Our Start-ups

Accelerator Cohort 1

Trendy Rhino (Melbourne)

Team Members
Name
Charlie Franklyn
Himasha Fonseka
Shanaka Jayakody

Kavien Jayakody

Business Idea

Trendy Rhino have taken the successful concept of Influencer Marketing, and brought it to a new space - Facebook Groups. They have built a self-serve marketplace that allows businesses to share branded content endorsements within Facebook Groups.

WedgePro (Bendigo)

Team Members
Name

Jamie Ward

Sarah-Jane Kavanagh
Hamish McGregor
Brenton Massey

Business Idea

You know the feeling when you smash a drive down the fairway, only to be left with a knee-trembling 40 metre shot to the green, seeing a myriad of natural and human-made hazards lurking to rip that birdie opportunity away from you?

Well, WedgePro has the device that can improve the technique, distance control and confidence of golfers of all standards.

In fact, over $60 billion was spent globally helping players to get the ball in the hole last year in the accessories and training aid market. This figure does not even include the dollars outlaid on professional lessons!

WedgePro is the art of wedge play.


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Innokids (Melbourne)

Team Members
Name

Rafiuddin Ahmed (current La Trobe student)

Gillian Sullivan-Mort (current La Trobe staff)

Business Idea

We are approaching to a future of unemployment due to the emergence of artificial intelligence, rise of robots (RoR) where most of the repetitive and labour intensive jobs will fade away soon. To combat with this uncertainty, job creation and self-employment through self-education can be a solution via InnokidsTM.

InnokidsTM means innovative kids who will learn empathy, active compassion, entrepreneurship, social entrepreneurship, emotional intelligence, basic business skills, STEM at their early life in primary school. We target this age cohort as kids pass massive sensory development at this stage which infuses ample quest for learning innovation. We are instilling the ideas to grow with a changed mentality that is-“It’s not too early to be your own boss and be a kidpreneur”. We also help them to grow with a motto which is “we are not job seekers; we are job creators for us & for the community”.


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Android Voltammetry (Melbourne)

Team Members
Name

Conor Hogan (current La Trobe staff)

Natalia Alvarez Lopez (current La Trobe staff)

Business Idea

You know how your mobile phone is so much more than just a communication device? It is a sophisticated physical sensing system. Well, what we do is extend this capability to measuring the identities and concentrations of molecules in you and your environment.  In fact, we have found a way to do this with no extra hardware, using only the existing components in your phone.

Eco-Robotics (Bendigo)

Team Members
Name

Ka Chan (current La Trobe staff)

Tyson Chan

Jacky Cai

Francis Chen

Business Idea

You know how the world’s existing single-stream recycling practices are environmentally unsustainable, with only 73-85% of yellow bin waste actually being recovered. Well, what we do at Binnovation is develop autonomous waste sorting technology that can be integrated directly into buildings, giving rise to a new decentralised model for waste management. In fact, our prototype identification algorithm classifies recyclable waste with an accuracy of above 99%.

Hand Wagons of Africa (Melbourne/Mildura)

Team Members
Name

Brendan Edmonds

Clement Deng (current La Trobe student)

Business Idea

What started as an idea for an urban vegetable garden, Water & Agriculture Growing Organic Nutrition Sustainably. Led me to researching nutrition for children in Africa. We have all seen the money shot for Oxfam. Starving children, desperate Mothers. While this exists for tens of millions of people, displaced with nothing. Many hundreds of millions more live in relatively stable but subsistence level, village environments. Colourful and loving. Laughter and tears. But with little opportunity to develop. Women spend 90% of their day securing water, collecting fire wood, carrying cash crop produce to market transport link for income, and carrying goods back to the household. A transport system responsive to need is a major prerequisite for social and economic development in Sub Saharan Africa (worldbank 2017). If we put a strong set of wheels under these Wagons, and design a drawbar / braking system. That would make an awesome lightweight, robust multipurpose transport vehicle. If I needed to carry all my water and lively hood on my head, it would be a relief. If you needed to move or transmigrate. You could take water & belongings with you. Optimise time and labour input.

