16 July 2017

Telstra Business Awards - Innovation is not just about technology!

| Suzanne Kiraly
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There is no doubt that within our local Canberra Business Community, we have a very strong contingent of innovative, technology-based companies who emanate from, or are supported by, our research institutions. And as we have already reported here, many of them are worthy finalists for the Telstra Business Awards coming up later this week. Indeed, I have even heard, the Chief Minister, Andrew Barr state in his Budget speech, that we are leading the country (as well as internationally) with many of our technology startups from the nation’s capital.

But innovation is not just about technology! Many of the Award finalists have been very innovative, and not necessarily technology-based. We are seeing some interesting business models represented, that are focused on fulfilling their clients’ needs and making their lives better for it. They are innovating.

Here are the non-technology based contenders in this innovation space.

New Business Category

In the New Business category, we have Dex, Canberra, made up of medical specialists wishing to make our paths to surgical procedures a better, safer and more comfortable experience. It is all about the patient experience.

Ki Acupuncture is another example, of a broad range of services under the one roof, and if you listen to their podcast, you will realise that it’s more about the experience and positive outcomes than simply about making money.

Innovation drives Black Fire Restaurant too, in that it focuses on produce from local farms and local producers. It uses fair and sustainable methods for growing the plants and vegetables they use in the restaurant.

Mint Content provides content to technology-based enterprises. Amy Birchall (former RiotACT editor), started Mint Content to help IT and technology companies tell better business stories. It’s a unique selling proposition. Here’s what Amy had to say about the Awards:
“It’s a real privilege to be listed as a finalist in the Telstra Business Awards, especially in such a strong field. The fact that so many tech-related businesses made the cut this year goes to show that Canberra is fast developing a reputation as a tech hub – and we couldn’t be happier about that. We’re thrilled that Mint Content is a finalist and we’re grateful to our brilliant team, loyal clients and very patient families for their tireless support.”

Small Business Category

Capital Chemist Wanniassa is one of a chain of innovative chemists in Canberra and their marketing dollars go into supporting their local communities. In a world where global is unavoidable, where people are lost in the milieu, it is the breeding ground for uniformity, we see the individual is often sacrificed for the economic imperative, and anonymity is a by-product. That’s why Capital Chemists realise that local communities matter more than ever before.

We have covered Tailored Accounts before at The-RiotACT, so we are not in the least bit surprised to see Harry Hoang’s firm as a finalist in this category. The concept is innovative – providing an outsourced accounting department. Simple. Brilliant.

Corporate Catering by Mr Cappuccino, is a very strong finalist too because like many great businesses they have grown organically, following the needs of their clients. Client focused, not profit focused. It works every time and the profits follow suit anyway.

Wholistic Financial Solutions are another contender in this very competitive field of hospitality. Their website says they are a “one-stop shop”, they are local, and they walk the talk. There are several reasons to use their services and their passion for property oozes promise.

Medium Business

In this category, it is refreshing to see Barton Private Hospital win a Guernsey. How wonderful that in the worst of times, when you are needing TLC and the very best professionals, there is this: “Barton Private Hospital offers a new evolutionary model of care for Canberra and its surrounding districts. Our Medihotel rooms at the 5 star Realm Hotel provide a unique experience for patients, with accommodation in a luxurious hotel environment and the safety of 24-hour nursing care. All patients rooms are spacious and include ensuite, and our meals are provided from the Hotel Realm in-room dining menu. Our promise to you is the very best of pre, intra and post-operative care.” I don’t need surgery, but this is where I would go if I ever did!

From medical to innovation in the building industry. ABS Façade’s website, through their portfolio, reveals their “Raison d’être” – innovation springs to mind instantly.

Then there is Rork Projects, who are built from a family business, providing another “turnkey” solution to your building aspirations. A key innovator: “At Rork Projects, we take a partnership approach to construction, using our wealth of experience to enhance each stage of project development.”

The Telstra Awards website tells us: “It takes something special to start and run a successful small or medium business or charity. It takes creativity to innovate and find new and better ways to do things. And it takes persistence and resilience to overcome obstacles.”

And although technology is a key driver for the ACT businesses in this year’s Awards, we must acknowledge that innovation is not only confined to technology.

“Innovation distinguishes between a leader and a follower.” Steve Jobs.

Winners of the 2017 Telstra ACT Business Awards will be announced on Friday 21 July at the National Gallery of Australia. Tickets are still available and can be purchased by calling 1800AWARDS between 9 am and 7 pm AEST Monday to Friday.

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