What do card scanning robots, ultraviolet freshwater buoys and healthy eating habits all have in common? They are just a few of the Canberra startup companies that have been successful in securing funding through the Innovation Connect (ICON) Grant.

$240,000 has been granted to 8 local companies for their innovative concepts and through ICON, these startups are well on their way to seeing their vision become a reality. The purpose of the ICON Grant is to support the market testing, prototyping, patenting and commercial feasibility of the recipient’s concept.

Our vision is for Canberra to be a world-class hub for people with new and innovative ideas to test and grow them into successful companies. The ICON Grant is critical to enabling early stage innovations to get off the ground,” Chief Minister Andrew Barr said.

Grant recipients include:

  • The Helpful Machine – designing and manufacturing an accessibility device to assist height and mobility impaired people store objects in their home.
  • The Healthy Eating Hub – teaching people to eat healthy for the rest of their lives through an innovative habit building web and mobile application.
  • CardCastle – designing and manufacturing an automated inventory scanning device for the players and retailers of the Magic: the Gathering card game.
  • Send & Shred – provide a secure mail-in document destruction service.
  • Selectr – building a mobile application that assists coaches with the reviewing and selection of netball players at the club level
  • Space Services Australia – designing digital twin software to simulate potential problems in nano-satellites before they occur.
  • CHELTech – developing carbon electrodes for use in hydrogen production through water electrolysis, replacing expensive platinum electrodes.
  • Eco-water Engineering – building freshwater buoys that incorporate ultraviolet and ultrasonic technologies that destroy harmful algae

The ACT Government’s Innovation Connect (ICON) Grant delivered in partnership with the Canberra Innovation Network is a competitive grant program that provides matched funding from $10,000-$30,000 to help early stage entrepreneurs get investor or market ready. The grant, which has an annual funding pool of $500,000, is available for Canberra based businesses that have an annual turnover of less than $2million.

This early stage funding support is essential for innovators who need to test whether or not their product idea can be built and create value for customers. The grant also provides a foundation for early stage startups to be exposed to other innovation programs, mentors and support services.” said Petr Adamek, CEO Canberra Innovation Network.

The Canberra Innovation Network connects innovation and entrepreneurship with science and research. More than 10,000 visitors engage with the network every year through events, programs and innovation focused educational courses the network supports and runs.

Future rounds of the Innovation Connect (ICON) Grant program will open in the first half of 2020.

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