Palaszczuk Government funding is helping a clean-energy small business power ahead with plans to expand nationally and overseas, and boost its workforce with 75 extra staff within two years.
Innovation Minister Leeanne Enoch said Brisbane start-up Elevare Energy – which received $250,000 in government funding – is achieving great results turning a “smart idea into smart batteries” with huge global potential.
Elevare is developing smart batteries to help businesses reduce electricity costs, and potentially provide power to developing countries like Africa, India and China.
Speaking from Elevare’s head office at Enoggera today, Ms Enoch said the company has already signed up ten Queensland customers to trail the smart batteries – and created 13 new full-time jobs with plans to put on another 75 staff.
“The Palaszczuk Government is helping to ignite innovation across regions through Advance Queensland funding, and Elevare is just one example of a small business making great advances in developing a product for market readiness,” Ms Enoch said.
“So far, 119 businesses throughout the state have shared in close to $16.5 million funding from the Advance Queensland Ignite Ideas program, which is designed to help small businesses bring their innovative products to market.
“Because many start-ups and businesses can struggle with developing early-stage ideas due to lack of funding support and dedicated development focus, we are giving them a financial helping hand”.
Elevare Executive Director Richard Romanowski said the $250,000 received in the first funding round of the Palaszczuk Government’s Ignite Ideas program has helped take their innovative product to the next level.
“We have been developing our smart battery management technology for nearly five years and are now moving to commercial trials,” Mr Romanowski said.
“The technology is very complex but thanks to Advance Queensland funding we’re seeing some real results.” Llewellyn Motors Ipswich is the first of the 10 customers to trial the smart battery over six months to reduce electricity costs at their Toyota, Holden, Hyundai and Subaru dealerships in Ipswich.
“We are pleased to be part of this innovation and thank the Queensland Government for their support to reduce our commercial energy costs and carbon footprint,” said General Manager James Sturges.
Mr Romanowski and his colleagues Dale Butler and Dr Bevan Holcombe founded Elevare Energy in 2012. “In 2016, we sold more than $7 million in traditional rooftop solar for commercial buildings and in 2017 we have a target of $15 million for rooftop solar,” Mr Romanowski said.
“We’re planning to launch our smart batteries right across Australia in 2018 and open a sales office in China, the USA and Europe.
“Our head office is in Brisbane and we expect that over the next one to two years we’ll need to employ 75 people to cater for plans to expand and undertake low volume manufacturing from our Brisbane complex.
“The product is no ordinary battery. It’s designed to lower energy costs for a commercial business with technology developed right here in Brisbane.” Elevare Founder and Co-investor Dr Bevan Holcombe said there is an estimated two billion people worldwide living without electricity.
“I would like to see this technology applied to the developing world. Imagine countries like Africa, India and China installing solar batteries instead of putting in a new electricity grid. It’s a huge vision, but it’s definitely achievable for us,” Dr Holcombe said.
Along with funding from the Palaszczuk Government, the venture has also received support from Griffith University and Central Queensland University.
Advance Queensland is the Palaszczuk Government’s $405 million whole-of-government initiative focusing on harnessing innovation to unlock business potential, grow our regions, foster new industries, and give future generations the necessary skills and knowledge for the jobs of tomorrow.
Advance Queensland Ignite Ideas is designed to help early-stage, high growth potential businesses achieve scale, growth and profitability.
Visit the Advance Queensland Ignite Ideas Fund webpage for more information on the program and its recipients
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