Home Articles Checkmates: Couple’s chess club and bar idea wins angel grant

Checkmates: Couple’s chess club and bar idea wins angel grant


A few months ago, when her partner was having trouble finding work, Jasmine Costello encouraged him to learn chess as a way to take his mind off the job rejections.

The ploy worked better than Rich and Jasmine could have dreamed. Rich loved the game so much that it led to an entrepreneurial brainstorm that recently earned the couple the 2010 Commander Business Grant.

The idea: an integrated bar and chess club. They call it Chess-Nuts.

The $10,000 grant is awarded each year by Commander, an Australian business communications and technology solutions company.

Jasmine, 25 years old and a Melbourne folk singer and guitarist, said she and Rich did some research and found out there were other chess players looking for a regular outlet for their passion.

“Our vision for Chess-Nuts is a relaxed, inner-city bar environment where chess lovers can come and meet other chess players while enjoying a drink and a chat,” Jasmine said.

Stuart Matthewman, marketing manager for Commander, said Jasmine and Rich’s entry for the angel grant stood out because of its creativity and innovative edge.

“It’s pretty clear from speaking with Jasmine that young entreprenuerialism in Australia is alive and well,” he said.

Jasmine said she will use the grant to find a location for the concept, which is initially planned as a partnership with an existing venue.

Image by Splash Consulting Group