Anidra (Federation University)

Team Members
Name

Andrew Stranieri

Venki Balasubramanian

Business Idea

Imagine the dread you feel as a nurse, doctor or manager in a hospital in India if a patient deteriorates without you knowing about.  The massive nurse shortage in India makes it difficult for the vital signs of patients in hospital to be measured often.  In other countries patients recover at home and similarly cannot have their vital signs measured often.  LaTrobe University Accelerator Team Anidra has developed cutting edge vital signs monitoring systems that have been successfully piloted in an Indian hospital.  Anidra founders are Information Technology Researchers at Federation University, in regional Victoria, who have joined forces with marketing experts in India.  The LaTrobe Accelerator is supporting the Start-Up to become investment-ready with advice, mentors and seed funding.

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Recognise and Report (Melbourne)

Team Members
Name

Michael Bauer

Sandra Cowen 
Christine While 
Deirdre Fetherstonhaugh
Caroline Bathje 

Business Idea

Residents living in aged care facilities are increasingly frail and when care staff fail to recognise and report changes in residents’ health early, extreme adverse consequences can occur.

Personal Care Workers (PCWs) are at the frontline of care and as it stands now:

* There is currently no national standard of training for these staff
*Education and training varies and there are gaps in both skills and knowledge.

We have created an education package to upskill PCWs/PCAs by providing aged care facilities with an in-house training resource which they can use to train and upskill their staff within the facility. There are approximately 2700 aged care facilities in Australia that could benefit from having this resource package now; and we currently have 50 facilities who have contacted us, wanting to know when this education package will be ready for purchase.

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Accelerator Cohort 2

Zirkarta (Bendigo)

Team Members
Name
Dylan Kendall
Martin Hedenstroem
Sonja Hedenstroem

Jesse Munzel (La Trobe Student)

Business Idea

Zirkarta is a platform which enables users to make changes to a map that are visible to all users in real-time. As changes are made, data is instantly collected, collated and formulated for those in operational positions to assist with decision-making during intense situations. Zirkarta works on any device, without downloading any software, works with and without Internet coverage and can be configured (no coding) to develop enterprise level systems for almost any application.


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NanoMslide (Melbourne)

Team Members
Name
Brian Abbey
Eugeniu Balaur
Natalia Alvarez-Lopez

Prof David Winkler

Business Idea

Researchers at La Trobe University have invented a method for transforming a conventional microscope slide into a powerful new tool for bioimaging (the “NanoMslide”). Their technology delivers massive optical contrast enhancement providing instant, stain-free, label-free imaging.

Travelling Tradies (Melbourne)

Team Members
Name
Adam Valastro

Business Idea

Travelling Tradies has created a platform that connects Australian Tradespeople to hotel and hostel owners from around the globe where they can exchange their skills for food, accommodation and cultural experiences. The brand prides itself in being able to create opportunities for tradespeople to explore the world, have time for themselves and truly live an epic life.


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Jenny Bevis Events (Albury-Wodonga)

Team Members
Name
Jenny Bevis

Business Idea

Jenny Bevis Events is a ‘new experience’ enterprise that specialises in delivering high quality and unique event experiences in gorgeous landscapes. Such events enable tourism and economic development to regional towns.

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MyLife (Melbourne)

Team Members
Name
Joshua Marsden
Louis Island

Business Idea

MyLife is delivering an online platform and wearable technology to implement a cardiac rehabilitation program that is accessible and engaging. They use successful strategies of social dynamics, and gamification to maximise their client's rehabilitation potential. The rehabilitation approach promotes physical, mental and social recovery.


