There’s something very refreshing and energising about new business ideas. The startup phase holds so much promise yet it’s such a fragile stage in the life of any business. There are plenty of great ideas out there but the real test comes in turning ideas into products with a sustainable business model.
One of the toughest things for startups is finding the funding to bring their idea to life. All sorts of new funding options have developed over the past decade to facilitate this process, including crowdfunding, but it’s great to see institutions such as banks supporting our startup sector.
Recently, St.George Bank announced the five winners of its Kick Start Your Start-Up Grants program, with each startup receiving $25,000 to help them develop their business.
The winners were awarded the grants after each delivering a ‘fast pitch’ at the TEDxSydney conference held at the Sydney Opera House.
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The winners of the grants were:
- Sleepy Bub: a new business launching mid-2016 to bring sleep back into the family home, with a core product designed to help babies sleep safer and remain swaddled all night long.
- AirBuddy: provides the freedom to dive whenever you want without the hassle or the restrictive bulk of SCUBA gear.
- Conweigh: a new on demand, on-site mobile container weighing service that provides shippers with the perfect balance of convenience, efficiency and affordability.
- Iridium Dynamics: developing a novel, highly-efficient unmanned aircraft specifically for the agriculture industry.
- BRiN: a smartphone app that uses the power of artificial intelligence to provide human-like support to millions of business owners simultaneously.
Each of the startups has an innovative business idea that solves a particular problem for their potential customers, ranging from helping babies sleep to unmanned aircraft for the agriculture industry.
Sometimes we associate the idea of innovation with only purely tech-based companies, but ingenuity can take many forms, and applying innovative thinking to everyday problems is the basis for creating new products, businesses and even industries.
Of course tech plays a big part in innovation because the right software or hardware can crack open a whole new way of doing things in an industry. Look no further than what Uber has done in the personal transport field.
But with the emergence of concepts such as artificial intelligence, 3D printing and virtual reality, we will continue to see more and more business ideas that apply the learnings and functions of these fields to all sorts of industries.
The ideas will come from little backyard workshops as well as big corporate think tanks. Not all of them will be successful and not all of them will go on to be the “Uber of…”. But it’s important we develop the business environment and ecosystem that supports innovation and enterprise in this country.
Let’s hope that whichever party wins the upcoming election pays attention to the wonderful efforts of all the startups and small businesses in this country. Our future prosperity rests on the work of these people.
* Disclaimer: St.George Bank is a client of Bendalls.
Fi Bendall is CEO of The Bendalls Group, a business that leads STRATEGY : ADVOCACY : MOBILE delivering the business acumen to drive effective positive results in a disruptive economy for the C-suite. Fi has recently won a Westpac/AFR 2015 100 Women of Influence award.