The PRWIRE Press Releases https:// 2019-06-10T21:45:49Z Female Startup Founders Propelled to Soar 2019-06-10T21:45:49Z female-startup-founders-propelled-to-soar Queensland’s entrepreneurial women are set to benefit from new opportunities to grow their startup enterprises, with the delivery of the first collaboration events for a Female Founders program, coordinated by Impact Innovation Group and supported through the Queensland Government’s Advance Queensland initiative. Innovation Minister Kate Jones said providing the right opportunities for women to upskill was key to increasing the number of female-led startups across the state. “Through programs like the Female Founders Program, we can provide the support and tools for women to help them overcome the challenges of building up a scalable business,” Ms Jones said. “In conjunction with a government that is focussed on fostering innovation, creating growth for the future and a supportive framework, female startups are well positioned to take their business to the next level.” Impact Innovation’s Female Founders Program Manager, Kellie Dyer, said a collaborative approach will drive the initiative’s success. “Impact Innovation Group is proud to be working with Advisory Board Centre, who is also a delivery partner for the Female Founders program, said Ms Dyer. “Last year’s Startup Muster survey, which provides a comprehensive snapshot of Australia’s startup ecosystem, revealed that only 22.3% of founders are women. “We’re determined to raise the confidence of Queensland’s female founders to pursue the investment opportunities and global markets that open up when their startup ventures have robust strategies and experienced advisors supporting them,” she said. “It’s important that the women working on Queensland-based startups have a say in what the program delivers, if the goal of increasing female participation rates and improving their business skills is to be achieved,” Ms Dyer said. In supporting the collaborative approach of this program, a workshop was held in late May 2019, attended by a representative group of South East Queensland founders, and their regional colleagues via Zoom. During the workshop Female Founders shared ideas on topics they want to know more about. Their input will enhance four key program elements: Personalised Pathways for charting a course of actions based on each founder’s aspirations Learning Links for sourcing educational and motivational content Mentor Match to connect with the right advice and support at different stages PropelHer and BoostHer events to meet and learn from industry experts and other founders “There will be events across Queensland with online and technology-enabled options to support the many inspirational female founders who are not based in Brisbane,” said Ms Dyer. “We will work with program participants to ensure we can connect with them regardless of their location.” A free webinar to introduce the program is scheduled for noon on Monday 24 June (register here). Queensland startups with women at the helm who would like to learn more about the Female Founders Program activities that Impact Innovation is coordinating are encouraged to visit  Impact Innovation and LSQ team up to boost bioeconomy 2019-02-18T23:49:29Z impact-innovation-and-lsq-team-up-to-boost-bioeconomy The growth of Queensland’s bioeconomy is set to accelerate with the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between two champions of innovation-driven entrepreneurship. Specialist innovation and commercialisation company Impact Innovation Group and key industry body, Life Sciences Queensland Limited (LSQ) have formally committed to collaborate on activities for boosting innovation outcomes across the state. Impact Innovation’s managing director, Brian Ruddle, said working together will allow more knowledge-based start-ups and existing enterprises that are solving life science-related problems to access the right expertise and resources when they need them. “Queensland’s position in the global biotechnology industry has been expanding over the past decade, with new ventures emerging and seeking support to scale up every week,” he said. “But many of these innovators are so focused on developing the technical viability of their ideas that they fall behind on the process of getting them ready for the market. “This is where the combined strengths of Impact Innovation and LSQ can make a real difference.” Acting LSQ CEO Clare Blain said the cooperative agreement would enable both parties to introduce new opportunities to their networks. “LSQ, through its new business development initiative led by Deputy CEO Dr Nagaraj Gopisetty, will provide members and life science start-ups, SMEs and entrepreneurs with the tools to accelerate their business growth and connect them with even more market outreach and skills development options,” she said. “Our members are innovators in a wide range of industries, from human and animal healthcare to agriculture, marine technologies and bioenergy. We are working closely with Impact Innovation’s diverse expertise to offer greater engagement across more disciplines.”  The MOU recognises the mutual interests of Impact Innovation Group and LSQ in working with entrepreneurial ventures to advance clever and commercially viable ideas from Queensland research centres, start-up communities and other existing businesses. Activities that are expected to emerge from this agreement include training, engagement and collaboration events; access to specialist advisors, trade mission delegations and other global connections; extended promotion of relevant funding schemes and other investment opportunities; and exploring new initiatives for collaboration. ENDS New HQ and Faces for Impact Innovation Group 2018-03-13T03:06:07Z new-hq-and-faces-for-impact-innovation-group Leading Australian innovation and technology commercialisation company Impact Innovation Group has responded to increased demand for its specialist services by shifting to larger offices and appointing two new expert consultants. From 1 March 2018, the Impact Innovation team will be connecting with clients at two dynamic locations. The Head Office has moved to the Regus Coworking space on Level 16 of 200 Mary Street, still in the Brisbane CBD and close to its many corporate and government clients. Impact Innovation has also