Smiles all around for Innovation Voucher recipients

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A new way to improve business websites is just one of 23 winners of this year’s State Government $20K Innovation Vouchers…

The state government this week announced the winners of the annual innovation vouchers, which are the latest grants provided under their New Industries Fund.

The vouchers give businesses in sectors ranging from energy to aviation up to $20,000 in funding, with 20 per cent of the total value matched by the recipient.

IQ Seven was one of the recipients, as they work towards rolling out their ‘actionable intelligence’ software that helps business owners optimise their websites with a prioritised list of actions.

Founder Richard Keeves told Startup News the grant will be used to prepare themselves for a worldwide roll out later this year.

“It’s going to be used to develop a really sound strategic understanding of the core needs and wants of our target customers,” he said.

“So basically just to understand the strategic needs and wants of these customers, to make sure that we have strategies and tactics to reach them cost-effectively and on-board them effectively and thoroughly.”

Richard said the voucher made it possible to further support the WA economy, by working with Perth-based Ammo Marketing.

“We probably could have, but probably wouldn’t have, engaged them without it,” he said.

“This grant is designed around WA businesses using WA service providers to develop better skills, both for the business and for the service provider, [and] to develop the WA economy, and I reckon that’s a great thing,” said Richard.

Joining IQ Seven on the recipients list is M3B Labs, who have created an app which allows mums to offer a range of service to other mothers nearby, and Apetics, who claim to have developed the first battery-powered microdoser for the wine industry.

Canning Vale-based startup Laconik received $20,000 towards developing prototype software, as they work on helping broad acre farmers optimise their use of fertilisers.

Founder Dr Darren Hughes said receiving the voucher was an important step on the company’s journey.

“The voucher will allow us to invest in the internal systems and processes to grow the business, so without it we would struggle to come up with a system that would allow us to scale the business to really start to focus on profitability,” he said.

“We’re looking to put a prototype into place that will allow us to do nearly 100,000 hectares next year, with a whole lot more ease than what we’ve done this year, and that’s what we’ll be using the innovation voucher for.”

Innovation Minister Dave Kelly said the vouchers are about strengthening the WA economy.

“The McGowan Government created the New Industries Fund to support local innovation and create WA jobs,” he said.

“Through the New Industries Fund we are able to provide these grants to help grow our local innovative small to medium businesses to the benefit of the economy and to help create WA jobs.

“I congratulate all 23 winners of the 2018 program and wish them all the best in using these grants to develop their innovation and businesses to support local jobs and the economy.”

Healthcare was a big focus for this year’s winners, with Healthregen working on new therapies for diabetes, Salutem Analytics developing technology for the early detection of pressure injuries, and AutiSense moving to bring preventive oral healthcare online.

Other recipients include Energon, who are hoping to combine a solar farm with crypto-currency mining, EcoDrive, who are working on an electric aircraft engine, and Atom Minerals, who say they have developed a low-cost method of extracting precious metals while detoxifying and rehabilitating mine sites.

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You can see a full list of recipients here.