Illawarra Innovation Quest 2 winners to address COVID-19 economic challenges
Challenge to assist Illawarra businesses through grants, innovation and mentoring support
The University of Wollongong (UOW) has announced the winners of the second edition of the Illawarra Innovation Quest today (Monday 22 March 2021) at its Innovation Campus.
After receiving a positive response from businesses in the first edition of the challenge that addressed Health and Wellbeing challenges caused by COVID-19, the University announced three winners of the second edition of the challenge that will address the new economic challenges triggered by COVID-19.
The University held the pitch competition on Friday 12 March 2021 and three Illawarra businesses - Good360, BuiltQuick Constructions Systems and KLEU - were selected to participate in the Innovation Districts Challenges by the NSW Government. Successful participants will share in over $500,000 funding pool in each challenge round and bring innovative solutions into the market.
Minister for Families, Communities and Disability Services and State Member for Kiama, the Hon Gareth Ward MP, said this Challenge focuses on addressing economic issues faced by businesses in highly impacted sectors such as tourism, international education and Indigenous businesses.
“Our country is on the path to recovery from COVID-19 and this initiative by the NSW Government encourages local businesses to address economic issues and supply chain gaps that were caused due to the pandemic,” Mr Ward said.
“I congratulate the winners of the second challenge; the first edition was a great success and Illawarra businesses showed their capability and expertise to get things done and solve complex issues through innovation and collaboration between multiple stakeholders.”
“I would like to thank UOW for supporting the NSW Government’s vision to bring local businesses together, supporting them and addressing COVID-19 related issues through innovation and entrepreneurship.
Winners (bottom L-R): Ryan Mullaney and Eunice Quintana-Smark, BuiltQuik Construction Systems, Alison Covington, Good 360, and Sheridan Gho (accepting award on behalf of Linda Simonsen, Kleu)
UOW Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research and Innovation) Professor Jennifer Martin AC said the University is looking forward to supporting and mentoring local businesses that were selected after a successful and highly competitive pitch showdown at the University.
“UOW is pleased to be supporting this initiative by NSW Government as the recovery from COVID-19 related economic challenges remains the utmost priority for us,” Professor Martin said.
“I congratulate the three state finalists and the University is looking forward to assisting these businesses as their ideas, when commercialised, will build economic resilience for Illawarra businesses and communities in the region.”
“The University aims to support more local businesses by providing cutting edge research and innovation infrastructure.”
The NSW Government will announce the launch of the third and final challenge in the coming months and the University will update the details on the UOW Illawarra Quest webpage.
ABOUT THE WINNERS:
Alison Covington Founder & Managing Director, Good360
Good360 App is a charity and business matchmaking app to get the right goods, to the right people at the right time. The company’s app aims to match surplus goods with local needs.
Ryan Mullaney Managing Director and Eunice Quintana-Smark, Marketing Manager, BuiltQuik Construction Systems
BuiltQuik Construction Systems’ patent protected technology of pre-certified and pre-engineered structural components allows cost savings to be realised by industry players of up to 35 per cent, while simultaneously de-risking the industry and builder liability.
Linda Simonsen Founder and CEO, Kleu
KLEU Defence is an emotional fitness program for frontline workers. The company has developed a fully immersive digital experience, which replicates the real life coach frontline support employees need to handle the emotional labour component of their job roles.