ANU entrepreneurs sweep $50,000 innovation awards

2 November 2015

Six teams, all containing students from the Australian National University, were awarded at the InnovationACT Awards Night ceremony over the weekend.

The awarded teams were recognised for their innovative business ideas, beating out 37 others from around the Canberra region that also participated in the business model program. The six teams will each receive a share of the $50,000 grant pool to kick-start their new ventures.

Professor Michael Cardew-Hall, Pro Vice-Chancellor of Innovation, praised the awarded teams.

"I would personally like to congratulate all the teams. A program like InnovationACT really showcases the talent that is present at ANU and in the wider Canberra community," he said.

The result came as a surprise to ANU student Kevin Mugianto, co-founder of one of the awarded teams, eternaBooks.

"We are elated, delighted and thrilled [to be awarded]... We are thankful that we did not give up and persevered with the intention not only to win but also to give back to the community," he said.

With the program now over, Mr Mugianto and his team have already started planning for the journey ahead.

"We are excited to continue on building our startup company to a bigger and brighter future with the plans that we have formulated through working with our mentor, partners and the InnovationACT team."

InnovationACT is an initiative of the ANU Technology Transfer Office, and is supported by Canberra's other major tertiary institutions, IP Australia, ACT Government, CBR Innovation Network and a number of other players in the innovation space.

"There's a stunning level of support in the local startup ecosystem. There has never been a more exciting time to become involved in innovation in Canberra," said Professor Cardew-Hall.

Congratulations to the teams that received funding:

  • Bringdream: Developing a platform to help university students find like-minded teammates for group work
  • Certified Renewable: Developing a certification to identify businesses utilising renewable energy
  • eternaBooks: Producing heavy-duty children's books from a durable material
  • GradLife: Providing services to help post-graduate students secure suitable off-campus accommodation
  • Tutora: Producing bilingual study handbooks for international students
  • Workhorse Finance: Developing a website to teach youth about finance and investment fundamentals

For more information about InnovationACT or if you are interested in participating in next year's program, visit innovationact.org.