Rex Robot

Hunter entrepreneur – Australian Institute of Neuro-Rehabilitation

Earlier this week, Beyond Bank announced the inaugural grant winner of its Newcastle/Hunter region Community Entrepreneur Program (CEP).

The CEP is designed to provide support and assistance to entrepreneurs to turn their dreams into reality so they can build a business that contributes to the local community and economy. Twice a year, Beyond Bank is offering new grants of up to $20,000 to people and businesses in the Hunter and Newcastle area.

The first grant round was recently completed and a significant number of high quality, innovative and exciting businesses applied.

While HiveUAV took out this round, other applicants have come up with answers to some very modern challenges – these vary from making sure people have accessible and varied dining choices, to a social space to share a love of non-computer games, through to new business news services.

The Australian Institute of Neuro-Rehabilitation (AIN) aims to change lives by improving rehabilitation options for people with brain and spinal cord damage. Local Trish Leonard established AIN after personally seeing the benefits daily exercise can provide to people with mobility limitations caused by injury or illness. One of AIN’s key projects is bring to the region a mechanical ‘suit’ that will help people with disability stand and move. This would be the first ever Rexbionics rehabilitation exoskeleton project in a regional community. Working with Hunter therapists and a team of researchers from the University of Newcastle, it will deliver community based physiotherapy and occupational therapy.

You can learn more at AIN is currently running a crowdfunding campaign, so if you want to help go to

Top Hat Studio is striving to bring innovative graphic design technologies and services to the creative industry in the Hunter. Rapid development in the field is making it possible to utilise graphic design in a host of new ways, from lettering for signage to engraving a love note on a favourite bottle of wine.

Not-for-profits give a lot to the community, but can find it difficult to access the support they need to grow and succeed. NFP Connect is working to change this providing education, mentoring and networking opportunities to charities. NFP believes teaching not-for-profits to do better business means they can raise more funds and create even better services for regional communities.

The next round of the Beyond Bank Community Entrepreneur Program is now open. If you have a great business idea you are developing, we would love to hear from you. For more information on the Beyond Bank Community Entrepreneur Program visit

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