Startups skyrocket in Lord Mayor’s Budding Entrepreneurs Program

28 June 2016

Startups skyrocket in Lord Mayor’s Budding Entrepreneurs Program

Fifteen Brisbane startups across a range of industries have been awarded funding grants towards professional development in the latest round of the Lord Mayor’s Budding Entrepreneurs Program.

From agriculture to social enterprise, innovative health tech and services to the shipping industry, the latest crop of budding Brisbane entrepreneurs is further proof the city is full of bright ideas which are globally scalable.

Lord Mayor Graham Quirk said that since launching in 2013, the Lord Mayor’s Budding Entrepreneurs Program had provided funding of more than $200,000 to 58 up-and-coming Brisbane entrepreneurs to help elevate their startups to the next level.

The grant offers aspiring entrepreneurs the chance to access up to $5000 towards developing their enterprising business capabilities,” Cr Quirk said.

A small amount of money can go a long way when you’re just starting out.

Today, startup companies, which have relatively low entry costs, have the potential to reach global markets and bring hundreds of millions of dollars into the Brisbane economy.”

Brisbane Chief Digital Officer Cat Matson ­said the program allowed startups the opportunity to tap into development funding to scale their business reasonably quickly and compete with larger companies.

The Lord Mayor’s Budding Entrepreneurs Program is an important part of the Digital Brisbane Strategy which aims to create an economic climate conducive to digital startups,” Ms Matson said.

The calibre of applications was extraordinary in Round 6 and more than 200 submissions were received.

All winners demonstrated an entrepreneurial mindset combined with transformative business ideas.”

Ms Matson said Digital Brisbane was in a unique position to help them grow their businesses here in Brisbane.

The funding, mentoring and other assistance that Digital Brisbane can provide will go a long way to ensuring these businesses succeed,” she said.

The program is open to anyone with a desire to pursue an entrepreneurial career, and has an idea for or just started a digital business.”

Grant winner Adrian Dudok, whose business Skyborne Technologies has developed inventive new designs for airborne drones, said the Budding Entrepreneur scheme would give him the opportunity to attend an event in Singapore to pitch the company’s product and access seed funding.

The program will give us the opportunity to accelerate our product to the local and global market at this early stage of our start-up venture,” Mr Dudok said.

We’ll be able to showcase our product on the world stage.”

Another grant winner Anthony Brewer said the program assisted in funding a provisional patent but, above all, would open doors for his ground-breaking business.

Founding a startup and backing yourself to succeed is a scary experience,” Mr Brewer said.

It’s fantastic to get recognised by and exposed to investors and businesses in the Brisbane startup ecosystem.”

Mr Brewer’s environmentally sustainable business agAlytics puts high-tech capability in the palm of your hand, empowering farmers to measure soil nutrients with a low-cost, smartphone-enabled sensor.

The city recently announced a commitment of $5 million over five years to nurture and expand the city’s burgeoning startup community and create an innovation hub in the CBD.

Not only is it important to build on our reputation as Australia’s New World City and a leading innovation centre in the Asia Pacific, but this hub is also a vital catalyst for job creation and future economic growth,” Cr Quirk said.

Previous winners of the Lord Mayor’s Budding Entrepreneurs Program include a social enterprise dedicated to smarter food distribution, an online wedding directory that simplifies the wedding planning process by giving couples access to planning tools, an affordable virtual reality headset that integrates with a smartphone, a revolutionary all-in-one organiser for young people and a travel photography business.

Entrepreneurs can apply for amounts of up to $5000 to attend a startup event or conference, obtain professional advice, join a startup support program, gain entry into education programs, or access funding for trade missions.

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