A small Sutherland Shire company started only six years ago has won its category in the 2017 NSW Telstra Business Awards.
The company, gemaker has won the Micro Business category of the NSW award and now goes on to compete in the national awards to be presented on August 27.
Founded by ex-ANSTO staffer Natalie Chapman, gemaker finds new markets for ground-breaking technologies.
A mum-of-two, Mrs Chapman worked at ANSTO as leader of business development and marketing before starting gemaker in 2011.
She now has 15 staff working for her across Australia helping small companies with exciting new technology or products to find the right market.
The company connects Australian researchers and inventors to funding, industry partners and customers.
In this role, gemaker has worked with research organisations, government departments, small and medium-size enterprises and start-ups.
“We have amazingly smart people in Australia who are coming up with inventions or innovations and we work out how we can find them the right market,” Mrs Chapman said.
“We work with universities and various research organisations.”
Examples of companies that have worked with gemaker include Allcane Resoures, a mining exploration company that is starting a new project in Dubbo to mine minerals not normally produced in Australia to be used in new technology.
“Another company, Stormseal which is based at Rockdale has produced a film that protects roofs after they have been damaged by storms.
“It can protect a house for up to a year after a storm.
“It is totally revolutionising the insurance industry.”
By promoting technology transfer from the lab into the world of commerce, gemaker hopes to create and grow Australian industries and jobs.
The Telstra Business Awards recognise and reward the innovation of Australia’s most outstanding small and medium businesses.
Mrs Chapman said that winning the award is a major turning point for her company.
“The award is huge for us,” she said. “It is recognition for the quality of what we are and what we are doing for our customers.
“It is the highest stamp we could be getting. We are overjoyed.”