- 14 November 2022
- Posted by: Canberra Innovation Network
- Categories: Event News, Feature, General News, Networking, Startup Stories & Profiles
At the Canberra Innovation Network, we couldn’t be any more proud of this community of entrepreneurs. For their achievements. For their ingenuity. For the way they’ve turned challenges into opportunities and absolutely thrived. The Innovation Showcase is our way to celebrate the hardworking innovation and startup community in Canberra, highlighting those achievements and inspiring even bigger goals for the new year.
It’s a fun and interactive afternoon, encouraging the community to come together, share stories and get energised for the next year ahead.
At this year’s Innovation Showcase Canberra startups will go head-to-head in a live shark-tank style pitching competition judged live by YOU. You’ll have the opportunity to meet new people, learn about the exciting things that came out of 2022 and get a glimpse into what’s in store!
We interviewed the innovators that will be headlining the showcase this year and discussed the meaning of innovation, the future and the event!
Introducing the team from Endless Australia,
What are you pitching at the Innovation Showcase?
We want to change the public perception of plastic and the assumption that plastic is inferior or simply rubbish. So we have come up with an innovative way to close the loop on small plastic waste by repurposing millions of plastic bottle lids into premium recycled plastic products.
We will design, create and produce high quality, Australian-made, sustainable products that are meaningful, attractive and functional, while supporting our community and donating to local charities.
We will be pitching our Social Enterprise ‘Endless, with a focus on our flagship products – Recycled Plastic Skateboards, starting with Display decks and Cruiser decks.
If the sky is the limit, what is your ultimate goal?
We believe we can create a global community and movement behind a high-impact brand that represents quality, sustainability, and innovation.
We will support our community and donate to local charities that focus on education, mental health and the environment, to help make our corner of the world a better place.
We plan to provide meaningful employment opportunities, for people with a disability or from disadvantaged backgrounds.
We intend to play an advocacy role with industry and government, on issues that affect skaters in their local community.
We will work with local schools and community groups, including Scouts, Lions Clubs, Rotary Clubs and Men’s Sheds, to help raise awareness of potential solutions to the small plastic problem.
What has been the high of the year for you?
We have had a very productive year so far and have progressed significantly in building our foundations. One of our main focuses has been industry networking and market research.
Recently we travelled from Canberra to Cairns up the east coast doing market research and building a database of media content. This included interviewing skaters and skate shop owners, testing out our prototype skateboard decks, talking to extreme sports people, and visiting recycling centres. During our travels we had many fruitful meetings and developed relationships with industry contacts.
We met with the CEO of Australia’s largest privately owned plastic manufacturer and they have agreed to produce our skateboard decks.
We met with the Director of a large branding company who have run marketing campaigns for large profile companies including Apple, Nike, IKEA, Facebook, Google, New Balance, Levi’s, YouTube and Ray-Ban.
We met with the Global Sales Manager of Australia’s largest skateboard distributor who own and distribute some of the most reputable brands in the surf, skate, lifestyle and fashion channels worldwide.
Another highlight of our year was completing and graduating from the GRIST Social Enterprise Accelerator course, which was run at the University of Canberra by The Mill House Ventures. One of the many advantages of the course was being connected with some very experienced mentors including Craig Fairweather, the CEO of The Mill House Ventures, Hugh Chalmers, the Chair of The Mill House Ventures, and a former partner of Meyer Vandenberg Lawyers, and Adam Marshall who is the General manager of Service One Bank and very experienced in Banking.
Clever, Connected & Creative. Which of these words do you most identify with and why?
Endless identifies as being Clever, Connected and Creative.
Small plastic pollution is a very large issue impacting the environment, humans and wildlife on a global scale.
Our solution to this widespread issue is not just sustainable, but also innovative, exciting, and clever. There are few alternatives to virgin timber decks and most of these options are very low volume and either made from other virgin materials or are made from co-mingled plastic and therefore rendered a non-recyclable end of life product.
Not only is our sustainable solution Australian-made from 100% recycled small plastic waste, our skateboard decks are also 100% recyclable.
By developing a strong community brand, we will bring people together and keep them connected under a common goal. We want to increase unity and diversity throughout different groups in the community, from extreme sports people and elderly people to school kids and people with disabilities.
Our products will be vibrant and available in 17 different solid colours, and a range of combinations. We will have ranges of products with different appearances and unique swirl patterns. Our skateboard decks are creative as there are very few decks available in the market with photographic prints on them, and we will empower and support local artists to have creative control by applying their exclusive decorative artwork onto our decks.
What does innovation mean to you?
We see innovation as being able to find a solution to a problem in a way that hasn’t been done before, while also creating products to fill a gap in the market.
We do this by turning trash into treasure, while committing to being sustainable and ethical and creating products that people can get excited about whilst supporting the local economy.