Spatial Innovation is a Brisbane-based company providing data visualisation and mapping solutions to real business problems.
They believe that everyone should have access to the best information possible when making decisions. That’s why they created Spatial Innovation where they bring information to life in the simplest way possible through stunning maps and data visualisations.
And with $78,000 of Advance Queensland Ignite Ideas funding, Spatial Innovation will expand its customer base in Queensland and then in Australia and the United States (US), as well as employ more people in their team to support their business growth.
We caught up with Victor Nicholls, Spatial Innovation’s Managing Director, to learn more about their innovation and how the Ignite Ideas Fund will help their business grow.
What inspired you to start your business?
I think like any business I saw a problem and worked out how to fix it. We were working in the mapping space as consultants and saw a void in the market for a lightweight online mapping solution that we could control and customise to meet specific needs. And that’s exactly what we’ve created.
What milestones have you reached?
A big milestone was when we migrated the business from consulting to a business that is now focused on specific products. When those products reached maturity and initially commercialised with real customers, it validated our decision to build those products out and gave us the confidence to keep focusing our efforts.
What achievements are you most proud of to date?
Building our own Geographic Information System (GIS), specifically to take advantage of these opportunities to develop products, such as the Flood Information Portal, and others that have become central to delivering exceptional value to our customers. And the bonus is that products like the Flood Information Portal have a real impact on people’s lives and decisions. Plus, building a small but great team of people who are dedicated to making our vision happen.
What are your business goals over the next 12-24 months?
In general, our goals are to expand our customer base firstly in Queensland and Australia and then the US market. From a product perspective, it will be delivering our roadmap of enhancements to our existing products, which have been driven from existing customer feedback. We always want to deliver as much value as possible for our customers.
How will you use your Ignite Ideas funding?
The absolute focus with this funding is to accelerate the commercialisation of the Flood Information Portal. We have been very product development-focused and that is where our skill sets lie. The funding will help us focus on the commercialisation activities, such as sales and marketing, initially in Queensland and Australia and then looking at opportunities in the US. This growth in our business through expanding our customer base will also mean increase in employment.
Why would you recommend applying for Advance Queensland programs, such as the Ignite Ideas Fund?
The funding will accelerate your plans from two to three years down to one, which is crucial in competitive markets. Plus, the exposure that it brings along with the industry recognition through media increases exposure and credibility to target customers. We found even the application process itself makes you formulate your plans very clearly and ensure they can be articulated to anyone whether they be customers, investors or partners.
If any, what other support have you received from Advance Queensland or the Queensland Government?
We have been fortunate enough to receive grant funding on three other occasions from 2018 through to 2021 to the amount of $17,500 in total. These funds were used to both automate our business processes and upgrade our digital presence at the time.
Why is it important to support Queensland businesses, innovators and entrepreneurs?
Without innovation business stagnates and becomes vulnerable. We need innovators, but most are cash poor due to pouring all their funds into developing solutions, so it’s almost a necessity to have support to stay competitive as a region.
What’s your advice for other entrepreneurs and businesses starting out on their innovation journey?
Probably to validate everything as early as possible, meaning that you can solve a problem but there is actually a problem there in the first place. Validate what someone will pay to solve that problem and how. Investigate alternatives and your competition. Then surround yourself with a great team and never give up, pivot if you have to, but never give up.