As another year draws to a close, it’s high time to look back over the past 12 months and acknowledge the local entrepreneurs who have woken up with a bright idea and set about making it happen.
On 1 December, 2021, Canberra Innovation Network (CBRIN) will host its annual Innovation Showcase, celebrating the people, ideas and industries that help make Canberra a globally recognised hub of innovation.
CBRIN works with budding entrepreneurs so their business plans can not only see the light of day, but also take off and succeed. This is done through one-on-one mentoring, networking events and training courses. Supported by the ACT Government, grants are also on the table.
The upcoming Innovation Showcase is being described as a “humanised online event”, consisting of live judging and audience participation, a pitch competition, guest speeches and more.
CBRIN expects it to draw hundreds of people from across the ACT community.
Nine companies will compete for prizes awarded by CBRIN’s Gold Partners, while the audience will award the largest cash prize following a parade of short presentations from the ACT’s most prolific entrepreneurs.
Attendees will then have the rest of the afternoon to network with potential investors and fellow entrepreneurs.
CBRIN CEO Petr Adamek says the highly popular and energising event is designed to demonstrate the essence of Canberra’s innovation.
“This community is full of amazing stories of entrepreneurs striving to change our world for the better through innovation and collaboration,” he says.
Among the local startups presenting during the event will be Rosella Street, a thriving online community where users can buy, rent and sell their pre-loved goods, safe in the knowledge it’s helping to reduce the impact of waste and consumerism on the planet.
Rosella Street started out as Hey Fritz and consisted of a pile of spreadsheets on a kitchen table.
Founder Mick Fritschy says people used to reach out to him personally, asking if he could find them an item on his new online marketplace.
“I would trawl through my spreadsheets of items people had listed in my marketplace, and match people up manually where I could,” he says.
The business idea just needed to be taken up a level. It was at this point that Mick met co-founders Sammy Williamson and Dilyar Barat through CBRIN.
Now, 10 months on, the clunky model has been converted into a smart technology platform with a professional marketing approach, recently attracting close to $1 million in investment.
Rosella Street is poised to expand rapidly in the Canberra market and across Australia. It also transitioned to it’s new name so people no longer suspect it specialises in German sausages.
Rosella Street received an Innovation Connect (ICON) grant courtesy of CBRIN and the ACT Government, providing the seed funds needed for Mick, Sammy and Dilyar to build and market the first version of the online marketplace.
Mick says this led to a flood of sign-ups and a successful capital raising round by investors keen to see an eco-driven marketplace get off the ground.
“During the past 12 months, CBRIN staff have provided advice and support to help Rosella Street with building its strategy, as well as to tackle operational challenges along the way,” he says.