FOUNDER OF DISABILITY TRAVEL STARTUP CLAIR CROWLEY WINS TOP HONOURS AT 10th eNVIe AWARDS
A passion for helping people living with disability to experience everything the world has to offer, has earned Clair Crowley, founder of The Good Scout Travel Company, a prize package valued at more $44,000 including a trip to the United States. Clair was one of six finalists to present at Flinders University’s New Venture Institute (NVI) eNVIes Awards held at the former Royal Adelaide Hospital, taking home the top honour of Gold eNVIe.
After a snowboarding accident left Clair Crowley’s husband a paraplegic, she experienced first-hand the frustrations of finding travel and adventure experiences that are accessibility friendly, leading her to create The Good Scout Travel Company – an online platform for planning travel with a focus on accessibility.
“One of the things we as a family always look at when booking travel and accommodation is not the pool, but the bathrooms, for accessibility,” said Clair.
“So I knew the why of my start-up, but not the how. I’ve been dabbling in the space for a while but not really known how to create the value. Through Venture Dorm I was able to put the end-user at the centre to create value and use a data-driven approach to develop a sustainable model.”
The Good Scout Travel Company is one of 19 start-ups out of the current metropolitan round of Flinders’ NVI Venture Dorm program. Clair came to the program through the SPARK Adelaide scheme, funded by Renewal SA and through Hub Adelaide.
Venture Dorm helps new businesses start up fast with a low upfront investment, and supports them beyond the 12-week immersive program to continue to grow and mature through Flinders’ NVI’s co-working space that provides access to a multitude of valuable business and entrepreneurial services.
This recently completed program saw a wealth of start-up ideas covering industries from genetics to adventuring. It follows NVI’s recognition earlier this year as a global leader in start-up incubation by benchmarking company UBI Global.
Flinders University Vice-Chancellor, Professor Colin Stirling, congratulated Clair Crowley on her win, acknowledging the high level of quality contestants in the competition.
“The eNVIes are going from strength to strength and each of these awards is as diverse as our University itself and as unique as the people who venture through our doors,” Professor Stirling said.
“Our team at Flinders is absolutely passionate about pushing the boundaries of what is possible, but we can only be as good as the partners and the people we work with – and the quality of competitors tonight demonstrates just how exceptional that standard can be.”
Taking out the Silver eNVIe on Thursday was Matthew Stead of Ping Services, with his wind turbine management system that has been rapidly prototyped through the Flinders Innovation Centre.
The People’s Choice Award went to Karen Roberts, founder of Book Burritos, an iron-on and environmentally friendly school book-covering system.
The Awards followed the first regional eNVIes, held on Tuesday 12 June in Mount Gambier with Ashlee Kalantarian taking out the top spot on the night. Ms. Kalantarian completed the newly launched Venture Dorm program at Flinders University’s eNVIsion on the Limestone Coast, NVI’s sister incubator.
The Limestone Coast hub enables entrepreneurs across South Australia to be part of a larger innovation network with two-way collaborations already in the pipeline and provides a framework for an innovation ecosystem across the State.
Born global is a catch-cry of the New Venture Institute, and the winners of Gold and Silver eNVIes – four start-ups across the two locations – win a seat on NVI’s annual US Innovation Mission. This takes them to visit start-ups in San Francisco, Silicon Valley and Austin, joining other business founders and leaders to attend more than 30 events, pitch competitions, site visits, and networking opportunities. The US Innovation Mission is open to other founders and businesses as well and never fails to inspire entrepreneurial growth in participants.
The eNVIe Awards are supported by the Government of South Australia, NewsCorp, Amazon Web Services, Joey Crowd, Moonshine Lab, NewsMaker, BDO, Chiliad Consulting, Ethos, Motus Legal, and Komms Haus.
For more information visit the website: www.nviflinders.com.au