Urban List to give away $1m in marketing grants to Australian startups

Urban List revealed its key initiatives at its annual up front on 2 September, including its plan to reward ten stand-out Australian businesses with $1 million in marketing support.

The first initiative, Wild Ventures, will see the company give away ten grants of $100,000 to the selected founders and entrepreneurs who have put forward their “brightest business ideas” with Urban List selecting the winners.

Urban List founder and CEO, Susannah George, said the concept stemmed from insights found in the Fundsquire Business Startup Statistics Australia Report 2021, which noted that while almost 1,000 new Australian businesses are founded each day, less than 50% survive the first three years, unleashing a commitment to see more local ventures thrive.

“We know our audience is keen to shop local — 93% say they’re more committed to doing so — but there’s a gap between that desire to put their money into local operators, and their awareness of the new ventures emerging,” George said.

“I launched Urban List from my bedroom almost ten years ago and have an all-too real understanding of the challenges of early stage growth — finding platforms to connect with your tribe, partners who understand your vision, and critically, a customer base who believes in what you do,” George said.

“Wild Ventures provides all three in one — the ultimate leg up for founders who deserve to have their stories told to millions of potential customers — and we’re excited to find the right commercial partner to bring this showcase of tenacity, grit and optimism to life, transforming the future for ten homegrown ventures.”

30 Faces was the second of the key initiatives introduced at the Urban List’s 2022 up front — a platform dedicated to celebrating the Australians striving to change our world by 2030.

Head of brand experience, Sophia Wilcox, shared Urban List’s intent to “find and spotlight 29 relatable change makers that prove that small steps can lead to a big difference, keeping the 30th position open for one extraordinary reader.”

“We know that so many game changers exist within our community, and we want to ensure they’re an active part of this campaign and conversation,” Wilcox said.

Urban List chief commercial officer, Jacqui LaBrooy introduced another of the 21/22 initiatives — Doorstep Sets: a campaign committed to supporting the Australian music industry.

LaBrooy opened by revealing statistics from the Australian Music Industry Network and the Australian Festival Association, sharing that since 1 July this year, more than 28,000 live events have been cancelled, resulting in a loss of more than $84 million across the local arts and culture community.

Urban List research highlighted that since the pandemic, two in three Australians surveyed agree they are more supportive of Australian musicians than international artists, and 67% agree they feel more connected to those brands who have actively championed the local arts scene.

“We know bands are missing their fans, we know our audience loves supporting homegrown talent, and we know they’re drawn to brands who are taking active steps to support the recovery of the sector,” LaBrooy said.

“Doorstep Sets is an initiative designed to highlight the incredible artists across Australia, creating a groundswell of discovery and support for our country’s most exciting emerging acts, and providing a platform for brands who are aligned with the sector to shine,” LaBrooy added.

Urban List recently released the findings of their latest research report — The Big Still — conversations with over 10,000 Australians that informed the development of other key and strategic initiatives for the year ahead. “As we head into our 10th year as Australian Media Brand of the Year, we have a lot to celebrate and we’re looking forward to bringing some of our biggest initiatives ever to life with some exceptional partners,” LaBrooy concluded.


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