Sydney startup innovation hub Fishburners is celebrating 10 years since it first launched with a new awards program called Tech for Good.
The awards, backed by the NSW government through Investment NSW, span six categories including climate action, social justice, disability, diversity and inclusion. They’ll recognise early-stage ventures that are using technology to make a positive difference to the world through their work, with a $5,000 cash prize for each category winner.
Fishburners CEO Nicole O’Brien said support for future Aussie startups must focus on tackling environmental and social challenges.
“Looking to the next 10 years, we know that to succeed, startups will need to remain at the forefront of a tech-enabled future and focus innovations towards sustainable development and ongoing social and economic wellbeing,” she said.
“Together with the NSW Government and Investment NSW, we’re asking emerging businesses in this space to join us in the nation’s race to net zero, because the opportunities are there, momentum is building and with the right support we know this sector will help solve some of our greatest challenges.”
With the NSW government stepping up to support Fishburners through disruption the pandemic has wrought on organisation, based at the Sydney Startup Hub, trade and investment minister Stuart Ayres said the government want to help recognise how startups are providing innovative solutions to environmental challenges.
“These awards will identify, acknowledge and promote Australia’s most ambitious and successful startups, which are tackling the nation’s most pressing environmental, economic and social challenges,” he said.
“With our bold net-zero target, nation-leading policies for renewable energy, electric vehicles and hydrogen, we’re sending a clear message that NSW is the premier destination to innovate and invest in green technology.”
Details on the Tech for Good Awards, which will be held in 2022, will be released shortly.
10 years of growth
The awards come as Fishburners celebrates a decade of helping Australian startups grow. Tech entrepreneurs Mike Casey and Pete Davison set out in 2011 to create a vibrant community of like-minded entrepreneurs sharing ideas and learning from each other.
Over those 10 years, leading Australian ventures such as Koala, MadPaws, Car Next Door and V2 Foods have called Fishburners home
Nicole O’Brien said that Fishburners had supported more than 2,300 startups, creating nearly 6,000 jobs
“The startup sector has already contributed greatly towards jobs growth in Australia and they expect technology will exceed other parts of the economy, predicted to grow three times as fast as mining or manufacturing,” she said.
“When you add our state’s economic strength, abundant natural resources and innovation-ready business environment, the transition to a clean economy presents a wave of opportunity to scale-up great ideas and generate new jobs and investment.”
Top 10 Fishburner ventures
- Koala: 90 employees, valued at $159m in 2020
- V2 Foods: 49 employees, raised $77M in 2020
- MadPaws: 212 employees, valued at $40M in 2020
- Car Next Door: 61 employees, valued at $55M in 2021
- Like Family: 23 employees, $4M revenue in 2020
- Gradconnection: purchased by Seek in 2019 for an undisclosed sum
- Jayride: publicly listed at ASX, 75 employees and valued at a $46M market cap.