joined complementary innovation services providers at The Precinct, Level 3, 315 Brunswick St, Fortitude Valley. Impact Innovation Group Managing Director Brian Ruddle said the move from space shared with business advisory firm Crowe Horwath to venues that support collaboration with and among start-ups was both strategic and functional. “Businesses that innovate collaboratively are 23 percent more likely to report increased productivity, and the convenience of working near other entrepreneurs will help us provide our clients with even more valuable opportunities to enjoy such benefits,” Mr Ruddle said. “We have chosen to co-locate with River City Labs at The Precinct because it’s becoming the hub of innovation in Queensland and the go-to place for many larger organisations looking for inspiration and support. “Regus has coworking spaces worldwide as well as nationwide, so as an Australian-based company with global reach it makes sense for Impact Innovation to have that kind of flexibility in the way we serve our clients, whatever their size or location.” To support the move and the high growth Impact Innovation has enjoyed in recent years, two new people have joined the team and existing roles have been realigned. While Brian Ruddle, who founded the company in 2006, remains as Managing Director, Cameron Johns has become General Manager to oversee the design and delivery of client projects. His team now includes current Senior Innovation Strategist Dr Cherie van Wensveen, two new Senior Strategists Kellie Dyer (Commercialisation) and Jaclyn Knight (Innovation), and Project Coordinator Dr John Mathew (read more about the team here). Brian and Corporate Programs Coordinator Alexandra Connors will be based at The Precinct. Brian will also manage the input from Impact Innovation Group’s associates located across Australia and in Xiamen (China). New associates have also joined the company recently, increasing the company strength to 20 professionals dedicated to innovation and commercialisation projects. Expansion of this network will continue. Direct contact details for Impact Innovation staff remain the same, with only the street and postal addresses changing. For more information, visit Impact Innovation takes Nexgen Plants to Israel 2017-07-25T05:00:03Z impact-innovation-takes-nexgen-plants-to-israel Nexgen Plants, the University of Queensland startup developing a rapid response to improve crop production and save the world’s value-rich crops from devastating diseases, will join an official delegation visiting Israel between 5-14 August, funded by the $420 million whole-of-government Advance Queensland initiative. Impact Innovation Group helped form the company in 2013, with raising $2M to commercialise a new non-GM technology that confers a range of disease resistance, production and consumer traits to economically important crops like potatoes and rice. Impact Innovation’s managing director, Brian Ruddle, will represent Nexgen Plants in his capacity as the agtech company’s CEO. Mr Ruddle said he was looking forward to pursuing new commercialisation and investment opportunities for Nexgen and other agtech startups in his company’s portfolio. “Nexgen’s platform technologies can enhance the value from crop production and prevent crop viruses from wiping out the food supplies of millions of people and damaging the local economies of agriculture-dependent communities around the world. “Professor Peer Schenk and his research team have achieved a great deal with the financial support of early stage investors, confirming that Nexgen Plants could dramatically change plant breeding and disease management to feed a hungry world. “Now we’re pursuing investment and collaboration for further R&D to incorporate economically important traits into elite varieties so we can accelerate commercialisation and see this technology available to growers within two years,” Mr Ruddle said. Providing experienced senior executive managers to lead startups like Nexgen Plants is one way that Impact Innovation enables early stage ventures to kick big goals quickly without cash-burning overheads. “They need specialist management – different expertise at different stages and the right skills at the right time to overcome the ‘roadblocks’ to success,” said Mr Ruddle. “For discovery-based startups, this means the founders can focus on the what they do best – the R&D – while we manage what’s needed to get the ideas to market.” The Queensland Government has partnered with Startup Catalyst and Austrade to coordinate and fund the mission through Austrade’s Tel Aviv Landing Pad, an Australian Government initiative to open markets for Australian startup businesses. The delegation’s week in Israel will be based in SOSA (South of Salame), which is a community of prominent venture capital investors. Innovation Minister Leeanne Enoch said “Israel consistently ranks highly on innovation and entrepreneurship, and is frequently referred to as the ‘startup nation’. We want to expose our businesses to their practices and learn as much as we can from them.” About Nexgen Plants Nexgen Plants is an emerging plant trait company geared to transform food, fibre and energy production. Our technologies can prevent crop viruses from wiping out the food supplies and crop-derived incomes of millions of people around the world; and introduce pathogen resistance, production, and consumer traits into economically important crops to boost quality and reduce waste. Spun out from The University of Queensland and based on the research of Professor Peer Schenk’s team, Nexgen is developing microRNA-based solutions that will help agriculture-dependent communities around the world recover faster from outbreaks of devastating crop viruses. The company is also commercialising a novel non-GM approach to introducing key traits into economically important crops. Both trait strategies are ready for licence and collaborative R&D. Agriculture is the largest industry in the world, employing some 40% of its population. Our technologies offer farmers the potential for improved yields and the means to manage pressure from emerging pathogens. Nexgen techniques have been applied successfully to major crops, including tomato, potato, sorghum and rice, with work now commencing on a range of other annual and perennial crops. Impact Innovation Named Telstra Business