Tech start-up maps new path for cash-strapped galleries and museums

11:50AM | Thursday, 21 November

Ortelia, a 3D gallery space mapping technology targeting the cultural heritage industries has launched today, after seven years of development by a tight-knit team backed by the University of Queensland’s commercialisation unit UniQuest.   The team of five began exploring the technology in 2005. They developed a prototype of the software and planned to pitch it to theatres.   Co-founder Lazaros Kastanis told StartupSmart they always intended to commercialise it, albeit for a different target client.   “When we started showing it around, we realised there was more interest in using it in galleries and museums. We realised we had a solid product, and partnered with UniQuest who have held our hand ever since,” Kastanis says.   He adds their client-first approach has continued to this day, and is one of the reasons they’ve been able to successfully commercialise a technology targeting the fiscally constrained cultural heritage.   “We’ve approached every single one of our clients with the understanding we have no idea what they really do, so our first step is always to work with them closely to really understand what they need,” Kastanis says.   Ortelia is launching today in the UQ Art Museum at the University of Queensland, which is the first gallery the team worked with closely.   They’re about to start working with 17 venues after signing a major deal with Museum and Galleries NSW.   Kastanis says other than the perennial start-up issue of finding the funds to keep going, the major hurdle for the Ortelia team of five is navigating the varying attitudes to technology in the museum and gallery industry.   “Many of them have got small budgets but enormous willingness to grab the bull by the horns when it comes to technological innovation,” Kastanis says. “But it varies. Bringing these digital tools into this sector was proved to be challenging. A lot of the people in decision-making positions felt they were all set with their older tools.”   With 18 venues to work with and big plans, the Ortelia team of five is set to grow in the coming months.   “The team is essentially still the same team from when we founded the company. It’ll probably need to grow although the bulk of our development is now done,” Kastanis says. “We’ve got a tight team with flexible interrelationships, and we’re all aware this is one of those classic moments where every overnight success is seven years in the making.”

Artesian Venture Partners joins with UniQuest to form investment fund

7:27AM | Tuesday, 9 July

The University of Queensland’s commercialisation company, UniQuest, has partnered with investor Artesian Venture Partners to build a $1.5 million investment fund to invest in graduates from the university’s ilab technology incubator.   UniQuest chief executive Dean Moss says in a statement the Accelerate Investment Fund will provide private investors an opportunity to invest in several early stage start-ups emerging through ilab.   The statement says Artesian Venture Partners has committed to raising a majority of the $1.5 million fund and will be both investing in the fund itself and inviting private investors to participate.   “ilab is the premium start-up lab in Queensland,” Jeremy Colless, Artesian’s managing principal, told StartupSmart, noting that Queensland was “crying out” for more support in the tech start-up space.   He says the fund will support start-up graduates from ilab in the early funding stage and, potentially, later rounds as well, taking a direct equity stake in the companies.   The new investor fund comes as the Queensland government approves $1 million in funding over the next two years for ilab’s three-month Germinate programs that offer training, mentoring, networking, office space and up to $20,000.   Over the past two years, Germinate has invested almost $300,000 in 19 new enterprises and a further 17 companies have been supported by ilab resources and mentors.   Participants in the Germinate program have included Tiger Temple, an online street style clothing store, Veilability, a venue matching service for the bridal industry and Fizziofit, which delivers exercise, medicine and fitness technology resources for healthcare professionals.

Biotech start-up scores $1.25 million to develop therapeutic peptide drugs

2:01AM | Friday, 15 February

A start-up launched by the ithree institute at the University of Technology, Sydney (UTS) plans to develop autoimmune drugs after receiving a $1.25 million investment from the Medical Research Commercialisation Fund.

Is your university on the money?

11:33PM | Monday, 26 November

It’s well known that some universities have a heavier focus on entrepreneurship than others. But when it comes to funding prospects for student start-ups, does the university make a difference?

Brisbane youngsters win first Jumpstarter start-up competition

3:40AM | Tuesday, 12 March

Projuce, a team of four young Brisbane developers, has won Jumpstarter 2012, a new Microsoft-backed competition to find the best tech start-up idea over the course of a weekend.

UniQuest clean tech start-up Brisbane Materials snags $5 million

9:53AM | Tuesday, 25 September

Clean tech start-up Brisbane Materials, which has emerged from research commercialisation firm UniQuest, has closed a $5 million Series A funding round as it seeks to scale up its R&D, manufacturing and marketing both domestically and overseas.

Dutch company Elsevier backs UniQuest start-up Leximancer

7:43AM | Thursday, 19 July

A new search application developed by UniQuest start-up Leximancer is being piloted at the University of Queensland (UQ), via an online research platform from Dutch company Elsevier.

UniQuest start-up TenasiTech scores $1.4 million for its polymer technology

6:33AM | Thursday, 21 June

Materials science start-up TenasiTech will ramp up development of its polymer technology after securing $1.4 million in grants and equity capital from the Queensland Government and Uniseed.

UniQuest strikes US innovation partnership deal on behalf of UQ professor

6:11PM | Wednesday, 20 June

A University of Queensland associate professor will collaborate with a US biotech company on an innovative biofuel production system, thanks to an R&D contract facilitated by UniQuest.

Start-up incubator ilab launches new grants, opens new premises

4:40AM | Monday, 30 April

Tech start-up incubator ilab is offering competitive grants of up to $50,000 for Queensland entrepreneurs, after opening its doors to new premises and programs today.

New Govt tool to assess commercial potential of uni projects

3:49AM | Saturday, 24 March

The Federal Government has launched a new market intelligence tool designed to help assess the commercial potential of university researchers’ projects.

Brisbane start-up Bilexys wins award in global start-up comp

3:42AM | Thursday, 22 March

Brisbane start-up Bilexys has won the Pre-Revenue Track award in the $US200,000 Imagine H20 prize for water start-ups, held in San Francisco, receiving cash and in-kind services.

A pain treatment with bite

3:53AM | Thursday, 1 March

Spider venom could soon be used to relieve chronic pain conditions.

University of Queensland start-up in the running for a US$200k prize

2:47AM | Wednesday, 22 February

A start-up based at the University of Queensland has been named as a finalist in the $US200,000 Imagine H20 prize for water start-ups, run by US-based non-profit group Imagine H2O.

Australia’s top 10 female start-up entrepreneurs

5:27AM | Wednesday, 2 May

When it comes to women in business, Australia is lagging behind the rest of the world. Still.

Biotech start-up Spinifex gets $6.3m in funding

9:42AM | Monday, 12 September

Spinifex, a biotech start-up, has received a $6.3 million funding boost to help it bring its nerve pain therapy to market.

UniQuest Trailblazer winners unveiled

8:48AM | Monday, 22 August

UniQuest has announced this year’s winners of its $50,000 Trailblazer competition, with winning ideas ranging from a new therapy for bone cancer to a safer way to extract copper.

UniQuest to showcase biotech innovations

1:29AM | Wednesday, 11 January

Research commercialisation company UniQuest will showcase 50 innovations on behalf of Australian universities at an international biotechnology event being held in the United States later this month.