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Sacred Tree (Shepparton)

Team Members
Name
Yasmar Lovett
Corey Walker
Graham Weston
Natalie Visentin

Business Idea

Sacred Tree Enterprises is an Aboriginal company based in Shepparton, Victoria. The business combines, for the first time in Australia, three fundamental elements that are important and vital to their community; health and wellbeing, natural resource management and cultural heritage. The business aims at solving problems such as the lack of knowledge about Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander people and Cultural Heritage Protocols, lack of authentic Aboriginal products and experiences provided by Aboriginal people and pests, plants and animals posing a threat to agriculture, natural resources and cultural heritage sites.

Report and Run (Melbourne)

Team Members
Name
Jason Thompson
Mark Thompson

Business Idea

Report and Run is an app for iOS and Android that allows for average tradespeople to combine images, descriptions with a complement of coloured annotations to visually emphasize areas of issues and concern. It combines a sophisticated technical solution with an intuitive user interface that allows for clear and easy documentation of remote conditions to be sent quickly to decision makers straight from the field.


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Mallee Naturals (Mildura)

Team Members
Name
Melanie Leeder

Business Idea

The brand was developed because of the demand for chemical free products in the marketplace, in particular, a chemical-free insect repellent.

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Hands of Change (Melbourne)

Team Members
Name
Linda Wong
Chris Ardrey

Business Idea

Hands of Change Limited is a charity registered with the Australian Charities and Not-for-Profits Commission. Their mission is to develop and deliver programs that consist of hands-on activities in an active, social and learner-cantered environment. Their first program, Equihands, offers equine assisted learning as an innovative means of therapy by developing virtual reality scenarios in an equine assisted learning environment.

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Accelerator Cohort 3 - Discovery

Canine Ecological (Bendigo)

Team Members
Name
Natalie Catalayud
Naomi Hodgens
Nicholas Rutter

Business Idea

Based in the Greater Bendigo region, Canine Ecological is a conservation, natural resource management and biosecurity service that uses detection dogs. Working collaboratively with industry and community in their local region, the team is currently training dogs to assist in the conservation of the endangered Broad-shelled Turtle. The project incorporates detection services, raising conservation awareness and developing management programs with stakeholders, including City of Greater Bendigo and Winton Wetlands. Canine Ecological has received grants from La Trobe SFWE RFE, Wettenhall Environment Trust and Turtles Australia.


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DELVE - Driver Education Learnt in a Virtual Environment (Bendigo)

Team Members
Name
Darcy Ryan
Liam Groves

Business Idea

DELVE is a virtual reality hazard perception simulator that provides a safe environment for trainee drivers to experience dangerous driving scenarios for the first time before getting behind the wheel. Originally, we were a typical driving simulator to improve the skills of individual drivers however this idea has changed to become more of a hazard perception simulator, testing only the users hazard perception ability rather than their driving skills. During the primer, the business model canvas tool was of particular value to our startup as we were yet to even consider our business model before entering LTAP. Currently, we are looking to get a proof of concept prototype developed by La Trobe’s computer science divisions. However, to overcome this we need finance.

Freestep Australia (Melbourne)

Team Members
Name
Thomas Henskens

Business Idea

The Australian population is facing a diabetes crisis, where someone is diagnosed with diabetes every 5 minutes. Symptoms of diabetes include: loss of sensation in the feet, loss of circulation, open wounds and decay of skin. This then usually leads to amputation of the feet. The challenge that I see is that Australians are not looking after their feet and healthcare is not readily available to everyone. Seeing a podiatrist is too expensive and for all those Australians that are remote, help is too far away.

After graduating from La Trobe University in 2017 with a podiatry degree, I have decided to pursue custom insoles for patients using 3D printing technology. The current prototypes fit perfectly and corrects the foot to a straight position. The Accelerator Program has allowed me to make some great connections who I hope to work with in the future whilst attempting to break into the social enterprise space.

Headstrong Helmets (Mildura)

Team Members
Name
Paul Dorotich

Business Idea

I'm developing a new motorcycle helmet with extreme protection, like no other helmet. It is 'self-preservation' is because the basic safety-design of helmets hasn't changed in almost 40 years. A blow to my head during a crash was the catalyst for me to find a better solution, when I realised that the safety-design hadn't changed and was not working like I thought it should.

