The 2020 Kick Start Finalists
Category 1: Finalists in category 1 have a new business idea
While many broad-acre farmers, horticulturalists, and livestock owners across Australia struggle to protect themselves from drought and other major weather risks, they’re also missing out on weather derivatives and insurances that larger businesses can access. Because of this, tech start-up Hillridge Technology, has made it their mission to help farmers mitigate the financial impact of poor weather on their crops or livestock. Creating an online platform that connects farmers to insurance underwriters who can provide short-term coverage tailored to their farms, these small to medium sized businesses are then protected against weather risks that most affect their farming operation.
Zero Co is here to help us win the war on waste! Developing a range of environmentally-friendly personal care products and reusable ‘sachets’, the company tackles the global plastic problem at both ends of the supply chain by removing the need for single use-plastics. They’ve designed and built unique technologies of reusable and non-moulding sachets, as well as bespoke pieces of machinery to refill the sachets, stopping the production of new plastic whilst also using recycled-ocean plastic as the raw material. Launched via a Kickstarter campaign that saw more than 8,000 households pre-order +$850,000 worth of product, Zero Co has become the most funded Australian Kickstarter campaign of 2019.
Driven from his personal experience of managing economically important capital work projects with nothing but chaotic clusters of spreadsheets for 7 years, Doug Vincent (founder) decided to pursue a mission to transform the global construction industry. Mastt, a member of Microsoft’s prestigious ScaleUp program, provides an elegant, automated cloud system solution to this complex environment, shifting organisations from documents and spreadsheets into a real-time, data-driven environment. Currently partnering with large clients such as the Department of Defence, and managing billions in capital works projects in Australia and beyond, sees a more efficient means of spending public money in ways not previously possible.
Nearly one in five Australians are exposed to the sun every day in the workplace, and of these, over 35,000 will be diagnosed with skin cancer each year. Tech company Metasense has made it it’s mission to help minimise the overexposure to UV radiation through an environmental risk management solution – UV and beyond. Their wearable device and analytics platform is a novel technology developed for organisations to facilitate tracking and implementing employee safety measures. Their combined hardware, software and cloud provide real-time visibility, collecting data for record management and informing downstream decisions. Because of this, MetaSense is committed to creating safer work environments in the construction industry and beyond, as their goal is to have their final product out in a few months’ time.
While telecommunications are an essential part of life, those living in rural and remote areas have severely limited access to this service, primarily due to the cost of operating the required towers. Jose Kesby and co-founders of Diffuse Energy have developed a wind energy solution that can significantly reduce the operating costs of these towers, allowing more to be built where they are needed. The turbine they’ve developed produces up to twice the energy output of existing small wind turbines, and when coupled with their wind controller, the annual energy produced by their system is significantly improved over their competitors, allowing towers to be powered by just the sun and wind. While their initial focus is helping telecommunications companies remove their dependence on diesel, their goal is to help everyone produce their own electricity and accelerate the transition to renewables.
Despite the WHO’s recommendation for mothers to exclusively breastfeed for six months, only 39% of babies are being breastfed by three months, with a further drop to 15% by six months.
Lactamo is a lactation aid that looks to solve this problem by addressing the issues most mothers experience when breast feeding -over/undersupply, pain, blocked milk ducts, engorgement, and infections. The product was developed in consultation with lactation consultants and healthcare practitioners and was the winner of the Actuator Award at the MedTech’s Got Talent Awards. Founder, Etta Watts-Russell, has received philanthropic funding for customer trials commencing shortly, with strong interest from industry leaders and major international healthcare providers.
Category 2: Finalists in Category 2 have an idea to grow an existing business
Australian School of Entrepreneurship
Taj Pabari started ASE to tackle youth unemployment in Australia As traditional methods of solving youth unemployment such as wage subsidies, sponsored training and incentivising local businesses have not worked, ASE have taken another angle by partnering with government agencies, corporates and schools. By doing so, they deliver business literacy and entrepreneurship workshops to youth living in regional communities, where 67% of youth unemployment resides.
Over many years they have reached 60k kids with their face-to-face programs, however due to COVID they are now shifting focus into their new virtual, e-learning offering with live sessions and VOD which has now reached 4000 kids.
Superfastdiet is an online platform specialising in intermittent fasting programs of clinically-proven weight loss methods. Using a holistic lifestyle approach, including wellbeing support through motivational mindset videos, nutritional recipes and community building, founders Genevieve Davidson and Victoria Black, have a passion to help others going through their own weight loss transformations. This social passion, has seen them give back to the community with empathy for those experiencing tough times during the COVID pandemic, offering periods of free trials for existing customers as well as a “28 day access for $1” promo for new customers. They are now looking to expand into the US with their proven model, which has generated ~$750k locally this financial year.
Batyr is a ‘for purpose’ preventative mental health organisation, reaching out to schools and universities to smash the stigma. batyr2peer is a new digital program that connects young people hospitalised for mental ill-health, with others who have personally lived through the same experience. This includes the use of a three-part video series (pre-, during and post-admission) accompanied by a debriefing workbook to help facilitate open and honest dialogue.
batyr2peer improves the inpatient experience by providing hope through the power of peer-to-peer storytelling, utilising videos of positive stories shared by relatable peers with a lived experience, along with offering a better understanding of the hospital experience and support services available to them during admission.
Currently batyr2peer is being piloted at two hospitals (incl. Hornsby Hospital) and they have received positive feedback from71% of patients and 78% of clinicians –a major success relative to this space.
The global agricultural sector generates an estimated 100bn tonne of green waste annually, and while many approaches have been tried, most end up being burned or left to rot. Sustinent, an agricultural biotech company, have developed a scalable, clean and safe way to transform crop stalks, timber and garden waste into livestock feed to solve the problem above. Founder Philip Ellery, a PhD and microbiologist by trade, found a way to solve these two challenges by developing an environmentally friendly and economically viable way of disposing green waste and the efficient development of livestock feed in a drought-stricken country. There are many opportunities to expand internationally, particularly in Europe, where Sustinent can offer, as an alternative, to convert their crop waste into protein rich livestock feed.
The rate of unemployment for people with autism is up to 80%. One reason for this, is that people with autism may not be suited to the traditional recruitment process; for those with high anxiety and low communication skills, interviews can be a stressful experience that reduces performance.
Xceptional’s goal is to inspire employers to be more accepting of people with disabilities and focus on their strengths such as enhanced pattern recognition and attention to detail, which are skills sought after in roles such as cybersecurity specialists and software engineers.
As such, their interview process is based on puzzles and work-sample tasks, allowing candidates to show their strengths in a method more suited to their way of thinking.
BeauTex Designs’ mission is to support a new way of manufacturing that improves on current practices, socially and environmentally, achieving waste-to-work-wear solution for industries such as health, mining, and construction.
They are a manufacturer, wholesaler and retailer of sustainable fabric and work wear in functional textiles made from recycled materials, repurposing resources such as plastic bottles, recycled fishing line and recycled tyres using proprietary and patented technology to manufacture unique and versatile textiles.
As the business grows, they aim to reinvest into research and development, product testing, and convert to be an Australian manufactured brand –this includes recent partnership with Work Restart, a social enterprise that aims to the opportunity for incarcerated people to develop real-world skills to re-start their live.