The Entrepreneurs

Marcus DaweWith a year marked by bushfires, hailstorms and a global pandemic; climate change and the decisions we make today are going to determine the challenges we face in the future.
The innovative carbon engineering technology developed by Canberra based Mineral Carbonation International (MCi) provides a decarbonisation solution for industries such as mining, manufacturing, cement, steel and energy. Not reliant on carbon pricing, offsets or subsidies; MCi creates products from CO2 emissions by using mineral feedstocks to combine with CO2 to create valuable materials for use in manufactured products.
As technologies improve to capture carbon, the question is what will we do with it? Store it or use it?

Cogito GroupCogito Group is a cyber security company specialising in authentication, encryption and data protection, the technology that protects the storage, processing and management of sensitive information. Founded in Canberra in 2011, Cogito Group began in a garage in Weetangera. Husband and wife team, Bernadette and Richard Brown quickly expanded to an office at the back of the Hawker shops and then moved their growing team to substantially larger premises in Barton. They also began exporting their services globally, setting up an office in Wellington.

Wildlife DronesWhat started off as a grant-funded research project for ecologist Dr Debbie Saunders, has turned into Wildlife Drones, a company providing world-leading radio-tracking drone systems.
Like most startups, the idea started many years ago with a problem that needed solving. Debbie was studying the movements of the Swift Parrot, a small critically endangered bird that migrates between Tasmania and mainland Australia. One of the biggest challenges facing conservationists tracking endangered animals is that they have to manually track one animal at a time, on foot and very often in rugged and remote terrain. This limits the number of animals that can be monitored.
Debbie was talking with a colleague who researched lions.

Smart BloxWith over 2 million households1 now having solar panels installed, renewables are no longer just a nice-to-have they have become more of a necessity. While in many parts of Australia we are lessening our impact on the environment, Smart Blox is attempting to solve the problem of what happens on the fringes. The Canberra-based company believes that there is a gap between technology and the people who consume energy on a daily basis. Not everyone has the financial ability to move to solar and in some locations it’s not practical or even available. Smart Blox believes that this gap is caused by an accessibility problem and this is the biggest hurdle that we need to overcome in our journey towards a renewable energy future.

mHitsmHITs Limited is a Canberra-based FinTech mobile remittance pioneer that has developed a simple way to tackle the problem of global wealth inequality.

For migrants, sending money home to families overseas can be problematic if the recipient does not have a bank account. According to Harold Dimpel, the founder and CEO of mHITs, there are about 2.5 billion people in the world who do not have a bank account (the unbanked) and there are about 4 billion people in the world who do not use a bank account regularly or at all (the underbanked). This might be because they do not have a formal job, don't receive a regular income or they are not formally engaged in the economy.

Liquid InstrumentsCanberra is home to an innovative company that has the potential to fundamentally change the test and measurement industry. Liquid Instruments’ Moku:Lab product replaces 12 instruments in a lab with one single multifunctional device. The spin-out from the Australian National University (ANU) has a unique approach that combines precision hardware with the versatility of software. It delivers solutions for professional scientists, engineers and students working in research and industrial labs across industries such as telecommunications, aerospace, defence and electronics manufacturing. Moku:Lab provides the same functionality as tens of thousands of dollars’ worth of equipment but at a fraction of the cost offered by the well-established test and measurement hardware market.

MetaphysicaWho would have thought that escape rooms would become a global phenomenon? But there has been a steady growth in the number of rooms around the globe. For the uninitiated, an escape is a physical adventure game.

Husk BakeryHusk Bakery Owner, Aaron Clark, has overcome bushfires, hailstorms and now COVID-19 to see his business succeed.
During the bushfires, he was worried customers wouldn’t come to his market stall at the Capital Region Farmers Market and The Southside Farmers Market on the weekends due to the bushfire smoke. Then, a huge hail storm damaged the refrigeration unit and needed repair. Once that was fixed, Covid-19 hit and he needed to start making money during the middle of a pandemic as people weren’t visiting the farmers’ markets.

ComputerNCH Software, a local Canberra-based software company has launched a free COVID-19 record-keeping app for Canberra hospitality businesses to easily and securely collect customer contact details as required by state governments for COVID-19 contact tracing.

Claire CorbyClaire Corby is a buyer’s agent. She is the kind of person you want in your corner if you are planning to buy a house, especially now that online auctions and virtual tours have become part of the buying process.
Research by Allianz at the end of 20191 found that one in two people found the home buying process stressful, affecting their mental and emotional wellbeing. Lack of information was identified as one of the biggest stressors. Now add the fear and uncertainty around COVID-19 to this already stressful process and both buyers and sellers are left feeling nervous. While an agent and auctioneer act in the best interests of the seller, a buyer’s agent is an advocate for the buyer.

Perform AustraliaThe Australian creative sector employs hundreds of thousands of people, with a high proportion of these being sole trader contractors, SMEs and casuals. It contributes around $111 billion to the Australian economy including over $3.5 billion in exports. The industry is reliant on national and international touring, audiences attending venues and participating in training and education programs. According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics1, in 2017-18, eighty-two percent of Australian’s over the age of 15 had attended a cinema, art gallery, museum, library, or live performance. Live performances account for over 38percent of these attendances.

tatum 1Tatum Brown founder of the The Social Dog Company was living on her own and suffering from anxiety and depression.

“I would come home and just feel really alone, so someone recommended that I get a dog,” says Tatum.  

“I had always loved dogs, but I wasn’t really aware of how to go about purchasing one. I looked online and bought a dachshund for $1,000.
However, when I got it, it had obviously come from a puppy mill (which I later reported). It was starved to make it look like a miniature, had worms, fleas, a urinary tract infection and all of this horrible, horrible stuff including anxiety.

 

Rod Hattch and Jana ClydeAs many people are discovering, not all online learning is created equal. The coronavirus quarantine has brought to the fore both the challenges and opportunities associated with learning remotely and the experience has been quite varied amongst learners.

  •  Families: Many families of school-age students have been forced to grapple with the complexities of learning from home, such as technology issues, variable levels of computer literacy, managing kids of different ages and learning styles, the need for well-structured lessons, finding ways to encourage social interaction, balancing the volume of work, and maintaining motivation for self-directed learning.
  • Job seekers: There are people who are nervous about their employment prospects and are looking at online courses as a way of re-skilling and improving their employability prospects in what will be a tough job market.
  • People with disabilities: People with anxiety and other mental health conditions and those with mobility impairments that have found it difficult to attend lectures on campus in the past, may find online learning better meets their needs.

amy cbn‘Compassion fatigue’ is a term often used when describing the stress and combination of physical and emotional symptoms felt by people in the caring professions – nurses, social workers, counsellors, police etc.  Another group who experience similar high levels of burnout and stress are teachers. Amy Green, a full time teacher and founder of The Teacher’s Coach, knows only too well the pressure, challenges and heavy workload experienced by teachers. With a career spanning over 12 years teaching in both Australia and overseas, Amy aims to empower teachers (and others) to help them manage their stress and get the most out of their day.