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Awesome Foundation awards first monthly start-up grant

By Ryan Jon Dunn
Tuesday, 22 February 2011

A start-up that seeks to utilise city rooftops as locations for bee-keeping has become the first recipient of a grant from The Awesome Foundation.


The Awesome Foundation is a 10-strong group, including The Hive founder Ross Hill, that awards monthly $1,000 grants to creators of projects with the aim of, according to its website, “forwarding the interest of awesomeness in the universe.”


The foundation is new to Melbourne, but it already has chapters, backed by prominent entrepreneurs, in cities including New York, London, Berlin and San Francisco.


The first of its monthly $1,000 grants has been handed to Rooftop Honey, a project that aims to combat the decline of bees in urban spaces.


Jason Smale, board member of the Melbourne Awesome Foundation, says that Rooftop Honey is the kind of start-up that it will look to support.


“Rooftop Honey is truly unique and truly awesome, but would certainly struggle to get funding via traditional methods,” he told StartupSmart.


“We’re not seeking any returns, and we don’t consider ourselves a charity. We are simply looking to help out awesome projects that wouldn’t traditionally get helped out by banks or investors”.


“We don’t tell them how to use it or when to use it, all we ask is that they stay in touch so we can see how their project is going.”


Vanessa Kwiatkowski, co-founder of Rooftop Honey, says: “I was a keen gardener, and enjoyed seeing bees in my garden”.


“It’s nice to think that maybe one day we could live off the income we get from honey.”


When asked what the Awesome Foundation is looking for, Smale says the scope is endless.


Applicants can be small start-up businesses, already established businesses experiment with new products or individuals embarking on a unique international experience.


“There are no rules or guidelines (although) some of the applications were good but we thought they would probably be fine without our help,” he says.


The ten members of the Melbourne Awesome Foundation each contribute $100 per month to the grant. You can find more information about the foundation here.

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