FIVE innovative Australian startups have been selected to take part in an exclusive entrepreneur programme which aims to nurture and develop the fledgling businesses into strong global companies.
CUA, together with technology startup hub River City Labs, have announced a handful of startups to participate in the Sponsored Entrepreneur Program including Critik, which created a feedback mobile app that facilitates feedback between customers and businesses, and Gizmo 3D, a state-of-the-art 3D printer manufacturer.
The Sponsored Entrepreneur Program runs for three months with CUA sponsoring full-time desk memberships at River City Labs, structured mentoring by the River City Labs mentoring team and access to training and networking events for the successful applicants.
Susan Mason, CUA's acting general manager of business transformation and technology, says she was looking forward to seeing new, innovative business ideas being nurtured and developed.
"Working with River City Labs gives us a real insight into the startup culture as well as access to smarter and more agile ways to work," she says.
"Our team saw firsthand how the previous group of entrepreneurs that utilised the CUA-sponsored desks were able to identify a significant market need and respond with unique ideas that were turned into value-added solutions.
"The support offered by the Sponsored Entrepreneur Program is an excellent opportunity for these five startups to lay the successful foundations to become strong, global businesses."
The remaining three businesses in the program are Crowd Delivery, a subscription-based service that delivers everyday items such as groceries and hardware to a customer's home or workplace; Genesis AR, an augmented reality startup that combines digital and physical gaming; and 2ndLease, a peer-to-peer rental marketplace for consumer products.
CUA is Australia's largest member-owned financial services provider, providing banking and health insurance products to more than 435,000 Australians.
River City Labs interim general manager Aaron Birkby says CUA's continued involvement in the Sponsored Entrepreneur Program is strong validation of the organisation's commitment to the startup sector.
"CUA is a prime example of an organisation that's doing everything it can to back startups and help foster innovation," says Birkby.
"Startups need all the help they can get and we're very pleased CUA has again decided to get involved in this initiative.
"We're very proud to host this cohort of startups and look forward to helping them."
River City Labs is a not-for-profit organisation aimed at fostering Queensland's startup ecosystem.
Current membership sits at over 100 members ranging from early stage startups and founders, to established startups and entrepreneurs who have successfully raised capital in the last 18 months.
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