Funding

Meet the 20 tech ventures sharing in $11 million in government grants to take on the world

Dinushi Dias /

The federal government has dished out $11.3 million to a diverse range of innovative products as part of the next round of its Entrepreneurs’ Programme.

The funding from the Accelerating Commercialisation fund has gone into 20 startups from around Australia and is aiming to help the companies get a kick-start in new markets and help with global expansion plans.

Federal minister for innovation Greg Hunt says the funding will help fast-track the commercialisation of the range of tech offerings.

“A 3-D printed jaw joint replacement, termite-proof building materials and a safer way to store grain outdoors are amongst the diverse products and services that will be fast-tracked,” Hunt says in a statement.

The grants range from $213,000 to $1 million and are matched dollar-for-dollar by the recipients.

This funding brings the federal government’s total investment in such ventures to nearly $80 million across the program.

With this backing, startups are expected to overcome entry barriers to market by proceeding with product trials, licensing and accelerated manufacturing.

Among the recipients is Melbourne Accelerator Program participant BajaBoard, which manufactures tech-based motor sports products.

“It’s very exciting,” BajaBoard founder George Li tells StartupSmart.

The Melbourne-based startup has received a grant of over $250,000 for the development of its new all-terrain electric skateboard.

The startup has been enjoying some early traction after MAP director Rohan Workman jumped into Li’s car when he was an Uber driver, prompting him to apply for the program.

“Up to now, we’ve been doing this board quite bespokely one-by-one by hand,” Li says.

The government grant will enable Li and his team to accelerate manufacturing so they can expand globally.

“We’ve almost signed up [a distributor] in Europe and we’re talking to someone in the US,” he says.

The grant has also helped them bring on an early stage investor who offered to back them if they won the grant.

BajaBoard will also be using the new capital to build out its website, develop marketing videos and bring on new talent.

But Li says the win is in no way an instant cash prize.

“The preparation process took about a year,” he says.

“We put it up in late April [2015] hoping it would be done in June [2016] but the federal election pushed it back.”

Li says startups should complete the ‘accelerating commercialisation funding’ application even if they don’t intend to apply.

“As a startup, you should know how to answer those questions,” he says.

“You have to substantiate everything, don’t use words like ‘many’ [or] ‘several’. Actually put the numbers in and put attachments where you can back up your claims.”

Meet all the grant winners

  • Seels Technology (SA) has received $1 million for revolutionary concrete replacement Toberite which hardens almost instantly.
  • Biotech company SpeeDX (NSW) has received $1 million for diagnostic solutions to combat the rise of superbugs resistant to antibiotics.
  • Magnetica Limited (QLD), aiming to drive next generation of MRI technologies, has received $1 million for integration of compact, high performance, patient friendly MRI tech.
  • Carbon Link Limited (QLD), aiming to help farmers improve soil and become more resilient to drought, has received $979,440 for large-scale measurement systems for trading soil carbon.
  • Bio Processing Australia (NSW), which develops solutions in biofuel, fermentation and food, has received $891,525 for its mineral yeast fermentation production system.
  • Advanced tech company Liquid Instruments (ACT) has received $830,261 for Moku:Lab, a reconfigurable test and measurement device.
  • Global Grain Handling Solutions (WA) has received $705,320 for outdoor grain storage system.
  • InterfereX Communications (ACT), which develops wireless and wireline network solutions, has received $675,000 for advanced signal processing to maximise performance of digital content.
  • OMX Solutions (VIC), which engineers surgery solutions, has received $650,000 for a 3D printed medical device for jaw-joint replacements.
  • Pumpfree Energy (NSW), which designs and licenses innovative tech in waste water to energy management, has received $508,675 for pump-free energy bio-oils harvesting and environmental management.
  • Renewable Energy Solutions Australia (RESA Operations, QLD) has received $490,070 for manufacturing its all-in-one management system VoltLogic for global expansion.
  • Risk management specialist Lacima Group (NSW) has received $487,225 for office analytics system, which can be used by energy and commodities traders.
  • Fuel theft prevention company Scancam Industries (WA) has received $360,031 for smart fuel security, automated anti-fuel theft monitoring and reporting.
  • Sci.Aero (WA), which provides drone pilot training and solutions, has received $300,000 for its revolutionary aerial surveying and robotic aircraft.
  • International Health Group (NSW) has received $300,000 for its revolutionary infant resuscitation musk.
  • Vericus (VIC) has received $249,845 for development of Cadmus, software tool to verify authenticity of written assessments.
  • Software company Exa-Min Technologies (QLD) has received $249,000 for its integrated mobile workforce solution.
  • Green Zone (VIC), which develops commercial and residential pest barriers, granted $236,965 for insect proof expansion joint foam for use in concrete construction.
  • Environmental transformation company Micronised Mineral Solutions (NT) has received $213,086 for acid mine water treatment.

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Dinushi Dias

Dinushi Dias is a freelance journalist and a former StartupSmart reporter and multimedia content producer. She is the co-founder of Melbourne-based production house Dinushi & Power.

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