04 June, 2018

ICC resident start-up wins UniSA Pank Prize

Local start-up Culture Team has won the 2018 Pank Prize awarded by UniSA’s Business School.

The Pank Prize for Social Innovation and Enterprise is designed to assist the recipient to set up a new and innovative social enterprise in South Australia and is open to all current UniSA students and alumni.

Founded by students Kelly Carpenter, 29, and Jeff Broad, 31, Culture Team was established to use a human-centred approach to design and facilitate corporate team-building games.

The two came up with the idea while studying Product Design together at UniSA in 2017 before registering the business in November.

They decided to apply for the Pank Prize to help with development and revenue.

“We firmly believe that the best source of funding are happy customers! At the same time, we have to work regular jobs to sustain a living,” Kelly says.

“We saw the Pank Prize as a way to accelerate the gap between development and reliable revenue.”

Kelly initially joined the ICC as a part of another company but after catching the entrepreneurial bug, she wanted to bring her own business into the ICC community.

“Jeff and I now work on Culture Team in the new ICC space and contribute to the vibrant culture with weekly game events and the creation of a community photo wall.”

They have also been working with ICC alumni such as Teamgage.

“The former ICC residents have been helping us to test our games, understand our customers better and connect us with some of their own customers. They’ve been great mentors and advocates and are clearly very mindful of paying forward the help they’ve received.”

The team were surprised and thrilled to win the award.

“We were totally overwhelmed with news of the win! It was a huge vote of confidence from the panel, which was so thrilling,” she says.

“Ten thousand dollars is going to go a long way in accelerating what we’re capable of.”

Without a large budget to build, test and deliver their games, Culture Team plan to spend their prize money wisely.

“This prize money will allow us to transition our DIY games into premium products which are worthy of our market,” Kelly says.

“Increasing our visibility with marketing will be hugely valuable and, of course, the back-end bits that every company needs.

“We’ve had huge support from the University in terms of space and the community at the ICC, testing and feedback with students and staff, as well as the Pank Prize, and for all of this, we are extremely grateful.”

Early customers of Culture Team include UniSA Ventures and the UniSA student careers and leadership team.

For more information, visit Culture Team’s website here.