Innovation, agility and greater purpose in times of crisis: the Aussie businesses inspiring us all

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Australians are renowned for our resilience, ingenuity and mate-ship. From the bushfires earlier this year, to the current COVID19 crisis, we’ve seen these qualities exemplified across our nation in recent times.

Inspired by the innovation, agility and community spirit around us, the Melbourne AIE team has compiled a list of our favourite Aussie business pivots and innovations of late. We hope you’ll be inspired too!

  • The first internationally piloted drone delivery fleet and drone-delivered COVID-19 test kits
    Melbourne’s medical drone delivery start-up, Swoop Aero, became the first internationally piloted drone delivery service, with their on-the-ground team from Africa needing to move back to their home location in Melbourne. While the company remotely maintained these operations delivering last-mile medical supplies, they have also begun exploring drone-delivered COVID-19 test kits which could complement Telehealth services in Australia.
    Read more: SmartCompany  and DroneDJ
  • Entrepreneurs banding together to create jobs and essential products
    Witnessing friends losing jobs and shortages of essential products in the market, two Aussie entrepreneurs combined their expertise in supply-chain, FMCG and business to mobilise, “Rescue Brand,” a new company which supports jobs and the supply of essential products such as hand sanitiser, wipes and masks. Their unique expertise enabled them to go from idea to launch in a week, selling hospital-grade products at pre-crisis prices. The team sold over 150,000 units in the first week alone.
    Read more: Yahoo Finance Australia
  • From high fashion to sustainable isolation gowns for healthcare workers
    Australian fashion house Fella Hamilton expanded its business to produce reusable isolation scrubs and gowns for healthcare workers, tackling the environmental issue of disposable gowns ending up in landfill, while ensuring local supply for Australia’s health professionals and job security for their staff.
    Read more: Business News Australia
  • Reusing athlete performance monitoring technology to ensure the wellbeing of remote workers
    Australian SportsTech start-up, Lumin, who supports some of Australia’s elite sporting teams to monitor athlete performance through its app, Lumin Sport, has launched a new platform, Lumin Wellbeing, leveraging its technology to help employers monitor the wellbeing of their newly remote workers.
    Read more: Smart Company
  • From expo displays to protective screens for front-line workers
    ExpoCentric, a Sydney based business which usually builds stands and displays for tradeshows and exhibitions, has pivoted their business to manufacture protective screens and partitions for medical and essential services.
    Read more: ExpoCentric
  • Automated health screening technology integrated into airport check in systems
    Check-in and bag drop systems provider, Elenium Automation, services 13 airports around the world. After identifying early warnings about disruptions to travel industry, the Australian technology provider designed new contactless check-in machines, which also check a traveller’s vital signs. The system was patented within 6 weeks, and is currently in testing by Etihad.
    Read more: Australian Financial Review
  • From StageKing to IsoKing
    StageKing, an Australian business which usually builds stages for the likes of Miley Cyrus and Robin Williams, pivoted their business in a matter of weeks to repurpose their talent and tools to create a new line of products, ‘IsoKing’ desks and home office furniture. In a week the team conceptualised easy to assemble desks and launched an e-commerce store. Within two weeks they had sold over 1,000 units and one month later have fulfilled over 3,000 orders.
    Read more: Sydney Morning Herald and StageKings
  • Craft distilleries pivoting to produce hand sanitiser
    A number of Australia’s craft spirits distilleries have repurposed their facilities to produce the much-needed product of hand sanitiser. Many of these companies ha
    Read more: The Weekend Edition
  • Fighting fires with technology
    During the 2020 Australian bushfires, South Australian start-up, FireFlight, tested their fire mapping technology with the Australian Army to assist in strategic firefighting and recovery efforts on Kangaroo Island.
    Read more: Innovation & Collaboration Centre, University of South Australia 

These are just a sample of the amazing stories which have emerged down under in recent times. We are inspired by not only by the innovation and agility of these businesses during crises, but their response to the greater community’s challenges and drive towards creating a bigger purpose.

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