovation and Leadership at the annual event.

“The positive contribution of local business is crucial in making Canberra and the region more sustainable and it’s really encouraging to see the number of businesses involved in Actsmart programs growing each year,” Mr Corbell said.

The Cheeky Chicken Early Learning Centre in Hughes took out both the energy and water awards.

To reduce energy use in an old 1970s building, the centre insulated the roof, replaced old windows, upgraded to LED lights, and in a clever and cost effective move adjusted orientation to maximise natural light, resulting in 75% of the building not requiring artificial light for most of the year.

To reduce water bills the centre installed a 6-star energy rated plywood floor that can be dry-mopped, reducing water consumption, and upgraded taps and toilets to energy efficient models.

“Actsmart programs will continue to support local businesses to find new ways to reduce their waste, energy and water usage and I am confident innovative companies like the Cheeky Chicken Early Learning Centre will inspire more businesses to join the program.” Mr Corbell said.

“The Actsmart Business Recycling program is now being implemented at more than 750 sites throughout the ACT and Queanbeyan, allowing more than 40,000 staff to recycle in their workplace”.

”The Actsmart Business Energy and Water program has helped more than 330 small businesses reduce energy and water consumption, with businesses saving on average $2,500 each year off energy bills.

“Today’s awards tell the stories behind the inspiring initiatives of our local business community who are making Canberra more sustainable while cutting business costs at the same time.”

For more information on how to make your home, school or business more sustainable visit www.actsmart.act.gov.au

The Actsmart Business Sustainability Award winners are:

Waste Minimisation: Brema Group & Elections ACT

Biggest Recycler – Small event: 4th July Celebrations
Highly Commended: Wanniassa Hills Primary School

Biggest Recycler – Large event: National Folk Festival

Biggest Recycler – Business: National Library of Australia

Motivation Excellence: Belconnen Early Childhood Centre
Highly Commended: TEDx Canberra

Small Business Award: Bond Hair Religion

Ministers Award for Leadership: Jancye Winter

Energy Star: Cheeky Chicken Early Learning Centre
Highly Commended: CLASS Locksmiths & St Stephen Anglican Church Kambah

Corporate Award: Turner and Townsend

Water Star: Cheeky Chicken Early Learning Centre

Innovation Excellence: Allbids.com.au
Highly Commended: Australian Sports Commission

Friday, 22 May 2015

Canberra Start-up Innovations Rewarded


Seven Canberra businesses have been awarded funding of $257,000 in the recent round of the Innovation Connect program.

Innovation Connect is the ACT Government’s flagship innovation program which has provided funding to support and encourage Canberra’s start-up entrepreneurs since 2008.

The program provides valuable early stage funding of up to $50,000 to enable businesses to prove their innovative concepts and encourage them to progress through to commercialisation.

Many successful ACT businesses received their first big break through Innovation Connect funding and more than $3.7 million has now been awarded to 149 small innovative companies.

As the first of a set of programs available to support innovation in the ACT, the funding is designed to accelerate the commercialisation process and convert companies to a highly supportive innovative ecosystem.

The latest successful applicants and their projects are:
  • AxSys Performance – “Pump & Virtual Personal Trainer”, a wearable electronic gym training aid;
  • Dr Jackson Thomas – “An Innovative Dermatological Solution to Scabies”;
  • Platypus Instruments – “Portable Pocket Inverter”, allowing convenient fault trip time testing of residual current devices as required by electrical safety regulations; 
  • Newman Events – “Newman Venues”, an online conference and event venue search system;
  • Cycrete – “Cycrete”, a concrete agitator bowl cleaning additive;
  • Elementice – “Automated Camera Systems Trial”, allowing real time capture and upload to social media of branded business promotional images; and
  • Dr Moses Muti – “Safari Medical”, a web based travel health service.


Find out more about the Innovation Connect program.

Friday, 1 May 2015

Nominations open for inaugural ACT Scientist of the Year Award

2015 ACT Scientist of the Year award banner

Nominations are now open for the inaugural ACT Scientist of the Year Award.

