Newcastle

Beyond Bank is known as an organisation that builds and supports strong communities, operating across various sites around the country, with a strong regional presence. As part of this commitment to building strong communities and encouraging innovative thinking, the organisation again this year has launched a series of Entrepreneur Grants, worth $20,000 each.

Beyond Bank’s General Manager Peter Rutter said, “We reward entrepreneurs with grants of up to $20,000 and provide access to support networks in order to assist and realise their dreams that promote local economic development within the Canberra, Hunter Valley, Riverina, SA and WA regions.”

In the past these Beyond Bank business grants have been awarded to tech startups, co-working spaces, and even an innovative cheese maker – so if you are building a great idea and are getting ready to launch it, be sure to apply.

The  Entrepreneur Program offers grants to support people and businesses to create good outcomes that benefit the local community. Applications are open until 15 June for the Canberra, Hunter Valley and Riverina Regions, with SA and WA opening in July.

Last year, Newcastle based startup HiveUAV was the recipient of the award and as a company has gone from strength to strength since receiving it.

Founders of the startup, Dr Chris Renton and Ilche Vojdanoski created HiveUAV in 2014, looking to fix common problems with drones such as short flight times – the average flight can last only 25 minutes – and the need to manually change batteries and get images and data off the vehicles. They have created a ‘hive’, or base station, for drones that automates takeoff, landing, data transfer, and wireless charging.

HiveUAV

The initial idea came to Vojdanoski, whose background is in marketing, when he decided to look into business development opportunities with drones and noticed common issues around battery life.

“I approached Chris about working together because I knew of him through the University of Newcastle. We chatted about whether there were any opportunities in this space and, fortunately, he was open to the idea. His background is essentially in autonomous vehicles, which goes really well with what we were trying to do,” Vojdanoski said.

After beginning work on the project in October 2014, the pair applied for the first Slingshot Jumpstart accelerator intake. Vojdanoski said the three month program was helpful in getting HiveUAV to identify its market, with the Beyond Bank grant helping take development further.

Grants are available for new businesses, concept, pre-launch or post-launch stages of projects, with Beyond Bank eager to support social entrepreneurs, community organisations, and existing businesses. As well as the cash grants, entrepreneurs will also receive access to local support networks, access to experts and insights to help them succeed.

If you can demonstrate how your business is helping to create positive financial and social outcomes for community, apply for a grant today.

This content was bought to you by Beyond Bank Australia. Apply for a $20,000 entrepreneur grant before June 15th for the Canberra, Hunter Valley and Riverina, with South Australia and Western Australia opening in July for submissions.

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