Bright ideas from start-ups ready to solve business challenges
The best and brightest ideas which could solve CCIQ-Suncorp Bank’s #SmallBusinessChallenges have been revealed after a two-week boot camp, all-day final pitch and selection process.
The winners, FolkTale, Writally, TrusTill and Quick Safety, will receive funding and work with accelerator BlueChilli to launch their ideas on the market.
Three start-ups will receive another two-week placement to further refine their ideas before having the opportunity to pitch for funding again.
Three other start-ups have been invited to enter into commercial arrangements with BlueChilli.
The leading concepts covered industries such as IT, finance, retail, workplace health and safety, services, insurance, marketing, research and development, building and cyber security.
The Top 20 will continue to work with BlueChilli’s start-up advisors in the Collaborate hub at Spring Hill for six months. They will receive workshops and one-on-one advisory services to help them develop their market opportunity, business model, competitive advantage, and launch and growth strategies.
CCIQ CEO Stephen Tait said it had been exciting to see the Top 20 finalists progress through from initial selection, into the two-week boot camp and to the final sessions yesterday to pitch the ideas they want to launch to the world.
“The small business challenges campaign resulted in over 115 applications to become part of Collaborate – that’s 115 potential businesses, products and services with a bold vision to become long-term businesses,” he said.
“We were overwhelmed by the creativity shown by everyone who wanted to solve Suncorp Bank’s #SmallBusinessChallenges and the quality of the entries was breathtaking.”
Mr Tait said the Top 20 selected a fortnight ago were clear standouts and the decision by the judges from CCIQ, BlueChilli, Suncorp Bank and program investors at the end of pitch day was far from easy.
“We can now announce the winners from the Top 20 ideas submitted to CCIQ and Suncorp Bank, which we believe will help solve small business problems. They include some smart and outside-the-box thinking from potential start-ups and budding entrepreneurs,” he said.
Suncorp Bank’s Dominique Layt said Suncorp Bank was proud to collaborate with CCIQ to deliver value to Queensland’s business community.
“The volume of high quality entrants reinforced that Queensland is certainly home to some of the country’s most innovative and creative minds,” Ms Layt said.
“From programs that would solve every-day business challenges, to initiatives that would redefine service models, the initiative uncovered programs that will deliver real value to the state’s business community.
“It also show-cased the benefit of thinking differently, and what is possible through industry collaboration. Suncorp Bank was proud to be part of this initiative, and we thrilled to support the delivery of these concepts.”
BlueChilli GM of Corporate Innovation Colette Grgic said the entrepreneurs had “amazed us with their tenacity and creativity”.
“Unlike larger companies that have the human and financial reserves readily available to grow their business, small to medium enterprises must find creative ways to stretch their productivity and profitability,” Ms Grgic said.
“Technology has a huge role to play in that, and it is inspiring to see so many talented entrepreneurs turning their attention to solutions that will help business owners be more successful.
“Over the past two weeks, the start-up advisors from BlueChilli have pushed each one of the finalists to refine and develop their ideas very rapidly, including validating there is a business opportunity with customers and building business models that will accelerate the growth of their ventures.
“It’s been a valuable learning process for them and we look forward to seeing their achievements.”
Glenn Bird, with more than 30 years’ experience in the Aboriginal art industry, submitted his Yiungu App concept into the program. The app is designed for artists, owners, buyers and sellers ofAboriginal art work.
“My idea is to introduce small business practices to Aboriginal artists in remote communities, who rely on their art to supplement their incomes, and can become full-time business owners,” Mr Bird said, after his initial 20-minute pitch to the judges.
He described the #SmallBusinessChallenges program and Collaborate hub as “fantastic” and “very motivating” working closely with like-minded people and fellow start-ups.
“I have been involved in this industry for a long time and thought I was good with process. But I have learned something new from these young fellas, which I believe will help me develop further as an entrepreneur and innovator,” Mr Bird said.
Mr Bird and his Yiungu App also received a significant donation from CCIQ, BlueChilli and Suncorp Bank as part of #SmallBusinessChallenges to help continue his work with Aboriginal artists.