The Award seeks to recognise the achievements of an ‘up-and-coming’ scientist who has significant potential to continue to achieve in their chosen field of research. It is an opportunity to showcase the contribution that Canberrans make to the world of science and innovation, both nationally and worldwide.

It will be presented for the first time in 2015, and will be open to individual scientists working in basic or applied research and science, in all fields of science, technology, engineering or mathematics (STEM). To be eligible scientists must also have finished their PhD within the last 10 years, and be in the ACT conducting research.

The winning scientist will receive a $30,000 prize and will become a science ambassador for the ACT by encouraging and inspiring young people to consider a career in science and promoting the ACT as a centre of knowledge and scientific research and innovation.

The winner will be announced during National Science Week in August.

Nominations close 9 June 2015.

For more information, including eligibility criteria, visit the Scientist of the Year webpage External Link - opens in new window.

Thursday, 23 April 2015

Digital Canberra Challenge award winners


Digital Canberra Challenge winners

Chief Minister Andrew Barr MLA has today announced the winners of Round Three and launch Round Four of the Digital Canberra Challenge.

The Chief Minister said" The Digital Canberra Challenge is an initiative which not only provides an opportunity for the ACT Government to think differently, but also harnesses the talent and creativity of our innovative SMEs and seeks to engage them in the design and development of digital solutions to improve public service delivery."

"Encouraging the public service to work collaboratively with these organisations will help grow the private sector here in the ACT. This is a priority for the government as we aim to reduce our reliance on the Commonwealth public service."

Round Three joint winners APositive and Link Digital were awarded $10,000 each in prize money. APositive developed a digital art installation and Link Digital developed a Digital Image and Video Library.

APositive is a design studio specialising in using augmented reality. Their innovative solution involved the creation of a unique soundscape at the Arboretum linked to the different forests.

Link Digital is an established digital agency within the Government and commercial sector, located in Canberra, Australia. Link Digital’s solution to developing a Digital Image and Video Library is truly innovative in its use of open source and community supported tools.

Since making the first call for challenges in August 2013, local designers and developers have collaborated with public servants to address real problems encountered by the ACT Government in doing business.

The Chief Minister said "I congratulate all of the participants in this round of the Digital Canberra Challenge and look forward to even more local innovators stepping up to the next challenge."

"The two new challenges to be addressed are Augmented Built Reality and New Communications Platform for ACT Government Staff and Volunteers and I encourage local innovators to get involved."

To find out more visit the Digital Canberra Challenge website External Link - opens in new window.

Monday, 20 April 2015

Canberra Teens Learn to Code in new event by Entry 29


hs.hact.io participants

Entry 29 External Link - opens in new window has brought together 30 of Canberra’s programmers, technologists and designers to hold a three day digital technologies community event, hs.hact.io, for 130 ACT High School students over 17-19 April 2015.

The hs.hact.io event is a project-based learning approach to STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) disciplines and entrepreneurship. The event is designed for students at all levels of experience. Beginners receive mentoring and support from Canberra’s tech community as they develop their first website, mobile app, video game, 3D animation, or 3D printed object. More advanced students are using the three days to form teams, build something cool, and compete for more than $7,500 in cash prizes.

ACT teachers and schools are getting behind the event with Canberra Grammar School providing its new Snow Centre building as the venue for the inaugural event.

“We need more events like hs.hact.io which allow students to engage in practical projects beyond the
classroom. At Canberra Grammar School we are proud to support this event which is an ideal use of our new Snow Centre building – emphasising collaboration, teamwork, and community,” said Information and Software Technology Teacher Matthew Purcell.

Event Lead and General Manager at the Entry 29 tech startup co-working space Matt Stimson is passionate about developing ACT Youth and getting them into technology and entrepreneurship.

“You ask enough developers how they became passionate about technology and it often involves positive experiences and support during their formative years. A large component of this event exists for high schoolers interested in tech and unsure of how to get started with it,’ he said.

The hs.hact.io organisers raised over $17,500 in their crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo to cover the event costs and prizes. The crowdfunding effort goes towards running not only this event, but funding the development of materials to rollout the concept nationally to satellite venues in 2016.

