Tech trio take out UniSA’s entrepreneurial awards

Image of a lightbulb shining onA trio of tech start-ups will join the ranks of Adelaide’s thriving start-up scene, sharing in $135,000 Venture Catalyst seed funding as part of the University of South Australia and the South Australian Government’s initiative to support and develop entrepreneurial talent across the State.

The award-winning Venture Catalyst program supports the brightest of UniSA’s student and recent graduate-led start-ups, by providing up to $50,000 to novel and scalable enterprises as a grant.

Announced on Wednesday 13 September, the winners include tech food company, Playt, created by current UniSA student, Nicole Henderson; e-health platform, Secure Nest, designed by UniSA graduate, Sally Skewes; and business management software solution, Studio Buddy, set up by UniSA graduate, James Walsh.

Both Secure Nest and Playt were awarded $50,000 seed funding, with Studio Buddy awarded $35,000 plus $15,000 worth of incubation space with the Innovation and Collaboration Centre (ICC).

All winners also receive mentoring, support and working space in the ICC.

Secure Nest was also the inaugural winner of a new social enterprise stream introduced this year to foster greater social entrepreneurship and encourage innovations that have measurable social impact.

UniSA Vice Chancellor, Professor David Lloyd, says the Venture Catalyst program is a fantastic initiative that supports entrepreneurship from the ground up.

“Venture Catalyst lets us identify and reward the ingenuity of our students and graduates, helping them deliver solutions that address current business issues and challenges,” Prof Lloyd says.

“And, as Australia’s University of Enterprise, supporting entrepreneurship is fundamental to everything we do.”

In the three years since the establishment of the Venture Catalyst program, nine start-up companies have been funded, with a total of $433,000 in capital investment.

“We all know that innovation and entrepreneurship is critical for ongoing business growth and development,” Prof Lloyd says.

“So when we have a program like Venture Catalyst, it’s incredibly rewarding to support the innovation of our student and alumni community.”

The Venture Catalyst winners:

Announced on Wednesday 13 September, the winners include tech food company, Playt, created by current UniSA student, Nicole Henderson; e-health platform, Secure Nest, designed by UniSA graduate, Sally Skewes; and business management software solution, Studio Buddy, set up by UniSA graduate, James Walsh.

Secure Nest, UniSA graduate Sally Skewes: received $50K, social enterprise stream - This e-health platform provides greater accessibility for clients of Schema Therapy (an innovative psychotherapy that helps people overcome negative behaviours) to help with their treatment and recovery.

Playt, current UniSA student, Nicole Henderson: received $50K, main stream - Making every recipe shoppable is the goal of Playt, a food tech start-up that converts text from online and print recipes into a digital shopping list, integrating it with both national and international grocery partners to provide reliable and accurate home deliveries.

Studio Buddy, UniSA graduate, James Walsh: received $35K + $15K worth of incubation space with the ICC - This business management software solution incorporates all aspects of studio management, with the added ability of being able to scale into other industries to capture data and track performance across the sector.

Contact for interviews:  

Jasmine Vreugdenburg, Manager, Innovation and Collaboration Centre, University of South Australia

P: +61 8 830 20927 | M: 0408 856 858 |  Jasmine.Vreugdenburg@unisa.edu.au

 

Media contact: Annabel Mansfield mobile: 0417 717 504 email: Annabel.Mansfield@unisa.edu.au

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