Aussie Start Ups & Federal Grants

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A START-up trialling anti-cheating software for universities and another building an all-terrain electric skateboard have been awarded more than $500,000 to help commercialise their products.

Working out of the Melbourne Accelerator Program, the grants have been made available under the $11.3 million Federal Government Accelerating Commercialization initiative.

Money and plant. Hand holding euro coin.

The Melbourne Accelerator Program is run Melbourne University’s Connect entrepreneur program that operates out of LAB-14 in the former Royal Women’s Hospital.

BajaBoard, which is building the electric skateboard for off-road recreational use, has been awarded $264,643 to take the vehicle to the next stage and help it break into local and international markets.

Cadmus, started university graduates Herk Kailis and Robbie Russo, has received $249,845 from Accelerating Commercialization.

The University of Melbourne started trialing the software earlier this year and the Sydney and Queensland universities and Queensland University of Technology are due to begin trials soon.

BajaBoard co-founder George Li said the team, which includes James Murphy and Alessandro Noccioli, hoped to have the board to market early next year.

Mr Murphy came up with the concept because he was disillusioned the small window of time for people to go snowboarding. The all-weather skateboard should reach speeds up to 55km/h and must be used off-road.

Mr Li said testing of the board was continuing and feedback was being collected before it goes into production.

It will be on sale for between $3000 and $6000 and is pitched at the middle-aged market of buyers who might be interested in a jetski or a mountain bike. “It will be a bit like Tesla. There will be a base model and you can add options,” Mr Li said.

Features include child-safety locks, such as a speed limiter to 3km/h.

Mr Li said the grant was originally sought in 2014 but the group needed to fine-tune its business case.