LTAP has re-focussed me on my idea and pushed me through a development barrier of my helmet design. The workshops through the Primer and LTAP itself were great for thinking about my start-up business rather than just the helmet itself. Probably the biggest take-away for me was getting the concepts behind the Business Canvas honed and the Problem, Solution and your Value Proposition. I'm pushing on with the engineering development and hope to fast-track this next version of my prototype and push it towards becoming a saleable product towards the end of 2019. I hope to be selling in about a year's time within Australia albeit in limited numbers as I scale the business up depending on how the market reacts. I started working on my idea back in 2012 when I realised that if I wanted to make it happen I needed to do it myself.

I Wish I'd Asked (Shepparton/Melbourne)

Team Members
Name
Eva Gruen
Danny Finley

Business Idea

‘I Wish I’d Asked’ is an inter-generational campaign to bring youth and seniors together, to converse and engage in activities, to help reduce the burden of loneliness in our community. The project begun as we were alarmed at the statistics surrounding the issue of loneliness in our community, the prevalent nature of this condition among our aged community was staggering. During the program we benefited from our mentor, Miguel Wood who very generously gave his time and encouraged us to do our market research. Our progress over 2018 has been to immerse ourselves in our campaign, which is all-consuming as we are engaging in a double-sided market. We are looking to gain two types of partnerships: community groups such as schools, aged care facilities etc. and sponsorship that can financially assist us with costs that pop up unexpectedly.

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Indigenous Medical Supplies (Shepparton)

Team Members
Name
Mervyn Fernando
Michael Chrisolm

Business Idea

Indigenous Medical Supplies is a social enterprise designed to be an indigenous wholesale supplier of medicines that reinvests back into the community through health initiatives. Through the La Trobe Accelerator Program we have progressed immensely to accurately describe in short detail the problem we are trying to solve and the solution. Our next step is to create a strategic joint venture with an existing wholesale company and work on our community partnerships.

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Katundu (Melbourne)

Team Members
Name
Peter Topping
Dr Andrew Crawford

Business Idea

Katundu aims to solve the issue of referral leakage to competitor practices through a contemporary, low-cost application of open source technology. By doing this, the project creates a middleware solution that grows SDs Medical Practice revenue. Additionally, it meets the duty of care obligations and liabilities of the referring practitioner and closes the gap from health professional to specialist doctor. Since being accepted into the Accelerator Program, Katundu has validated their idea through continuous market research and is looking to gain more partnerships in the specialist medical field.

Nemean (Melbourne)

Team Members
Name
Benjamin Plowman

Business Idea

Neman is focused on providing eco-friendly motorcycle clothing that suits the urban, everyday rider. In the motorcycle and fashion industry, we’re looking to reduce the over-pollution of the planet whilst providing protection. I entered the Accelerator Program to grow as a person and a businessman and to hear from those with experience. Doing continuous market validation helped me refine my thinking around the first product and find the weaknesses within my startup. Currently, we’re looking to partner with motorcycle manufactures, riders and non-for-profit movements tackling ocean protection and planet pollution.

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Two Birds, One Scone (Melbourne)

Team Members
Name
Melissa Lee
Daniel Vlahek
Laurence Cashin
Oliver Lees
Daniel Willis

Business Idea

Our start-up called Two Birds, One Scone (TBOS) was created to address the issue of food wastage and hunger by inspiring action in our community. How we do this is by rescuing discarded food and donating it to those less fortunate. We applied for the accelerator program as we reached a stage where we needed further mentoring on how to scale up our idea, as well as receive knowledge of placing appropriate structure and protocols to ensure our business would run seamlessly into the future. Since partaking in the La Trobe Primer & Accelerator Program, we’ve seen our customer focus shift which has been highly important for us. TBOS started in the summer of 2016 where it first entered the world as a simple student club looking to do good by the community.

