spur: has been announced the winner of the $50,000 Little Giant Startup Grant following a virtual pitch night held Thursday 22 April, where the five startup finalists spruiked their business idea to a group of industry judges.
spur:, who has secured the $50,000 prize split equally into cash and legal fees is the first winner of the grant started by Clifford Gouldson’s specialist startup law firm Bolter.
Bolter launched the Little Giant Startup Grant in September 2020, to highlight the incredible entrepreneurial spirit of Australia and potentially uncover our next startup unicorn.
Head of Bolter and Clifford Gouldson Director Ben Gouldson said that the grant has attracted entrants from around the country and from a number of industries including agriculture, health, tech, finance, retail, and social enterprise.
“The diversity of applicants really emphasised how special the startup eco-system is in Australia and how robust our entrepreneurs can be – particularly when faced with a rapidly changing world thanks to COVID.
“It is world events like the pandemic that can inspire people to reprioritise their goals and perhaps go after that business dream they may have been contemplating for years.
“spur: is a really inspiring startup business. You can see how passionate they are about what they do and their drive to make a difference to the mental health industry.
“What’s unique about spur: and it’s product Toucan, is that it has approached a really critical issue in Australia with a clever and thoughtful solution.
“Founders Lee Crockford and William Smith-Stubbs have combined their many years of experience in mental health space to develop a service that will ultimately have a great national effect on Aussie workplaces.
“The individualistic approach to mental health is certainly unique on a national scale and I hope this $50,000 boost will help spur: take its next steps with Toucan.
“We congratulate spur: on this major win for their business and we can’t wait to see where this $50,000 boost takes them.
spur: Directors and Co-Founders William Smith-Stubbs and Lee Crockford said that they were thrilled to have won the final $50,000 prize and that the cash component and legal costs would be instrumental in helping grow the business.
“We’re extremely proud to have won the first Little Giant Startup Grant, this will make such a significant difference to our business,” said Mr Smith-Stubbs.
“After establishing our mental health non-profit spur:org in 2011, and launching commercial arm spur: in 2017, we saw Toucan as an opportunity to combine our expertise in mental health and innovative design.
“Toucan is a real time, digital wellbeing coach which draws on established and proprietary global database of mental health and demographic data to support individual health and organisational success.
Lee Crockford added that through Toucan, individuals, organisations, and communities can measure, track, and improve their mental wellbeing wherever they are, whenever they need it.
“Data from PwC suggests that poor mental health costs Australian businesses $10.9 billion annually and there is little way to know if businesses are investing funds in the right places for wellbeing,” said Mr Crockford.
“With Toucan, employers can measure demonstrably improve employee wellbeing while safeguarding privacy and handling crises. This means more effective wellbeing budgets and improved health and productivity.
“It’s exciting to think of what we will now be able to do with this funding and we can’t wait to take the next steps with Toucan.”
Mr Gouldson congratulated all the finalists who presented at the pitch night, saying they gave the judges a lot to discuss.
“It was an extremely tough decision for the judging panel to whittle down these five exceptional businesses to one final winner. Each business offers something of value and the breadth of ideas was inspiring.
“We will be following their progress with keen interest and wish each of them the very best for the next stage of their startup journey.”
The other finalists for the grant included:
- Onni: An app that allows users to send real-time tokenised gifts, which can be redeemed at any vendor in the world that accepts cashless payments. The app will be initially launched in Australia and North America.
- agKonect: Developer of a software system for managing small aviation fleets.
- Waste Not Food Recycling: A social enterprise that has pioneered a system of organic waste management targeted at restaurants and supermarkets.
- Cleard Life Vetting Agency: A company which provides suitability clearance for job candidates designed to eliminate insider threats, data breaches and internal fraud.