“This inaugural event is going brilliantly and we’re already thinking of how to grow it and run a similar event for Primary Schools,” Stimson added.

The CBR Innovation Network (CBRIN) reserved the major sponsorship opportunity within hours of the hs.hact.io campaign launch.

“I only wish there were opportunities like this when I was going through school. We are extremely proud to be involved with hs.hact.io we could not be more excited to support youth in the ACT. This event could be the start of an amazing journey for hundreds of Canberra’s youth,” said CBR Innovation Network Chief Executive Dr Sarah Pearson.

NICTA’s Digital Careers Office and Cogito Group, winner of the ACT Telstra Business Award in 2014 for Startup of the Year, have also joined as event sponsors. Canberra startups like Madefor.me and game studios Cardboard Keep and Whalehammer Games have also come aboard.

More event information is available at www.hs.hact.io External Link - opens in new window.

Tuesday, 31 March 2015

Canberra Company secures $2.1 million in Series A Funding Round


Local company Nexus eWater Pty Ltd have recently announced the successful closing of $2.1 million in Series A funding from Investors in the US, Australia and UK with proceeds assisting to complete the initial product roll-out in the US market.

ACT Chief Minister Andrew Barr said "The ACT Government recognises that innovation is the foundation of economic growth and competitiveness. We are committed to positioning Canberra as an innovation hub into the future, and I am pleased that the ACT Government was able to assist in the initial stages of Nexus eWater’s proof of concept with a grant through the Innovation Connect and Discovery Translation Funds."

"By securing this significant investment, Nexus has demonstrated that a small amount of assistance at an early stage has the potential to stimulate significant growth and economic returns."

Nexus eWater Pty Ltd has developed the world’s first practical, on-site water and energy recycler for new and existing homes, and is a prime example of a world-class technology start-up that has emerged from Canberra. The Nexus eWater Domestic Water and Energy Recycler allows home owners to conserve both energy and water by turning their grey waste water into a valuable resource.

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.

Further information visit the Innovation Connect page.

Thursday, 26 March 2015

Canberra start-up takes out ‘Your Shark Tank’ competition


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.

Tuesday, 2 December 2014

Hackathon ACT 2014


Hackathon ACT 2014 participants

Last weekend 58 local innovators, including 25 high school students and one primary school student, participated in this year’s Hackathon ACT (HACT) challenge.

The HACT challenge gives teams 32 hours to design, code and launch a new digital product or service. It is part of the TriHack weekend with simultaneous hackathons also taking place in Wollongong and Bega as part of unlocking innovation in the regions.

The HACT challenge, held at Entry 29’s External Link - opens in new window new facilities at the CBR Innovation Network External Link - opens in new window, included workshops and mentors and culminated in a public pitching event.

The participants made up 18 teams, with 15 teams choosing to go to the final pitching event.

Congratulations to the winning HACT 2014 teams:

Biggest Impact Idea ($1,000 prize provided by the CBR Innovation Network)
'Elocution Lab'

Outstanding Young Entrepreneur ($500 prize each provided by the CBR Innovation Network)
'Bottled'
'AntiGreyMatter'
'Tap Plus'

Best Community/Open Source Product ($1,000 prize provided by October CMS)
'ACTcident'

Find out more about Hackathon ACT External Link - opens in new window.

Tuesday, 25 November 2014

Seven Canberra businesses share in Innovation Connect funding


Congratulations to the seven Canberra-based businesses who have been awarded funding from the recent round of the Innovation Connect program.

Innovation Connect is the ACT Government’s flagship innovation program which provides matched-funding grants of up to $50,000 to assist early stage Canberra businesses and entrepreneurs to accelerate the development of products and services through commercialisation pathways.

Since the program was established in 2008, funding of more than $3.5 million has been awarded to 142 local businesses, and that amount was at least matched by all of the grant recipients.

