Chess and alcohol idea lands $10,000 grant prize

A new business grant competition has picked an innovative company that provides games of chess in a bar setting for the $10,000 prize.


The Commander Business Grant awarded the money to 25-year-old Jasmine Costello following a competition that involved more than 500 entries.


Costello was selected from a 10-strong shortlist, which was assessed by a judging panel. Entrants were asked how they would spend the $10,000 grant.


Commander, which provides technology and communications solutions to businesses, plans to run the grant competition annually following the inaugural award.


Costello’s winning idea came after she taught her partner Rich how to play chess as a way of taking his mind off a regular flow of job rejections.


The lessons flourished into a business idea – an integrated bar/chess club called Chess-Nuts.


Costello says: “Our vision for Chess-Nuts is a relaxed, inner city bar environment where chess lovers can come, meet other chess players while enjoying a drink and a chat.”


Stuart Matthewman, marketing manager at Commander, adds: “It’s pretty clear from speaking with Jasmine that young entrepreneurialism in Australia is alive and well”, he said.


Costello plans to use the grant to find a location for the idea, which will be held at an existing venue.


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