SurePact has successfully passed the second milestone under its Boosting Female Founders Grant win by delivering a proof of concept for its innovative new Grant Management Platform.
The Australian Government’s Boosting Female Founders Grant, which SurePact was a recipient of in 2020, is a $54 million initiative that helps scale and grow startups that are majority-owned and led by Australian women. The initiative aims to inspire innovation and female entrepreneurship in Australia by providing matched funding grants to help these businesses scale into national and international markets.
On a recent visit to SurePact’s offices in Samford, Federal Minister Peter Dutton said SurePact – led by Founder and CEO Megan Avard – exemplifies the type of business the Boosting Female Founders Grant was established to support.
“The whole idea of the Boosting Female Founders program is that we can provide support to female entrepreneurs who have a bright idea but need the funding opportunity to take it to the next level,” Minister Dutton said. “SurePact and Megan have been able to achieve that.
“Clearly, we need somebody who is dynamic. Megan is that person, and the team around her provided further encouragement… it’s a compelling case that they’ve put forward, and I think we will see huge things coming from SurePact in the future.”
SurePact is using the $458,130 it has received in funding through the Boosting Female Founders Grant to develop a new Grant Management Platform. When launched, the Grant Management Platform will support grant funding bodies and recipients alike on both a Federal and State Government level in the administration, tracking, transparency and reporting of grant programs.
“One of the things we want to be assured of, as a funder, is that money is being spent where it was intended to be spent, and that people live up to their commitments,” Minister Dutton said.
“This tool will provide a level of assurance, not just for the funding body, but for the recipient as well, and help people to manage their grant programs much more efficiently.”
Ms Avard said the Grant Management Platform is being developed to fill a need for greater tracking, transparency and reporting of grant programs.
“In the early days of SurePact in 2018, we began by analysing the gaps in the market,” Ms Avard said. “What we found was that there were State Government departments managing millions of dollars they had allocated in funding on Excel spreadsheets, and local Councils managing the grants they received through Excel spreadsheets as well.
“There wasn’t a collaborative SaaS environment where you could have both parties talking to each other without confidentiality being compromised, answering the questions of compliance and probity and tracking taxpayers’ dollars. That is the project we are delivering under the Boosting Female Founders Grant.
“What we are doing with the Grant Management Platform is something that is not out in the market at the moment, and we are really excited about it. It is easy to use, it is intuitive, and it allows funding bodies to ensure their grants are being put towards their intended purpose and managed effectively.”
SurePact has now successfully passed the first two milestones required under the Boosting Female Founders Grant.
The design phase has been completed, and a multitude of workshops have been undertaken with State Government and Local Council representatives to ensure the module goes to market in the best form that it can. A proof of concept design for the Grant Management Platform has now been delivered.
“The deliverables for SurePact for milestone two were achieved and were in fact exceeded, with more design and feature capabilities than we originally planned to have,” Ms Avard said. “This involved providing a proof of concept for the Grant Management Platform and being able to integrate it with our other modules, and we have been able to present the concept ahead of time.
“We are very proud that we have been successful in passing the second milestone. Now we’re gearing up to go live in the next eight months, which will be the third milestone stage.”
Ms Avard said the support of the Federal Government and the Boosting Female Founders Grant had been essential to SurePact’s success so far.
“It is important for the Federal Government to support startups, in general, but I think it’s even more important to support female founders,” she said.
“As a female founder, you need to work harder to be recognised and to be noticed. There are a number of reasons as to why that is, but at the end of the day, it is harder for female founders. It’s really important that there are funding opportunities that allow us to grow and scale, and that is why being a recipient of the Boosting Female Founders Grant has been extremely valuable for SurePact.
“It’s also amazing for us to have a Federal Minister recognise what we are doing at a local level. We are in a regional area and we are a company that is only four years old, so for Minister Dutton to come and look at the solution that we are delivering – a solution that actually solves a problem at Federal and State level – is a big win for us.”
SurePact’s Grant Management Platform prototype is expected to commercialise in September 2022.