This round’s successful grant recipients were:
  • Burnology Pty Ltd - A web-based collaborative mapping and intelligence management system for use before, during and after emergency incidents;
  • Davoodi Pty Ltd - The development of AutoMed – an automatic, self-adjusting medication system for livestock complete with a mobile and cloud-based management system and data recorder;
  • Ezygene Pty Ltd - Development of a DNA diagnostic kit for identification of Pseudomonas bacteria suitable for commercial sale;
  • Rosemark Water Tanks - The development of a full scale working prototype of an innovative water storage solution designed to remove space, cost and aesthetic barriers to greater water tank adoption;
  • Pendulum Technology Pty Ltd - Bindle the new way to travel. A mobile application that leverages crowd sourced information to help users help themselves. Bindle enables travellers to connect with one another around the world and revolutionises the traditional travel guide as it stands today;
  • MediSen Solutions Pty Ltd - The development of an electronic portal that places control of claims in the hands of the health care providers; and
  • Pictionist - The goal of Pictionist is to revolutionise how people search for images and pictures within an organisation. This will be achieved through implementation of an image search engine that can be customised based on specific characteristics such as image colour, visual structure, and metadata.

Further information visit our Innovation Connect page.

Friday, 17 October 2014

Streamlined ‘digital ID wallet’ from Imagine Team wins top Canberra SME innovation award


Winners of round 2 of the Digital Canberra Challenge

A prototype app giving Canberra residents the ability to seamlessly access a wide range of local services has secured first place – and a $12,500 cash prize for Canberra’s Imagine Team – at the Digital Canberra Challenge External Link - opens in new window awards this week.

Imagine Team’s 'digital ID' wallet gives users one app instead of a myriad of cards to access buses, libraries and other government services. The app, called ‘Cardly’ is the brainchild of co-creators Zakaria Bouguettaya and Andrew Clapham. The prototype app incorporates MyWay cards and ACT drivers' licences but can be extended to include other services. Bouguettaya said he will use the cash prize to further develop the prototype.

“I want to thank NICTA’s eGov Cluster and the ACT Government for backing the Digital Canberra Challenge. The support that this competition is giving to innovative SMEs in Canberra has been fantastic,” said Mr Bouguettaya.

Mr Bouguettaya says he anticipates using the money on extending the concept of Cardly, and investing on his other venture, QuicklyPay.it. As for the next steps for Cardly, Mr. Bouguettaya is in discussions with government agencies to see how the concept can be rolled out for a private beta, and what would be needed to see it through to reality.

The runner-up app came from local start-up company Basement Labs. It aims to streamline information about the Canberra Hospital for patients, visitors and staff. Tim Ainge from Basement Labs has trialled the app in the hospital’s new paediatrics ward. “The value of the app is in providing information in smaller and more relevant ‘chunks’, making it easier for people to consume,” said Mr Ainge.

This awards were presented last night at NICTA’s Canberra Laboratory by ACT Deputy Chief Minister Andrew Barr. He also launched round three of the Challenge. “Through the Challenge, we have seen SMEs challenging the status quo and thinking deeply about the issues facing our government. These businesses have been focussed on developing the right solutions for these challenges. The Digital Canberra Challenge encourages ACT public servants, and the local community, to get involved in thinking differently about our government and developing new and better ways for us to do business,” said Minister Barr.

Michael Phillips, Manager of the NICTA-led eGov Cluster said: “Once again, the diversity, drive and resourcefulness of Canberra’s innovators was on show in the Digital Canberra Challenge. Congratulations to the winners!”

Digital Canberra Challenge is an ACT Government initiative to engage Canberra’s brightest minds to help build and support a dynamic, healthy and prosperous Digital City for the 21st century.

Tuesday, 14 October 2014

Seeing Machines named 2014 ACT Exporter of the Year


2014 ACT Chief Minister's Export Awards winners

Canberra-based technology company Seeing Machines has been crowned ACT Exporter of the Year at the 2014 ACT Chief Minister’s Export Awards held on 14 October 2014.

Seeing Machines is renowned for developing state of the art fatigue and distraction monitoring technology, including the Driver Safety System (DSS) which is already being used by mining, commercial road-transport and automotive industries worldwide.

The company, which was founded in 1999, now has 95 employees working across Canberra, San Francisco, Arizona and Tuscany, with export sales accounting for 53% of its revenue.