Award Finalist 2017-07-01T00:33:27Z impact-innovation-named-telstra-business-award-finalist Impact Innovation Group has been named a Queensland Finalist in the 2017 Telstra Business Awards. Telstra’s annual national showcase of Australia’s high performing smaller enterprises celebrates their achievements and entrepreneurial spirit. Impact Innovation Group’s managing director, Brian Ruddle, said the company was very proud to have been selected as a state finalist in Australia’s most prestigious business awards program. “The Telstra Business Awards are highly competitive, and reaching the State Finals is a major achievement for our hard-working team,” Brian said. “When I started this company in 2006, I hoped to serve an unmet need for businesses to accelerate getting their innovative ideas to market. The need has grown across Australia, and Impact Innovation has grown in response. “Something we always impress upon our clients is that commercialising innovation is a team sport, and making sure you connect with the right people with the right skills at the right time can determine your venture’s success or failure. “It’s how I have grown Impact Innovation Group from a single consultancy to a team of managers, project coordinators and associates all ensuring that our clients generate true value and a measurable return on innovation investment. “To have the Telstra Business Awards recognise us for this approach to business is a great honour.” Telstra Business Executive Director, Brendan Donohoe, said this year’s finalists were demonstrating what it takes to become ‘that’ business – a leader in their field, a name that is trusted and admired and being an organisation that inspires others. Read the official 2017 Telstra Business Awards media release here. The Queensland winners will be announced at the Telstra Business Awards dinner on Friday 14 July. The event will include a big screen displaying messages from Impact’s clients, supporters, channel partners and suppliers. Messages can be sent to #TelstraBizAwards@TelstraBusinessAwards Queensland Industry Innovators Set to Upskill with Impact 2015-09-27T21:47:16Z queensland-industry-innovators-set-to-upskill-with-impact Queensland small businesses will be better skilled for innovation-led growth after Innovate Queensland’s practical innovation and practical commercialisation workshops kicked off on 24 September 2015. Supporting Queensland Government’s Advance Queensland initiative, the new Innovate Queensland program offers a range of skills-based and collaborative solutions for small and medium enterprises (SMEs) seeking smarter and more rewarding ways to benefit from innovation and technology commercialisation. Brisbane-based innovation consultancy the Impact Innovation Group has been awarded the contract to help SMEs take their novel ideas off the drawing board and into the market. Impact Innovation Group Managing Director Brian Ruddle said Innovate Queensland activities will connect participants with the right people and know-how to translate innovative ideas into commercial outcomes and incomes. “Queensland businesses that pro-actively design and implement their innovative ideas are 31 percent more likely to enjoy business growth in terms of income and profitability,” said Mr Ruddle. “And the ones that innovate collaboratively are 23 percent more likely to report increased productivity. “Both large and small businesses are successful in innovation and technology commercialisation. What separates industry leaders and rapidly growing companies, however, is the mindset and the skillset of the people implementing these programs and the systems and tools that they use. “Innovate Queensland is about giving SMEs access to the same tools, knowledge and skills as larger enterprises, so they can change their approach to innovation and build their capacity for implementing new commercially viable ideas,” Mr Ruddle said. Minister for Science and Innovation Leeanne Enoch said the Queensland Government recognised that innovation was an indispensable driver of economic growth. “These Innovate Queensland workshops will support the $180 million Advance Queensland program which will help foster a seamless innovation ecosystem where the best and brightest minds from around the country – and all over the world – come to generate great ideas and translate them into commercial outcomes,” the Minister said. “We want to position Queensland as creators and not end users and through Advance Queensland and these workshops we will help equip small to medium enterprises to embrace innovation and drive growth.” Innovate Queensland’s Pathways Program of practical workshops, designed and delivered by business innovation and technology commercialisation experts, starts in Brisbane on 24 September, with workshops also planned for Mackay on 1 October and the Gold Coast on 5 November. To maintain momentum after the initial training, Impact Innovation Group will draw on its extensive networks throughout the State and in all industry sectors to engage SMEs in various collaborative activities under the Innovate Queensland banner. The IQLINK program, for example, will help them connect easily with university-based innovators. “Collaboration with research organisations can triple the likelihood of business productivity growth, but time-poor SME owners are often unable to initiate those conversations, and that’s where our online tools will make a difference,” Mr Ruddle said. “Enterprise Access is web-based source of Australia’s latest technologies whose inventors are looking for commercial partners, and SMEs can log into it at any time to find the missing pieces to their innovation puzzle.   “TheQueensland Innovation Portal is a creative problem-solving system based on the Brightidea platform, which is popular with the world’s largest and most innovative organisations, including Merrill Lynch, Sony and Novartis. The Portal enables industry groups and SMEs to come up with innovative yet practical ways to solve business challenges,” Mr Ruddle explained. Innovate Queensland’s GRID program  aims to Give Ideas and Research Direction with online discussion boards and webinars involving rookie innovators and veteran commercialisation experts. For more information about Innovate Queensland activities, such as where workshops will be held and how to access the online tools, visit