The future of work in Canberra Creating more opportunities for the next generation
If Canberra’s innovation community has its way, in the coming years the Australian Capital Territory will be better known for its burgeoning business scene than the politicians that call it home.
Among the longest-running initiatives looking to support the city’s local ecosystem is the Griffin Accelerator, a program which sees successful local entrepreneurs guiding local startup talent through an intensive three month program.
The competitive program sees hundreds of startups pitching their ideas to take parts, with only a handful selected to join. The accelerator’s vision is to “change” Canberra into an innovation tech hub by supporting local entrepreneurs, increasing the amount of startups in the city and helping teams make a splash in the global market.
Graduates of the accelerator including Enabled Employment, madefor.me and Quizling, an edutech which has developed an app which allows kids and organisations to make, complete, and share quizzes.
Founded by former school teachers Dion Oxley and Damien Trask, the startup secured funding from Canberra Angels and other investments to launch early last year.
Leveraging the fact Canberra is home to a multitude of national cultural institutions, the startup has also secured partnership deals with The National Library, The Royal Australian Mint, Inspiring Australia, National Sports Museum, and the National Gallery of Australia, allowing curators to create quizzes that help kids engage with the material they see while browsing exhibits.
Also having taken part in the program is OzGuild, founded by local brothers Seb and Nick Harrison.
The idea for the startup, which allows users to scan and upload their Magic: The Gathering cards onto an online platform that allows them to be valued and, in turn, traded, simply came from Seb’s passion for Magic – and he turned it into a business.
The growing Canberra business ecosystem is also providing support to entrepreneurs technically sitting outside the ACT border.
Such is the case for myBuzz, a Queanbeyan startup that has created a system that replaces restaurant pagers with a customer’s phone and sends alerts via messages when a customer’s order is ready.
Founded by Allyssa Sabbatucci and Charli Ervin, the first customer for the startup was Canberra dessert restaurant Patissez, which kicked off the Instagram-famous ‘freakshake’ dessert trend. Now, the startup is exploring opportunities for its alert technology beyond the restaurant space, looking at sectors including healthcare.
With Sabbatucci having worked in marketing and PR roles within the Australian Government before starting myBuzz, her journey to entrepreneurship is proof that there’s more to Canberra than just politics.