Seeing Machines recognition as 2014 ACT Exporter of the Year comes a month after the company announced a collaboration deal with Samsung which aims to bring face and eye tracking technology to the consumer electronics market.

"We are delighted to be recognised as the 2014 ACT Exporter of the Year," Seeing Machines CEO Ken Kroger said.

"Canberra is a great place to do business. The collaboration between organisations such as NICTA and the ANU are part of a small technology community that come together to share resources and ideas and support each other."

Seeing Machines have also signed a three-year strategic agreement with Electro-Motive Diesel Inc. which will introduce their state-of-the-art Driver Safety System to the rail industry.

Canberra Business Chamber CEO, Chris Faulks, congratulated Seeing Machines on winning the 2014 ACT Exporter of the Year, as well as the Information and Communication Technology category for the second year running.

"Seeing Machines success is a testament to the growing strength of the export industry in the ACT", Ms Faulks said.

"Since winning the Information and Communication Technology category at the Export Awards last year Seeing Machines has grown considerably and this award is due recognition for their achievements.

"Seeing Machines, along with the other 10 category winners, is a prime example of the innovative, global success of ACT exporters who use our country’s capital as a base".

First time winners in this years Export Awards included iSimulate (Education and Training), OnTheGo (Online Sales), as well as Frameskin and Austranter Medical, who shared the Emerging Exporter award.

The full list of winners for the 2014 ACT Chief Minister’s Export Awards:
  • ACT Exporter of the Year – Seeing Machines 
  • Business Services – Intelledox 
  • Education and Training – iSimulate 
  • Environmental Solutions – Windlab
  • Health and Biotechnology – Aspen Medical 
  • Information and Communication Technology – Seeing Machines
  • Manufacturing – Datapod 
  • Online Sales- OnTheGo 
  • Small Business – IE Asia Pacific 
  • Emerging – Frameskin and Austranter Medical (ACT only) 
  • ACT Exporting Government Solutions – Royal Australian Mint (ACT only) Exporting To Asia – Intelledox (ACT only) 

All ACT category winners will qualify for entry into the 52nd Australian Export Awards which will be held in Melbourne in November.

The ACT Chief Minister’s Export Awards are an initiative of the ACT Government delivered by Canberra Business Chamber.

Thursday, 25 September 2014

Canberra based accelerator program investor presentations


The five teams participating in Canberra start-up accelerator program, GRIFFIN Accelerator External Link - opens in new windowpresented 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 External Link - opens in new window
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 External Link - opens in new window
Madefor.me is a marketplace connecting designers, local manufacturers, and consumers who want unique, made to order 3D printed designs. 

Quizling: www.quizlingapp.com External Link - opens in new window
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: www.symberra.com External Link - opens in new window
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.

Snapknock: www.snapknock.com External Link - opens in new window
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.

Monday, 8 September 2014

2014 Canberra BusinessPoint Awards Finalists Announced


The finalists for this years Canberra BusinessPoint Awards have been announced. Category finalists:

Web & Mobile

Imagine Team Pty Ltd
Likeajob
Enabled Employment

Clean & Green

Pure Pod
One of a Kind Apartments
Reposit Power

Bricks & Mortar

Capital Self Storage
Hotel Hotel
Therapy Masters

Creative & Design 

Flashpoint Training & Consulting
Tatts On Tatts Off
Handmade Canberra

Micro-enterprise

Bright Spark Speaking
Canberra Region Premium Tours
Penny Hyde

High growth

Barmco Mana Partnership
Red Robot Pty Ltd
Tailored Accounts

Congratulations and good luck to all the finalists. Winners will be announced at the Awards evening on 25 September 2014. Find out more on the Canberra BusinessPoint website External Link - opens in new window.

Wednesday, 3 September 2014

StudyCanberra Scholarship winner announced

One of Canberra's most enthusiastic advocates in the higher education sector has been announced by Chief Minister Katy Gallagher as the recipient of the inaugural StudyCanberra and Yellow Edge scholarship to China.

Luke Garner from the University of New South Wales (UNSW) Canberra will travel to Shanghai at the end of next week to attend the Global Leadership Practices Program (GLPP) at the prestigious China Executive Leadership Academy Pudong (CELAP), where he will gain valuable insights in to the Australia-China strategic relationship and workings of the Chinese central government.

