NSW startup grants begin flowing after pause

Twenty startups will share in almost $1 million in funding under the first round of the NSW government’s re-launched MVP Ventures program, while a further 16 firms wait to receive the grants.

But hundreds more companies have missed out altogether and will now have to reapply under the second intake, underscoring the demand for early-stage funding amid a drop off in venture capital.

Investment NSW revealed the list of successful companies as the Minister for Innovation, Science and Technology Anoulack Chanthivong opened the second round of applications on Monday.

Photo: structuresxx/Shutterstock.com

The popular MVP Ventures program re-launched with markedly less funding in December after it and other innovation grants were placed on hold as part of a six-month expenditure review.

Under the recast program, the government is offering matched funding of between $25,000 and $50,000 to early-stage startups and small and medium-sized enterprises across two yearly intakes.

A total of $3 million will be made available through MVP Ventures each year until 2027, down from $10 million a year offered under the scheme run by the former Coalition government.

The government has handed out $963,397 to 20 startups since the program reopened, according to Investment NSW. InnovationAus.com also understands another 16 companies are at the contract stage, suggesting that at least $1.36 million has been awarded.

The 36 companies have been selected from 504 applications – 154 more than the 350 that had been received by Investment NSW in March and which created processing delays for the sector.

But as a non-competitive program, applications from startups and small and medium-sized enterprises looking to commercialise their offerings are assessed in the order they are received.

Among the recipients to receive the full $50,000 grant in the first round is Newcastle-based green hydrogen startup EM Energy, which was singled out by the state government as an example of it “nurturing innovation”.

EM Energy plans to use the grant to patent technology capable of turning organic waste into green hydrogen, in a bid to accelerate commercialisation and open up new investment opportunities.

“EM Energy is pushing the boundaries when it comes to innovation and we’re delighted to support the development of its green hydrogen production technology, which has the potential to be a game-changer for sustainable energy generation globally,” Mr Chanthivong said.

Another 10 companies have also received $50,000 since March, including DDLoop, which has developed a legal data platform, Universal Accessibility System, Smartizer and Neuromersiv.

Robotics startup ANT61, Breaker Industries, Sydney Heart Value and AI inventory platform, Foboh, have, meanwhile, scored just shy of $50,000, while only one company – AI video editing startup, Edit on the Spot – received the minimum amount.

Opening round two of the MVP Ventures program on Monday, Mr Chanthivong said the grants provide “much needed support to assist startups on their commercialisation journey while ensuring we attract and retain entrepreneurial talent in NSW”.

The full list of round one MVP Ventures grants (as at July 1):

  • ANT61 – $48,463 for beacon-satellite failure detection
  • Breaker Industries – $49,854 to deliver a surveillance and reconnaissance drone
  • Edit on the Spot – $25,000 for real-time AI video editing technology
  • Ellie Holdings – $50,000 to deliver a mental health app for children
  • Encapsolutions – $50,000 to manufacture “biodegradable dermal patches”
  • Ethyr Operations – $50,000 for the validation of technologyfor DNA sequence detection
  • Neuromersiv – $50,000 to develop a wearable device for recovering from strokes
  • Proactive Industry Management Solutions – $50,000 for a healthcare app
  • Saasee – $41,250 for AI-assisted retail team guidance
  • Sydney Heart Valve – $49,991 to develop Sydney Health Valve
  • Rishi Tech – $50,000 to develop a digital platform for utility scale solar farm construction
  • Smartizer – $50,000 for a modular, plug-and-play battery
  • Storytiling – $50,000 for auto-edited personalised videos
  • Universal Accessibility Systems – $50,000 for an English customer validation project
  • Anda Health Tech – $50,000 for wearable to overcome stress, anxiety and poor sleep
  • DDLoop – $50,000 for legal due diligence analysis of government registers
  • Foboh – $49,952 for an AI-powered inventory platform
  • EM Energy – $50,000 for organic hydrogen production
  • I Hydrate – $48,887 for customer trials of the Salhy Personal Hydration Test
  • Novus Place – $50,000 for a AI-powered Brieff Engine for accountants

Do you know more? Contact James Riley via Email.

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