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Accelerator Cohort 3 - Early Stream

Agrinous (Bendigo)

Team Members
Name
Joel Rockes
Marcus Pollock
Glenn Rea

Business Idea

In 2015 lifetime Stock Agent, Glenn Rea had a vision that the current day paper-based booking systems in saleyards would be digitised. Frustrated by the lack of software solutions available, and industry duplication, Glenn & Joel begun investigating the possibility of building their own platform to fill this gap in the Livestock sector.

Glenn & Joel instinctively knew that infield digitisation of all Livestock activities would not only eliminate inefficiencies of information exchange through to the back office, but it would also set the foundation for NLIS compliance with imminent introduction of EID tagging of Sheep & Goats in Victoria. AgriNous seamlessly facilitates real time processing of livestock sales. After winning the Bendigo Innovation and Inventor’s Festival in 2018, Agrinous gained automatic entry into the La Trobe Accelerator Program.

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Ampisafe (Mildura)

Team Members
Name
Annette Nunn

Business Idea

Ampisafe originated from a desire to achieve safe and sterile environments for medical professionals. Our company’s concept originated from a health professional’s desire to create a simple and efficient delivery of routine procedures. Ampisafe introduces a product to deliver a safe and sterile method of extracting the contents from an ampule. Its design ensures clear visibility of the label, eliminates the risk of needle stick injuries, keeping all persons protected. Our product is proudly Australian owned and manufactured to the highest quality and standards, distributing throughout the country. The team at Ampisafe are a dedicated family corporation aspiring to lead the medical industry in innovation and safety.

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EcoThought (Bendigo)

Team Members
Name
Slade Beard
Marjolein Beard
Ryan Messina
Zheng Chin

Business Idea

EcoThought has developed a network-based infrastructure ecosystem to manage information and control flows in a rural environment which utilises standards compliant communications infrastructure which is not reliant on the presence of Wi-Fi or 3G/4G communications. The ecosystem includes design tools to enable the design of internet connected sensor and control systems, as well as the tools and technologies required to install, commission, monitor and manage these systems. We have completed the development of the first full production system. The initial production systems were placed into test mode at the EcoThought research farm, located in Harcourt in May 2018. The first systems were successfully integrated into the target LoRaWAN environment and data feeds were established into an open source database. EcoThought is currently working with the Fujitsu Government, the Victorian Comprehensive Cancer Centre and Telstra.

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For the Love of Louise (Mildura)

Team Members
Name
Amie McGlashan
Rebecca Crossling

Business Idea

For the Love of Louise will meet the demi-fine jewellery gap in the Australian market, created by a growing disposable income and interest in bespoke, handmade pieces. It will encompass a range of ‘ready to wear’ chains, clasps/slides and range of accessories made from heirloom materials that fall in the demi-fine jewellery market – a blurred line between fine jewellery and costume jewellery. Our line will be innovative, in that it will be the first time this style will be produced in a demi-fine jewellery category. We are hoping to harness the power of the millennial consumer group who is looking more and more to self-gift, so our line will have strong themes of female empowerment and individuality.

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LYNKA Design (Bendigo)

Team Members
Name
Karen Bailey
Lynette Bailey

Business Idea

Tired of seeing the same terracotta used for indoor and outdoor gardening artistic sister duo, LYNKA, decided to design a range of décor products of their own. Used for both indoor and outdoor areas, the pots provide the finishing details that will give customer’s outdoor living areas a coherent sophisticated look. They have achieved this by providing a coordinated range of decorated pots, soft furnishings and art panels to provide the unifying elements for their space. The products are produced from high quality materials suited to the specialised needs of outdoor living areas.

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My Kangaroo (Shepparton)

Team Members
Name
Hanan Muhammad

Business Idea

After exporting many Australian-made products back to Malaysia for her family and friends, Hanan was approached to bring across more for others who had heard about her business. Snowballing from there My Kangaroo was created to provide an international personal shopper service. The products are then shipped and delivered for the buyer’s convenience. My Kangaroo solves the problem for many shoppers who don’t have the access to higher quality Australian goods or lack the time to purchase them. They cover a wide range of merchants including local and big-brand producers.

