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Australian Spatial Analytics founder Geoff Smith, with Head of Entrepreneurship Nimrod Klayman and Vice Chancellor Professor Deborah Terry
24 August 2023

A social enterprise that trains and employs young data analysts with autism has been recognised at ֱ’s

Australian Spatial Analytics, which creates stable and long-term employment for neurodiverse people, took out the Social Enterprise of the Year Award.

The annual awards celebrate outstanding entrepreneurs and mentors across ֱ who have made significant contributions to the economy and created job opportunities in their communities.

ֱ’s Head of Entrepreneurship, , said it was a fantastic opportunity to see the broader entrepreneurship community come together to celebrate the people who are driving change and innovation.

“We have an amazing group of talented students at ֱ and I am continually impressed with the ingenuity of our students and the longer-term impact of their work,” Mr Klayman said.

“The University is a melting pot of talent and our focus on collaboration across disciplines is part of the secret of its success.”

Working in Brisbane, Cairns and Melbourne, Australian Spatial Analytics (ASA) is a not-for-profit organisation keeping data extraction and analytic services onshore, while also employing a diverse range of people.

Company founder and ֱ alum Geoff Smith said around 80 per cent of the 120-strong ASA team is neurodiverse – largely with Autism Spectrum Disorder – which they’ve found to be a strategic advantage.

“Employers are starting to recognise that hiring autistic people can make good business sense,” Mr Smith said.

“Our diverse and inclusive work environment enables us to make the most of a largely untapped pool of a highly capable, enthusiastic, skilled, and neurodiverse workforce.”

Congratulations to the award winners:

Student Entrepreneur of the Year: Anish Lal

Anish Lal is a first year Bachelor of Advanced Finance and Economics (Honours) student. He founded AdGrowth Solutions in 2017, a digital marketing agency specialising in the automotive industry. Services range from search engine optimisation and social media management to pay per click advertising and content marketing.

Startup of the Year: Analog Quantum Circuits (AQC)

Analog Quantum Circuits (AQC) develops microwave technologies for superconducting quantum computers, which are one of the most promising platforms being pursued globally. The startup was founded by EQUS, the Australian Research Council (ARC) Centre of Excellence for Engineered Quantum Systems and involves several ֱ academics including Professor Tom Stace.

Mentor of the year: Andy Galloway

Andy Galloway is founder and director of Do.NATION, a digital brokerage that helps consumers support not-for-profit organisations, and CharityPIG, an e-Commerce platform that helps Australian NFPs to fundraise. He also teamed up with a group of doctors and entrepreneurs in 2018 to co-fund Yumm, a social enterprise that uses chocolate to connect young Australians with mental health tools and resources.

Media: ֱ Communications, communications@uq.edu.au, +61 429 056 139.