Grants for innovative small businesses

Twelve businesses will receive $233,000 in funding as part of the City of Melbourne’s Small Business Grants, including four businesses solving health challenges.

​The grants will go towards companies developing innovative products and services including:

  • a device to help doctors administer lifesaving medicine to babies
  • a company using technology to relieve menstruation pain
  • an online platform to help older Melburnians live independently at home
  • a robotic arm to empower people with a disability.

Lord Mayor Sally Capp said the grant investment is in addition to the City of Melbourne’s $50 million COVID-19 Recovery Package, which included direct grants to businesses.

“Melbourne is facing a public health challenge, so it’s fitting that a number of these businesses are working to help people stay fit and healthy,” the Lord Mayor said.

“We’ve provided these grants for 25 years and we continue to support emerging businesses to grow and develop because we can’t afford to lose our enterprising culture.

“The team at Navi is developing a device to help doctors and busy clinical staff administer medicine quickly and safely to infants and young children in intensive care.

“Ovira in Docklands has developed a drug-free way to reduce menstruation pain using technology. Considering one in nine Australian women suffers from endometriosis, this device could help women live without debilitating pain.

“There is also a number of online initiatives reflecting trends we’ve seen in response to COVID-19, such as an online platform to help older Melburnians live independently at home.”

Small Business, Retail and Hospitality portfolio Chair Councillor Susan Riley said the grants complement support provided to local businesses in response to COVID-19.

“Small businesses make up 80 per cent of Melbourne’s total businesses and play a vital role in creating products and services Melburnians need,” Cr Riley said.

“This funding includes $94,000 for new businesses starting up, $71,550 to help businesses develop new services and products, and $67,700 for established businesses seeking to expand.

“The grants complement the $5.5 million in funding we recently provided to 1266 local businesses to help them respond to COVID-19 and keep their services running.”

The Small Business Grants program is one of the City of Melbourne’s most successful and has awarded $9.2 million in funding to more than 400 small businesses since 1996.

Past Small Business Grant recipients have gone on to become household names, such as KeepCup (2008), Koko Black (2003) and Sukin Organics (2009).

HIGHLIGHTS FROM THE 2020 RECIPIENTS:

Navi Medical Technologies

$19,550 (Development)

The Navi team is developing a medical device for doctors to safely administer medicine to critically-ill newborns, toddlers and children.

Ovira

$15,000 (Startup)

Ovira is a small wearable Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation (TENS) device to provide instant, drug-free relief for pain caused by endometriosis and menstruation.

Age Up Health

$24,000 (Startup)

Age Up Health is a fully integrated online platform providing aged care services to empower people to live their best life at home.

Aubot

$20,000 (Development)

Aubot is developing a mobile telepresence robotic arm to help empower people with disabilities and reduce their reliance on care givers.

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