Fishburners doubles down on sustainability, announcing winners of Tech for Good Awards

 

Australia’s original startup community Fishburners has announced the winners of its inaugural Tech for Good Awards, a program launched in celebration of startups harnessing technology to help solve the world’s most pressing environmental, economic, and social challenges.

  • Fishburners Social Impact Award: Humanitix
  • Climate Action Award: FloodMapp
  • Better Health and Wellbeing Award: Nuroflux
  • Tech for Good Female Founder Award, sponsored by Microsoft for Startups: NeedleCalm
  • Sustainability Award, sponsored by BDO: RecycleSmart
  • Sustainable Product Award, sponsored by Amazon: Compassion Creamery
  • The Diversity and Inclusion Award, sponsored by Optus: Homeable
  • Overall Excellent Award: Nuroflux
  • People’s Choice Award: Homeable

Winners represent a broad variety of industries ranging across needle-phobia solutions, non-profit event ticketing, vegan cheesemaking, smart home solutions for those in wheelchairs, and more.

Fishburners has for eleven years been Australia’s go-to hub for early-stage startups seeking to leverage a workspace where they can be immersed in a close-knit community of entrepreneurs, skilled professionals, investors, mentors, and supporters.

But after recently launching the ‘Tech for Good Hub’ in conjunction with the City of Sydney – in which 30 sustainability startup founders are currently completing a 9-month scholarship program – Fishburners decided to double down on its sustainability focus and specifically reward founders working to achieve the UN’s sustainable development goals, or “SDGs”.

Fishburners interim CEO Alan Jones says this move is based on the idea that the best way for companies to future-proof themselves is by working to solve – not contribute to – global problems affecting people and the planet.

According to Alan Jones: “Startups don’t exist in a bubble. The businesses we hope to build to fulfill our entrepreneurial ambitions depend upon the viability of the society, economy, and natural ecosystem we exist within. The big, intractable problems outlined in the SDGs are also the most valuable opportunities for startups to address. We’re delighted to raise awareness and support the growth of a group of awesome Aussie startups making real progress against SDG goals in our inaugural Tech For Good Awards. We’d like to thank our amazing sponsors Investment NSW, Amazon, Optus, BDO, and Microsoft for supporting this initiative in its very first year.”

These sentiments are strongly shared by the award winners.

As an example, Social Impact Award winner Humanitix believes it’s entirely possible to leverage scalable tech within a 100 percent for-purpose model, to disrupt existing for-profit industries and solve urgent social issues in the process.

Adam McCurdie, founder & CEO at Humanitix, said: “There are a wealth of urgent social issues in the world that the for-profit sector is not dedicating enough resources to solving. Humanitix is already making incredible inroads at transforming the US$3.7 billion global ticketing industry, but this is just the beginning for us.

“There are hundreds of for-profit industries that can be disrupted using scalable tech to provide a valuable offering while also reinvesting profits to social causes. We invite entrepreneurs everywhere to join us in following a for-purpose path, to create a world where all businesses, structures, and systems work to serve the best interests of our planet and everyone (and everything!) sharing it.

“But it takes a village to raise a startup. So we are grateful for the support we’ve received from Fishburners – from using the Humanitix platform for all Fishburner events to providing opportunities to inspire, engage, and educate audiences about our unique philanthropic model at Pitch Nights and other events.”

Winner of Sustainable Product Award, Compassion Creamery, additionally believes that startups must be focussed on where demand is headed in the future, including by acknowledging that what is acceptable today may not be acceptable to subsequent generations.

Sarah Qian, founder & CEO at Compassion Creamery, said: “”The world is waking up to the environmental, ethical, and health consequences of consuming animal products such as dairy. We believe that in 10 or 20 years’ time, younger generations will look back at today’s consumption of animal products and be just as shocked as we are today by slavery or other previously accepted forms of injustice.

“Future-proofing any business today means meeting the ethical and sustainability standards of the future. Not only does Compassion Creamery’s world-first Oat Creme Cheese meet this requirement, but it also provides an option for 75 percent of the global population who are lactose intolerant. Dairy has been linked to chronic disease development such as breast and prostate cancer, whereas oat milk production uses 80 percent less water and land while emitting 70 percent fewer greenhouse gasses compared to its dairy counterparts.”

Winner of the Climate Action Award, FloodMapp, is focussing its good work for people and the planet by addressing the devastating impacts of climate change resulting from natural disasters like floods.

Juliette Murphy, co-founder & CEO of FloodMapp, said: “Every year, flooding displaces 20 million people globally and costs Australia $9 billion in damages. Our 2022 floods alone cost more than $11 billion!

“FloodMapp’s real-time flood intelligence allows emergency managers to understand the impact on specific people, property, and critical infrastructure – before, during, and after flood events. This enables them to coordinate targeted evacuations and swiftwater rescues and route traffic around flooded roads.

“If all emergency managers and communities had access to FloodMapp, we could save thousands of lives, prevent billions of dollars in damage, and fasttrack recovery overall from flood events.”

The Tech for Good Awards are supported by Investment NSW as a primary sponsor, with individual award sponsors including Amazon, Optus, BDO, and Microsoft. Each category winner will receive a $5,000 cash prize to put towards further developing their innovation.

To date, Fishburners has supported 2,300 founders who have raised $368 million in the capital, generated $378.8 million in revenue, and created 5,300 jobs.

Notable Fishburner ventures include Koala (valued at $159 million in 2020), ASX-listed Jayride ($46 million market cap), V2 Foods (valued at over $500 million in 2020), and Car Next Door (valued at $55 million in 2021 and recently acquired by Uber).

Fishburners (www.fishburners.org) is Australia’s original startup community and coworking space. It was founded in Ultimo in 2012 and has supported 2,300 founders who have raised $368 million in the capital, generated $378.8 million in revenue, and created 5,300 jobs.

It was one of the biggest anchor tenants of the Sydney Startup Hub, and now also has thousands of active users of its Founders Hub online community platform.

Notable Fishburner ventures include Koala (valued at $159 million in 2020), ASX-listed Jayride ($46 million market cap), V2 Foods (valued at over $500 million in 2020), and Car Next Door (valued at $55 million in 2021 and recently acquired by Uber).

 

 

SOURCE: Fishburners




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