Treiner (Melbourne)

Team Members
Name
James Muir
Kogulan Sabaratnam

Business Idea

Developed by two soccer-mad trainers themselves, Treiner styles itself as a marketplace in which players can find an expert to suit their individual needs. Treiner.com.au is the only football specific coach booking platform in Australia and looks to focus on the holistic development of players offering not only personal football coaches but also those with expertise in futsal, goalkeeping, position specific, video analysis, and more. Players and parents can use the online platform to enable them to search and book for a coach across Australia based on their specific criteria (location, date/time, price, session type, coach type, level of coach, rating etc). Validated through extensive market research and the La Trobe Accelerator Program, Treiner is looking to expand Australia-wide in 2019.

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Accelerator Cohort 3 - Advanced Stream

Arlula (Sydney)

Team Members
Name
Arran Salerno
Sebastian Chaoui

Business Idea

Founded in 2018 on the principle of making space more accessible, Arlula creates exciting new opportunities for businesses and organisations looking to utilise space hardware. Arlula can helps businesses access space sooner, cheaper and with less risk than traditional channels. We achieve this by facilitating access to underutilised space assets through streamlined process, providing a service never before seen in the commercial space industry. Currently we are providing access to Earth Observation data through a strategic global network of industry partners. This means customers can purchase satellite imagery from a variety of suppliers without having to enter into onerous contracts or pay inflated prices. Shifting the paradigm by commodifying assets already in space and introducing true standardisation and simplification, means people can then utilise what they've purchased online through our web interface with unparalleled ease and efficiency.

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Ladder Up/Edie/Niche (Melbourne)

Team Members
Name
Lisa Tran
Josh Li

Business Idea

Created by one of Melbourne’s youngest entrepreneurs, EDIE is an AI bot that aims to solve common pain problems that VCE students have. Lisa Tran saw many of these common problems after launching ‘Lisa’s Study Guides’ in 2010 when she began producing education and tutoring students throughout Melbourne. Now that Lisa’s Study Guides has over 16,000 subscribers on YouTube, she and her partner Josh are turning to artificial intelligence (specifically, deep learning) to create a tutor-bot for Year 11 and 12 students. The goal is that students have access study support anytime, anywhere. The bot is currently in beta mode and can be used through Facebook Messenger.

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My Life (Melbourne)

Team Members
Name
Josh Marsden
Louis Island

Business Idea

My Life makes behaviour change easier by delivering an accessible and socially supported digital program, integrated into the healthcare system. We utilise social networks and the buddy system to build a community driven approach to healthcare. My Life was created by health professionals with proven experience in delivering chronic disease programs. We are supported by our advisory panel including Sean Young, the Executive Director of UCLA’s Centre of Digital Behaviour.

12 months ago, My Life was an idea. Since being involved in LTAP, we have completed our MVP and facilitated multiple revenue streams including federal funding of $858k from SportAus. MyLife is currently participating in the UPRAsia Accelerator to progress our Asia market idea. Following the completion of our clinical studies this year, My Life will begin seeking investment to scale our capacity.

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Watt a Platter (Albury/Wodonga)

Team Members
Name
Cass Watt

Business Idea

WATT A PLATTER is introducing Fresh, Creative & Styled catering to North East Victoria. Covering everything from a non-fussed sandwich platter delivered straight to the office, to gourmet grazing tables set for your next celebration. WATT A PLATTER’s vision is to bring city-inspired food experiences to the tables of homes, offices & event spaces of Albury/Wodonga & surrounds, whilst highlighting local produce & the best food from the region in collaboration with local businesses. The business continues to grow in the A/W region as the area is continuing to grow as a thoroughfare between Sydney and Melbourne. The founder Cassandra Watt has many direct clients through her managerial role at Quest Hotel and is looking to expand into private events such as birthdays, promotional parties, engagements and weddings.

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