Giant Leap’s Small Steps: When markets get volatile, founders should get excited

- June 9, 2022 3 MIN READ
The Giant Leap team: Adam Milgrom, Charlie Macdonald, Rachel Yang, Charlotte Moos, Will RichardsoGiant Leap L-R Adam Milgrom, Charlie Macdonald, Rachel Yang, Charlotte Moos, Will Richardson
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.

Here’s what they have to say this week:

When markets get volatile, founders should get excited.

Why? Because startups have little to lose and everything to gain.

Take recent volatility in the Australian energy market, with a rapid increase in wholesale prices resulting in some retailers telling their customers to leave.

It’s going to be painful in the short-term, but the shock also improves the attractiveness of rooftop solar and batteries, creating a potential medium-term market surge for renewable tech startups and retailers like Amber Electric.

Carbon offset vs “insets”. The best way to address your carbon footprint is to avoid emissions ever occurring. That’s the thinking behind carbon “insets”, in which upstream suppliers engage in carbon reduction projects and “sell” the resulting credits to downstream buyers. It’s an opposing concept to carbon “offsets” where the downstream buyer purchases a carbon credit from a third party to offset their supply chain emissions. The potential is huge in the agriculture space, where farmers want to go regenerative but are struggling to find the means, while downstream buyers are buying offsets from random carbon projects. Why not just pay your climate-friendly farmers a premium?

Digital doctors. Hospitals are slow to adopt digital innovation because firstly it’s a high risk environment and, unlike drug trials, there’s no clear pathway for clinical validation, and secondly the lack of standardisation in data systems makes it (unnecessarily) challenging to build scalable software. The University of Melbourne’s Digital Health Validitron Program brings an interesting piece of infrastructure to the playing field, digitally simulating clinical environments to build and validate digital health products as if they were going through clinical trials.


For the road

A dose of optimism. In the Circular Economy Show podcast fashion model turned circular economy champion and author, Lily Cole, is optimistic about a circular economy future, pointing to unprecedented policy action globally and 25% of industry committing to end plastic waste. She’s also buoyed by rising stakeholder activism — take Mike Cannon-Brookes vs. AGL as a prime example — and traction for universal basic income globally.

 Should health data live on after death? Coined ‘e-morality’, the debate around just how researchers will use health data after death is heating up. The general health community consensus is that post-mortem data should only be used for the public good. But as the RACGP’s newGP explores, frameworks need to be put in place to ensure there’s no commercial exploitation.

Eat better, live longer. Civvic Labs is a new partnership between Vichealth and Launchvic aiming to solve the problem of non-communicable diseases responsible for 70% of deaths worldwide and 11 years of suffering for every Australian by going upstream in the food system (learn more in this podcast).

The MedTech Actuator has opened applications. You have until July 15 to apply, the form takes around 7 minutes to complete.

You’ll never guess where the world’s largest plant is… It’s a patch of fibre-ball seagrass (Posidonia australis) that stretches over 200 square kilometres (20,000 rugby fields) off the coast of Western Australia in Shark Bay. The plant is remarkably resilient, finding ways to survive in areas of Shark Bay that are almost twice the salinity.

Some retro design reimaginations of well known brands.

And a delicious looking bat.