Startup News wrap: MTP Connect, Harvest, Nuheara, Missions Connect, Secret Skincare and Regional Pitches

SN News Wrap 2021
Wrapping up the startup news for 2021...

There’s just so much news, we have to jam it into one last post for 2021. We’ll be back in 2022, but for now, here’s a wrap on some stories to keep you going over the summer break…

MTP Connect launches new program

MTPConnect has commenced the rollout of a new funding program to identify and nurture high-quality medical device projects with strong commercial potential.

The Clinical Translation and Commercialisation – Medtech (CTCM) program is a $19.75 million initiative funded by the Australian Government’s Medical Research Future Fund. It will offer financial assistance, educational support and infrastructure access to Australian small to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to support early clinical development of medical devices with commercial potential.

The first funding round of the CTCM program will be opening on Friday 17 December 2021 (TODAY!), with funding from $250,000 to $1.5 million available to eligible projects over a maximum 24 months.

>> MORE INFO on CTCM program here.

Agtech Harvest Accelerator open for applications

Western Australia’s agtech accelerator program – HARVEST – aims to empower innovative businesses through skills development, mentorship, new connections and investment opportunities.

From February to June 2022 successful applicants will participate in:

• 2-day business bootcamp
• Relevant and interactive workshops and webinars led by expert guest speakers
• Field trips to see new technologies and current agricultural issues in action
• Showcase and pitch events to promote the businesses and encourage collaboration across the sector
• Mentorship aligned to each business, with a focus on grower mentors and on-farm trials

>> Applications close 10 Jan and are now open here.

Nuheara takes out wild card at Innovation Aus Awards

Perth-based Nuheara, the first consumer wearables technology company to be listed on the ASX, took out the Wildcard Award at the inaugural InnovationAus Awards for Excellence earlier this month.

Nuheara has been pioneering revolutionary wearables that augment hearing and connect hands-free with voice-enabled smart devices since 2016. Nuheara was celebrated as an example of “Australian ingenuity, innovation and excellence in commercialising bright ideas.”

Nuheara’s trophy cabinet is creaking with the strain…

Missions Connect’s Stolen Generations exhibition

Western Australians are being transported back in time via virtual reality to gain an insight into the personal experiences of Stolen Generations survivors as part of a new exhibition held at the State Library of WA.

‘Limen – At the Fence’ shares the personal stories of Bibblemun-Kaneang woman Edith De Giambattista (nee Smith), Wilman-Koreng-Kaneang man Tony Hansen and Koreng-Nyungar man Tim Flowers through a virtual reality recreation of the Carrolup-Marribank mission, a QR-coded interactive portrait experience and a fence art installation.

The exhibition, which forms part of the MissionsConnect project that was named a winner at the 2021 WA Heritage Awards in November, is presented by Curtin University’s School of Design and the Built Environment in partnership with Bringing Them Home WA, BHP Billiton Pty Ltd and the State Library of Western Australia.

The MissionsConnect project is led by Professor Neena Tiwari, and the team includes Emeritus Professor John Stephens, Renee Parnell, Wesley Lamont and Dr Dean Chan. The project is being directed by the views of the Stolen Generations Survivors and their families, and involves close partnership with Bringing Them Home WA Director Jim Morrison.

>> The exhibition runs through to 28 Feb 2022, more information is available here.

Secret Skincare proves sustainability is the answer

Developed by Perth doctors Clara Hurst and Deb Cohen-Jones, The Secret Skincare is Australia’s first prescription skincare company.

With an investment of just $20,000 in 2019, the company is on track for revenues of $4 million for 2021, in a global skin care market thought to be worth US$189 billion by 2025.

The Secret Skincare’s range, which is vegan, sulphate-free, paraben-free, fragrance-free and not tested on animals, is developed by The Secret Skincare in partnership with an eminent compounding pharmacy. Product development is subject to scientific standards more aligned with the medical industry than cosmetic.

>> For more on Secret Skincare, visit their website.

Regional Pitch winners

Gloria Dieu Farms and Lucy Anderton were the two recent winners of the $15,000 prize pool at the inaugural Albany IHub Pitch It competition. Fifteen innovators in total battled for three hours to win over the judges.

Left: Gloria Dieu. Right: Lucy Alderton, with judges

Gloria Dieu Farms value add not only their own apricots and also other producers’ strawberries and apples aiming to create no wastage of food. With their prize money they will be investing in a promotional campaign and improving their production practices to be more efficient.

Lucy Anderton will be investing her winnings into her initiative FARMSMART. Farmsmart is a scenario planning tool with the capacity to do budgets and compare actuals using science and data to assist with decision making on farm.