He will also have the opportunity to promote Canberra as a world-class destination for education and business, and will share the StudyCanberra message with potential students and businesses overseas.

"We received a number of strong applications for the scholarship but I am delighted to announce Luke as the winner," the Chief Minister said.

"Luke was able to articulate a broad vision for how he will use the scholarship for the benefit of Canberra and I have no doubt that we have chosen one of Canberra's strongest higher education advocates to highlight the opportunities our city  boasts not only in education, but in employment, business and investment."

Mr Garner's career in the education sector has spanned over 16 years and he has experience in alumni, working with industry and graduates, research, admissions, student recruitment and student services.

"I am proud to call Canberra home and I want to be an advocate for all stakeholders in the education and research industries as I believe these industries will underpin the future growth of the Canberra economy," Mr Garner said.

"Canberra's education and research industry has not reached its full potential and it will continue to attract more high quality students and research partners from Australia and around the world.

"Where Boston is considered America's centre for higher education and research, in my opinion Canberra is deserving of this reputation in Australia," Mr Garner concluded.

The ACT Government partnered with local leadership development and performance experts Yellow Edge to establish the scholarship which was open to ACT residents working in the private and not-for-profit sectors.

"The ACT Government is always pleased to align itself with local companies who are passionate about our city and who work hard to ensure Canberra is seen as a global leader in education," the Chief Minister said.

"The team at Yellow Edge have done a remarkable job on the scholarship so far and I look forward to continuing to work closely with them for the duration of the StudyCanberra program."

The scholarship to China is one of the initiatives of StudyCanberra which aims to establish Canberra as a destination of choice for domestic and international students, increase the capacity of ACT tertiary education for research and innovation and to promote the contribution of education to the ACT economy.

For more information visit the StudyCanberra website External Link - opens in new window.

Watch Luke's application video:


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.

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.

Tuesday, 29 July 2014

A year of growth and development for Windlab


Global wind energy development company Windlab was established in 2003 to commercialise world leading atmospheric modelling and wind energy assessment technology as developed by Australia’s scientific research institute, the CSIRO.

Windlab has been utilising this technology to identify and develop ready to build wind farms which produce significant amounts of renewable energy, at a lesser expense than any other electricity producing alternative.
Windlab’s initiative and key role in the creation and development of Australia’s wind industry was recognised at the 2013 ACT Chief Minister’s Export Awards where they took out the category winner’s prize for Infrastructure and Construction.

Since then the company has continued to expand with Windlab’s 7500MW of renewable energy development pipeline maturing rapidly, as well as significant expansion in the overseas market.
2014 has also been a busy year for Windlab , with a focus on research and development.

Windlab’s Canberra based renewable energy centre-for-excellence, the WindScape Institute, was announced in March. The Institute consists of a team of highly trained physicists and engineers, many of whom studied locally at the Australian National University (ANU).

The objectives of WindScape are to create a high resolution global wind energy database using Windlab’s industry leading wind prospecting technology and to provide a centre to train the next generation of wind energy engineers and scientists.

Windlab Australian General Manager, Garth Heron, says that Canberra’s unique characteristics have played a key role in the company’s development and success.

“As a knowledge-based exporter, the strength of the ACT’s educational and tertiary institutions is at the heart of Windlab’s domestic and international competitive advantage,” Heron said.

“Canberra possesses an active culture of innovative technology-based entrepreneurialism that is not just encouraged but actively pursued and enabled through private and government collaboration.”

Windlab’s collaborative efforts stretch to government, tertiary institutions and industry associations such as the ACT Exporters Network, Canberra Business Council, South East Region of Renewable Energy Excellence (SERREE) and others.

The ACT Chief Minister’s Export Awards celebrate success stories such as this, providing national recognition for some of ACT’s quietest achievers.

“I’d whole-heartedly encourage any company exporting products and services from the ACT take a brief moment away from their day to day business and get involved in the ACT Export Awards,” said Heron.

Has your business had success like Windlab? 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.