Buzzing with an innovative idea to make Canberra better? This program turns dreams into reality

Canberran Ilea Buffier has always wanted to use business as a tool to address climate change.

Passionate about helping people to lower their carbon emissions and save money at the same time, her first big business venture was partnering with Carbon Planet to bring their accounting service to the Capital City.

But when the company went bust, Ilea decided to take matters into her own hands and create Evalue8 Sustainability, a software company that helps and empowers businesses and organisations to track their carbon emissions and do their part to help the environment.

“I developed Evalue8 based on the cloud-based technology that’s become available and then I ended up purchasing the Carbon Planet existing software that they had developed and used that as the base to build Evalue8 on top of.”

Spending several hours doing courses at the Canberra Innovation Network (CBRIN) to get Evalue8 off the ground, Ilea received a call from a CBRIN team member who said she would be a perfect applicant for the GRIFFIN Accelerator program.

Designed to mentor and support start-up businesses like Evalue8, Ilea put in an application that day and never looked back.

Pairing four to seven emerging entrepreneurs with mentors, the GRIFFIN Accelerator is a three-month intensive program run by a group of seasoned Canberra entrepreneurs who invest in, host, coach and mentor selected startups to create successful high growth businesses.

Along with regular meetings, workshops, seminars and connections to the heart of  a thriving community of entrepreneurs and innovators, the GRIFFIN Accelerator allows participants to learn skills in investing, raising capital, sales, business development, and more.

With a desk in the heart of Canberra City surrounded by entrepreneurs and innovators and a calendar of events to connect with some of the most successful entrepreneurs in Australia, at the conclusion of the program applicants will have the opportunity to pitch to the mentors for up to $100,000 to get their business booming.

As one of the successful 2019 applicants Ilea says for those considering applying to the program, it’s one of the best business decisions entrepreneurs can make but it isn’t a comfy, hand-holding process.

“It’s a lot of work. There’s a lot of pressure from yourself as well as all of the mentors; everyone is investing, their time is amazingly valuable and they are contributing a lot to your business in that intensive 3 month period,” she says.

“If it’s a side hustle that you’re kind of interested in then it’s not the right thing but if it’s something you really care about and are willing to go all in for then I would 100% say it’s an amazing opportunity.”

As the GRIFFIN Accelerator program looks for the next generation of Canberra success stories, what matters to the team is the ideas are buzzing with an innovative idea that will make Canberra a better, more amazing place to live and work.

“The main one [benefit] was that I thought that I was trying to be ambitious and think big and the mentors basically blew my mind and just recalibrated my thinking to be exponentially bigger,” says Ilea.

“We’re so lucky to have this in Canberra, it’s an amazing resource and opportunity so I highly recommend it”.

Originally posted by HerCanberra.