battery markDid you know hearing aid batteries are activated by air; or that marine batteries differ in design to car batteries? When we think about technology innovations that impact us on a day-to-day basis we often think of smartphones, wearables, laptops and tablets. While everything is becoming more portable and they’re all battery powered, we don’t necessarily think about batteries as being particularly innovative. However, this industry is evolving rapidly.

Mark Roberts from Battery World South Canberra points out that even a lot of medical equipment relies on batteries.

“We supply a lot of specialised batteries for medical equipment like sleep apnea machines and the devices that look in ears and throats,” says Mark.

“They all run on special size batteries - the medical equipment part of our business is definitely growing.

“In fact it’s all growing! We do everything from cars to hearing aids; laptops, mobiles, cordless phones, drills, everything”.

Mark is an auto-electrician by trade, having moved to Canberra 13 years ago. When he started the business the auto-electrical workshop was the main focus with a small retail outlet, but now the retail outlet has expanded rapidly, taking over much of the workshop space.

“We do still have staff in the workshop for vehicle repairs, but the retail outlet has really taken off.

“You’ve got to understand all of the products and know what will solve a customer’s problem. We get updates and information from our suppliers about new products all of the time. Our suppliers work hard to keep ahead of the rapid technology innovations and any time they get demand for a new product everyone gets updated.

“We learn a lot from our customers too, this isn’t the kind of outlet where customers walk in just to have a look around, they come in with a problem that they need help with. They let us know about new products that are in the market and very often they’ve done their research and come in very educated about what they need,” adds Mark.

Mark stresses that the battery industry is constantly changing.

“There is so much to know in this industry. People buy a lot of electronics from overseas that won’t come with batteries or chargers, for example anything with lithium in it can’t be carried as air freight and no one thinks about this when they order online and want it in 3 days. Working out what you need to make it work certainly keeps things interesting!

“People come to us looking for solutions. Customers are our no. 1, they own the brand, they own Battery World. Without customers you’ve got no business, so to keep the customers coming in the door and the business growing, you’ve got to do the right thing and look after the customer and that’s about solving their problems”.

Mark says the good thing about being in an industry that’s evolving so rapidly is it’s a unique place to work. Every day is different.


About Lighthouse Business Innovation Centre
Lighthouse has a strong track record of supporting entrepreneurs, researchers and inventers on the path from concept to commercialisation. Since July 2008, Lighthouse has worked with over 990 distinct enterprises and provided group and peer based services to over 3400 enterprises and individuals. For over five years Lighthouse has successfully delivered business advice, education, mentorship and networking opportunities to help these businesses commercialise their ideas and grow their companies. Lighthouse also delivers programs such as the ACT Microcredit Program for the ACT Government. Visit for more information.