Meet the Brisbane entrepreneurs going global with their game-changing ideas.
From the world’s first Virtual Reality (VR) to combat discrimination to a children’s interactive storytelling app; a range of entrepreneurs have been selected for the Lord Mayor’s Global Entrepreneur Program.
Lord Mayor Graham Quirk announced the 11 grant recipients today, following a competitive judging process with more than 90 applications.
Cr Quirk said the Global Entrepreneur Program was part of a commitment to help grow existing businesses and to ensure Brisbane remained globally competitive in emerging industries.
“Brisbane is home to some of the world’s brightest minds and the Global Entrepreneur Program attracted some of the city’s leading businesses with huge growth potential,” Cr Quirk said.
“Each of the 11 grant recipients will be awarded up to $5000 to help their business reach new customers and tap into global markets.”
Judging panellist and Brisbane Chief Digital Officer Cat Matson said the program was continuing the city’s tradition of supporting innovation and talent.
“To have such unique businesses being established and run from our own backyard is immensely validating for Brisbane’s reputation as a talent hub,” Ms Matson said.
“Among those successful is Equal Reality, a business dedicated to overcoming discrimination in the workplace – which is solving a real-world issue.
“Another recipient, Virtual Legal, is breaking down the cost and access barriers to obtaining legal advice, regardless of geographic location or financial background.
“It’s promising to see such talent among this group as their businesses will ultimately bring benefits to the wider Brisbane community.”
Since 2012, more than 70 budding entrepreneurs have received funding to take their early-stage startups to the next level.
The Lord Mayor’s Global Entrepreneur Program is part of the Digital Brisbane 2.0 strategy, which outlines Brisbane’s commitment to evolving the city’s digital capabilities.
Meet the Lord Mayor’s Global Entrepreneur Program recipients
Kristen Souvlis – Kindergo and Like a Photon Creative
Kindergo is an interactive children’s storytelling app encouraging discoverable learning. The educational app helps to improve literacy in children aged 2-7 and has already received 10,000 downloads across 28 countries. The product has also been snapped up by Virgin InFlight entertainment as part of its children’s offering. The business Like A Photon Creative already employs 16 people locally and is now looking to expand. Kristen and her team will use the funds to travel to the US to meet new customers.
Rick Martin – Equal Reality
Equal Reality has created the world’s first Virtual Reality (VR) Diversity and Inclusion program, which allows users to gain a powerful experience by “walking in someone else’s shoes”. The VR scenarios are designed to combat discrimination by experiencing it first-hand.
Equal Reality has already secured a contract with the Royal Australian Navy and cracked the most popular business application on VR App Store. It will use the funds to take its product overseas, and expects to finalise a contract in the US with a large management consultancy.
Katie Richards – Virtual Legal
Virtual Legal is an online law firm with fixed pricing to break down the cost and access barriers associated with obtaining legal advice. Katie and her team are expanding their business offering, and will soon launch the Law on Earth platform, which she says will “save customers 90 per cent of what they would have paid a traditional law firm”. Katie will use the funds to travel to the UK to meet with new investors and to finalise her accreditation as a lawyer in the UK.
Sheree Burdinat and Warwick Anderson – Quantum Geology
Quantum Geology is an Artificial Intelligence (AI) system to help discover new gold deposits. Within Australia, $200 million is spent annually looking for gold, however there is a less than one per cent chance of success. Founders Sheree and Warwick already count a number of ASX-listed gold exploration companies as customers and plan on keeping their HQ in Brisbane. The funds will help the business to travel to Hong Kong, where they will attend and present at a trade conference and have the opportunity to pitch to a global audience.
Brad Parsons – Movus Australia
Brisbane-based MOVUS is described as a FitBit for machines, providing a better way to monitor machinery and removing the need for labour-intensive inspections. Founder Brad said his product is “changing the way machine maintenance has been performed for almost a century” through a combination of leading-edge technology and machine learning algorithms. MOVUS will use the funds to attend a trade event overseas.
Tim O’Brien – RaffleTix
RaffleTix is an online platform for fundraising organisations to create, promote and transact raffles in an easy and cost-effective way. The paperless raffle system has already been used by multiple charities and schools, and is deemed an “EventBrite for raffles”. With more than 55,000 registered charities in Australia and raffles a common fundraising platform, Tim is hoping to expand the business. He will use the funds to attend a trade event in Ireland.
Christopher Drake – FX2 School
FX2 School is a payment product for the education sector, which facilitates easier cross-border payments for international students. The product helps education providers to reduce the admin burden of multiple currencies and payment methods. Chris will use the funds to attend a trade event with other FinTech leaders, who have built global payment networks for other industries.
Chris Conway Lamb – FabrikCNC
FabrikCNC develops CNC (computer programmed machinery) machining centres for small-to-medium businesses. The business reduces the time and cost required for hardware manufacturers to get their products to market. Having already established a customer base locally, FabrikCNC hopes to become the go-to supplier of high-performance machinery tools. Chris will use the funds to meet with robotics specialists in the US and take up a 6-month residency at Arc space in Fortitude Valley.
Chris Macaulay and Tristan Ozinga – Advvy Pty Ltd
Advvy is a workflow management platform for media agencies, with the cloud-based platform removing manual processes and providing real-time campaign performance. In 2017, Advvy signed a global partnership deal with Microsoft to build its platform on the latest technology.
Advvy will use the funds to attend a Microsoft conference to build new global connections.
Leah and Shaun Bond – PPC Samurai
PPC Samurai is an industry tool for internet marketers to automate their AdWords management systems. Founders Leah and Shaun stuck to their instincts about the product’s success despite only earning $450 in revenue in their first month. They’ve since scaled into 18 countries and are currently in discussions with Google. The funds will help the business attend meetings in the Asia Pacific region.
David and Abbey Crompton – Caveman Kitchen
Caveman Kitchen is a wholefoods pre-made meal delivery service, offering paleo and gluten-free meals. The business has recently become registered as a supplier to the NDIS. The funds will help Caveman Kitchen to expand nationally, with 35 per cent of new customers coming from the greater Sydney and Canberra regions.
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