Budding entrepreneurs show diversity of Brisbane’s startup scene

Twelve Brisbane entrepreneurs have shared in $25,000 worth of funding courtesy of the Brisbane Council Lord Mayor’s Budding Entrepreneurs Grant Program.


The grant program received 114 applications, with the 12 winners receiving between $1000 and $5000 each.


Lord Mayor Graham Quirk says he was pleased to be able to assist some of Brisbane’s best emerging startups.


“These are young entrepreneurs, who through their own initiative and often self-taught skills are tackling global markets or creating business solutions through technology,” he says.


“In Brisbane, we have a growing community of exciting and inventive startups with low entry costs and the potential to reach global markets and bring significant investment into the Brisbane economy.”


One of the entrepreneurs receiving a grant was Nkosana Mafico, co-founder of PeeP Digital, an online tool which helps make learning English pronunciation easier by simplifying the international phonetics system.


Peep Digital co-founder Greg Beaver said the grant will allow Mafico to visit Silicon Valley on a trip organised by Gold Coast incubator Silicon Lakes.


Beaver says the trip will allow Mafico a chance to seek advice, inspiration and search for investment.


Joining Mafico as a grant recipient are 11 other entrepreneurs from a diverse range of startups:


  • Hollie Gordon of Milaana; a startup that connects students and jobseekers with community organisation projects.
  • Samantha Saunders of Goldfish Software; a cloud-based ordering system for cafés that integrates with café point of sales systems.
  • Benjamin Forday of CoSituate; an online marketplace that connects businesses and organisations with spare space and those that need space.
  • Jillian Kenny of Machinam; a startup that uses technology to revolutionise maths textbooks for high school students.
  • Andrew Brett of UniMap; a simple and intuitive map-based application featuring university teaching rooms that can be used.
  • Michael Otway of Floor Five; a website that gives customers the opportunity to win back products they purchase online.
  • Peter Kable of Peter Kable Architecture; launched a digital development agent that produces a report to show customers the range of exempted development options available to them for any residential site in Brisbane.
  • Benjamin Harrop of inKind; a donation platform that centralises revenue collection for charities and rewards donors.
  • David Ryan of Metaset Media; a mobile video app that creates a platform for journalists and content curators to access, engage with and request crowdsourced content and citizen journalism.
  • Ben Maggacis of MassPay; a suit of payment tools that streamline payments globally.
  • Ben Manderville-Clarke of Distractless; a system to prevent drivers becoming distracted by their smartphones.


One of the judges for the grant program was Reload Business Group managing director Llew Jury and he was thrilled with the quality of applicants.


“I was particularly impressed by the education, crowdfunding and community-related projects that could really make a difference both here and globally,’’ he says.


“The applications that clearly showed detailed market research and long-term business growth and scale opportunities were the standouts.


“It’s great to see Brisbane showcasing so many entrepreneurs that want to go global.”


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