Welcome to Giant Leap’s Small Steps, a newsletter offering global insights and news on the impact startups landscape. We’ll be sharing an edited version with Startup Daily readers every fortnight.
Giant Leap is Australia’s first impact venture fund, and they use this newsletter to surface the ideas and businesses that intrigue and inspire them and broaden their own thinking on impact business.
You can catch Giant Leap partner Rachel Yang on the Startup Daily show on ausbiz.com.au, offering insights on the impact of the startup ecosystem.
Here’s what they have to say this week:
This week we announced our 2nd fund, Giant Leap II! In exciting signs of the impact VC, it took just four weeks to raise $15.8m, a larger amount than our first fund (which took 2 years).
And we’re not the only ones feeling the trend: Jelix Ventures also found recent success with ESG as a baseline and an affinity for climate tech. And mainstream VCs continue to join the party: OneVentures recently laid out its commitment to ESG, including embedding key ESG requirements into term sheets, while Investible announced the Greenhouse climate tech hub earlier in August. Can you feel it?
What we’re thinking about
It may soon be possible to store and backup memories, according to Elon Musk in a recent live demo for Neuralink, a neural implant that is able to track brain signals. Like most technological breakthroughs, there are both highly impactful and unsettling potential uses (plenty of high school memories we’d rather avoid).
Take AI as another breakthrough tech, which can be used for extreme good, but also has extreme risks like exacerbating medical bias and facial recognition that invades privacy. There’s no easy answer to the unstoppable march of progress, but in the spirit of this week’s quote, we’re optimistic about responsible regulation and impact founders wielding the tools for good.
Showcasing the impact case for AI-powered health data, congrats to Aussie startups Seer (epilepsy diagnostics, backed by Giant Leap), Nutromics (a skin patch that gathers molecular data to avoid preventable medicine complications) and Oscer (training student GPs with AI) who all raised recent funding!
On a stinkier note, food waste is being tackled on multiple fronts.
We’ve noticed new projects to make food last longer, including research into reducing freezer burn and a US company developing plant-based coating for fresh fruit and vegetables, like some sort of veggie inception. Meanwhile, Aussie Yume Wholesaling was recently backed by Suez to divert uneaten wholesale foods from landfill.
New career paths
Academy Xi is looking for an Instructor for their cloud computing course.
Sendle is after a People and Culture Administrator.
Goterra is seeking for a National Sales Representative.
Amber is looking for a junior digital marketer.
There’s now 80+ more jobs on the Giant Leap Fund jobs board and more jobs at ethical companies on the global B-Work job board.
For the road
Rather than blitz VCs with impressive numbers on your company, dig down and focus on the ones that really matter. Here’s a handy guide on what they are depending on the kind of business you are building.
Can music combat climate change? That’s the question at the heart of the Environmental Music Prize.
Understanding venture capital is key to getting funding. Afterwork put together a great cheat-sheet on things to know.
Airbnb is stepping up to the crisis in Afghanistan, appealing to hosts to help house refugees.
An important reminder for (quote-unquote) ESG companies
For companies and funds: if you're making claims about "net zero" or "sustainability", "impact" or similar – you better be able to back them up#greenwashing https://t.co/saig5zJ1BM
— Dave Rae (@1DaveRae) August 26, 2021
The duet we’ve all been waiting for (headphones warning…)
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