Media Release: Innovation during Crisis: Fighting Adversity with Startups

Innovation during Crisis: Fighting Adversity with Startups


Innovation during Crisis: Fighting Adversity with Startups

Startup Gippsland Alumni are responding to the impacts of the Coronavirus with innovation in their businesses. With job lay-offs, self-isolation, school closures and remote working thrown into the mix, good ideas are needed more than ever. Startup Gippsland seeks leaders to take their emerging business ideas and create new value for their families and the region. 

Crisis can create inspiration. 

For Erin Lord and Steve McLaren, co-founders of Aeromedical Solutions, they saw a gap their business could help with during their time working for the Royal Flying Doctors Service.  Aeromedical Solutions is a brokerage service that arranges medical repatriation to both interstate and international clients who have become ill or injured. Since launching their business in 2019 with the support and education from the Startup Gippsland Program, Aeromedical Solutions now have access to 100 partners globally.

“Phone calls are coming to us at our client’s worst hour, when they are fearful, unsure, and uneducated in the area. They needed a guiding hand, and that was something we could provide with our experience and skill within the industry,” says Erin. 

Recently, Aeromedical Solutions were involved in the extraction of New Zealand residents from the Diamond Princess cruise ship. Given that most commercial airlines wouldn’t take the passengers, they sourced their own team of flight attendants, captains and medical escorts from Perth, Melbourne and Sydney to fly the passengers in a private jet home to Auckland. 

Businesses survive by knowing how to pivot and innovate in difficult times. 

“This is the difference between the people who drown in this situation, and the people who swim and survive it!”, says Annebelle van Tongeren from Fern and Frost. Annebelle, who is also Startup Gippsland alumni, has recently launched virtual yoga and meditation classes to replace her face-to-face business. 

To help businesses stay relevant, and inspire Gippsland leaders to take action, Startup Gippsland is showcasing stories of innovation and opportunity in challenging times, as a way to shed a positive light on current events. 

“We are a lot more creative and resilient than we ever give ourselves credit for, so it’s time to tap into that resource!” says Annebelle. 

Keep an eye on the Startup Gippsland website and social media platforms @startupgippsland to hear more stories of innovation and creation from ambitious entrepreneurs and past alumni of the program. 

Startup Gippsland was first established in 2019 to support entrepreneurs in Gippsland to develop, launch and scale their businesses. The success of Startup Gippsland in 2019 has allowed for the exciting expansion of the program in 2020, and this year will see the program delivered to all six shires of the Gippsland region, which allows for an additional 30 new startups and businesses being supported. Given the current circumstances, the program’s content is adaptable to ensure it is relevant and can support the current business landscape and challenges. 

Applications for the 2020 Startup Gippsland Program are now open. Apply at or email for more information.

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