Federal Government Backing Women-led Startup on the Sunshine Coast

Female-founded startup Leakster on the Sunshine Coast will receive a grant of $99,400 from the Morrison Government as part of a plan to help them scale up and grow their business.

Leakster founder Sara Richardson will use the grant, delivered under the Boosting Female Founders Initiative, to establish a trial project for their new technology to help save water by identifying hidden, underground leaks in water pipes.

Federal Member for Fisher Andrew Wallace welcomed the success of Leakster.

“It’s great to see a female-led startup on the Sunshine Coast getting support to grow their business and reach their potential more quickly. I believe we need more diversity in our industry base on the Sunshine Coast, and that is not simply about the sectors that we operate in. Encouraging more female-led enterprises on the Coast will help ensure that our local economy is generating new ideas from a wider range of perspectives and staying ahead of the competition.” Mr Wallace said.

“I applaud Sara and her team for their hard work and dedication so far, and look forward to watching them grow and expand further with the aid of this funding.”

“It’s further proof that the Sunshine Coast is increasingly leading the way.”

Leakster’s project will focus on deploying a new real-time autonomous water pipeline condition monitoring technology that provides utilities with accurate information on the location and size of pipeline leaks throughout their network, enabling proactive maintenance, saving time, money and water.

Leakster founder, CEO, and local Sunshine Coast resident Sara Richardson said “Leakster is trying to tackle one of the biggest global issues – reliable access to clean drinking water.  By identifying leaks before they develop into bursts, our technology helps to save thousands of litres of water – one of our most precious resources.” 

“Leakster will use the money provided by the Federal government to undertake a large-scale trial demonstrating the water savings and benefits of our technology. The team at Leakster is extremely grateful to receive this funding as part of the Federal Government’s initiative to support female entrepreneurs, and believes it is initiatives like this that will target the next wave of entrepreneurial success stories.” 

Minister for Industry, Science and Technology Karen Andrews said Australia’s dynamic startup sector played a crucial role in creating new jobs, developing innovative products and boosting the Australian economy.

“The road from business idea to global product is already a tough one. But we know female-founded startups face even greater challenges in getting the finance needed to reach their full potential,” Minister Andrews said.

“If we don’t capitalise on great business ideas from half of the population, Australia’s startup and innovation ecosystems will only be half as good as they could be.

“This investment will strengthen our economy and empower more female entrepreneurs to create more jobs for all Australians.”

The Initiative has been extended and expanded over the next four years, with a further $35.9 million included in the 2020-21 Budget.

The expansion includes a new mentorship element, supporting more than 4000 mentoring opportunities for women entrepreneurs to help them continue to succeed and grow.

Applications for the second round of the Boosting Female Founders Initiative will open in 2021. Further information is available at https://business.gov.au/Grants-and-Programs/Boosting-Female-Founders.