SurePact secures federal grant

SurePact secures federal grant

Samford risk management platform for the delivery of projects and contracts SurePact has grown beyond founder and CEO Megan Avard’s wildest dreams.

A finalist in the 2019 Innovation Excellence category of last year’s Moreton Bay Region Business, Excellence and Innovation awards, SurePact has spent the past 12 months listening to its clients to find ways to improve its products.

With COVID-19 ruling out the 2020 awards, we’re shining a light on superstars from previous years and asking … what are they up to now?

Megan says having SurePact named as a finalist in the awards was important recognition that what the company delivered had proven benefits.

“What it did was to validate that the due diligence we have done was recognised,” she says.

“On the intangible side, it gave staff a pat on the back.”

SurePact provides risk management software that allows grant, contract and project managers to monitor and track the delivery of projects through to asset realisation.

While SurePact deals mainly with local governments and companies in rural and remote regions, Megan says its system is also being adopted in urban areas.

She says its beauty lies in its ease of use, giving organisations the ability to measure whether a project, contract or grant is being delivered to specifications.

Open dialogue

Unlike other systems, the business tasked with spending the grant money or delivering the project can access the reporting system at the same time as the organisation that commissioned it, allowing for an open dialogue, greater accountability and early troubleshooting.

From being the self-described “Founder and CEO of a briefcase” in her first year, Megan has just hired her ninth staff member and is recruiting for several more.

“I never thought we’d be here like this – we’re growing in the right areas,” she says.

Boosting female founders

That success, and the relationships built with customers, have come to the attention of the Federal Government, with SurePact securing one of only 51 Boosting Female Founders (BFF) Initiative grants.

The company is one of just two in the Moreton Bay Region to receive a grant under round one of the program – ahead of more than 2200 expressions of interest.

Megan says the $458,130 grant will allow SurePact to further develop its grant management product, which integrates with existing contract management and asset capability to apply, manage, and track grant funds and associated deliverables.

“Being funded under BFF is a massive win for us,” she says.

“We have a massive backlog of enhancements suggested by our users.”

Online launch

In March, SurePact was poised to launch the grant management solution in Cairns.

COVID-19 restrictions forced the cancellation of the live event, which 60 people from around the country were due to attend.

“Instead, we took it online – quickly upskilling on zoom event management,” Megan laughs. “More than 200 people took part.”

“The grant management system that we have designed is integrated and allows us to further build end to end solutions for funding bodies and successful recipients.

“At the moment everything is done by email and phone calls.

“In Queensland, there are 77 local governments that all offer grants, and 86 percent have no technology tracking mechanism, with most using spreadsheets.

“There is no system that is collaborative for the funding body, there is no visibility or accountability.

“One has a $60 million grant program they manage on a 42-column spreadsheet.”

Megan says starting SurePact took a leap of faith.

“To resign from a senior executive role when you’re earning good money, to go back to no income is scary.”

Crucial role

Federal Industry, Science and Technology Minister Karen Andrews says Australia’s dynamic start-up sector plays 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 start-ups face even greater challenges in getting the finance needed to reach their full potential.”
“If we don’t capitalise on great business ideas from half of the population, Australia’s start-up and innovation ecosystems will only be half as good as they could be.”

Applications for the second round of the Boosting Female Founders Initiative open in early 2021.

For more information click here.

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