ANU student startups share $50,000 InnovationACT grant pool

ANU student startups share $50,000 InnovationACT grant pool

Five student startups from The Australian National University (ANU) were recognised at the InnovationACT 2019 Awards Night ceremony over the weekend, sharing $50,000 worth of grants and other startup support, to help develop their ventures.

Two Step Tommy, one of the teams to receive grant funding, is looking to revitalise the Canberra cityscape with generative graphics that respond to data like sound and movement.

“There are a lot of new developments and blank walls around Canberra and we think our graphics can be a relatively cheap way to transform a space to fit the vibe and surroundings.

“Even since pitching, we’ve had so many people reach out to us sending us cool stuff like sensing tech and ideas for new applications of our technology, so we’re hoping this grant money will allow us to explore some of these ideas.”

Two Step Tommy were one of over 70 student teams from across Canberra who participated in this year’s InnovationACT cohort, the program’s biggest year in its 12-year history at ANU.

“We were incredibly impressed by the breadth of innovative ideas, many of which were addressing major societal and environmental issues facing the world today,” said Vicki Stanley, InnovationACT Program Manager.

InnovationACT is an initiative of The Australian National University, and the program partners with other key players in Canberra’s innovation community, including Gold Partners, Canberra Innovation Network and ACT Government, to deliver the program.

Vicki explains that the primary aim of the partnerships is to expose student entrepreneurs to other businesses, initiatives and networks as they continue on their startup journeys.

“We have been able to make some great connections in the innovation community and we’ll certainly be taking advantage of those to help grow our venture,” reflects grant-recipient Mark McAnulty, Co-Founder of Solar Campus and current Bachelor of Engineering (Hons) and Bachelor of Commerce student.

Mark hopes the funding will allow his team to realise their broader vision for their venture, to help communities around Australia with their energy solution.

“There are a lot of people out there passionate about tackling climate change, but don’t know how they can get involved. We want to give them the tools they need to feel empowered to make change and create real impact in their own communities.”

Congratulations to the grant recipients, especially those from ANU Science; Health and Medicine:

  • ConSenses Events: The team aims to address social isolation in Canberra’s ageing population, by holding regular skills-share markets for the elderly to interact with the community.
  • Two Step Tommy: The team is developing data-driven generative graphics to help businesses build stronger brands and increase engagement with customers.

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