UNSW reveals the 40 finalists in its new founders awards

- November 3, 2022 4 MIN READ
givvable cofounders Frances Atkins and Naomi Vowels Photo: supplied

The University of NSW – the place where Atlassian’s Scott Farquhar and Mike Cannon-Brookes met – has announced its finalists for the inaugural UNSW Founders Awards.

The awards, announced later this month at a gala dinner in Sydney on November 22, recognise startups, founders and mentor across 8 award categories.

All have a connection to UNSW, with 40 finalists announced – 5 in each category.

Startups that emerged from UNSW have raised more than $70 million in post-program funding and generated more than $250 million in enterprise value.

UNSW’s Director of Entrepreneurship, David Burt said they decided to introduce the Founders Awards are realising that a quarter of The Australian’s Top 100 Innovators were affiliated with UNSW.  More than 100 startups then applied for the awards.

“It’s important that we also celebrate the emerging generation of startup founders as well as the profound impact of our supporters and donors. Together these people are dedicating significant effort and resources to improving lives through innovation,” Burt  said.

“The quality of these finalists demonstrates that massive depth of entrepreneurial talent that exists in the UNSW community.”

Along with categories such as founder and mentor of the year, as well as best new idea and positive impact, people can vote for their favourite startup in the People’s Choice award here.

The UNSW Founders Awards finalists are;

Startup Of the Year

This category recognises startups that have demonstrated impressive traction through customers, product development, investors, and accelerated growth.

  • Aerologix: Delivering unprecedented aerial insights across Australia.
  • Pearler: Boring investing for the long-term.
  • Forage: Virtual job simulations for talent produced by and for the world’s top companies.
  • Psylo: Psychedelic-inspired medicine to treat mental illness.
  • Contactile: Giving robots a human sense of touch and enabling robotic dexterity


Founder Of The Year 

This category recognises founders who both embody true entrepreneurial spirit, grit, and resilience; and who demonstrate a deep passion for giving back to the broader community.

  • Frances Atkins – Co-founder at Givvable: Helping businesses meet their sustainability & ESG targets, faster.
  • Greg Miner –Co-founder at Evidentli: Transforming Health Data into Evidence. Automating Translational Medicine.


Mentor Of The Year 

This category recognises the generous and impactful contribution of mentors to the success of Founders and Startups in the UNSW Community.

  • Adam Callendar: Adam teaches technical executives the soft skills to become outstanding leaders through self-awareness, identifying and developing talents in others.
  • Caleb Gibbins: An expert mentor in the topics of fintech, investing and raising. Caleb is known by his mentees as a great listener and passionate supporter of all early-stage founders.
  • Brad Deveson: Brad is heavily involved in mentoring across the entire startup community, specialising in new business fundamentals, early validation and development and growth.
  • Leah Fricke: Supporting Founders who are so strong they can be compassionate, so talented they can be humble, so passionate they can be rational, and so focused they can be successful.

Teaching practical life skills to help you thrive both personally and professionally through the use of psychology and neuroscience-based coaching.


Best New Idea

This category recognises curious and bold entrepreneurs and innovators, who are developing their first brilliant idea. Their solutions have the potential to ignite change that will have a positive impact on the world.

  • Nanoscale Pharmaceutics: Personalised drug delivery—nanoscale drug delivery at the right time at the right dose.
  • Door to Future Pty Ltd: Connecting Job Seekers and Start-ups/Small Businesses to co-design the future of the tech world.
  • Maeve: Transforming the delivery of women’s health and wellness – delivering an integrated, supported model of care virtually and in person.
  • Flett Architecture: Providing the world’s first 3D printed roof flashing to perfectly match any specified roofing profile and colour.
  • BantingMed: Accessible Type 2 Diabetes prevention for anyone, anywhere.


Research Making Impact Award

This category recognises UNSW academics, researchers and eHDR students who strive to be global leaders of change, innovation and discoveries that translate into real-world outcomes.

  • HEO Robotics: On-demand, on-orbit inspection of space objects that matter in space, from space
  • Psylo: Psychedelic-inspired medicine to treat mental illness.
  • footpath.ai: Making the world a more walkable place with better maps.
  • Contactile: Giving robots a human sense of touch and enabling robotic dexterity.
  • LLEAF: Creating a material that modify film to increase food productivity


Positive Impact Award

This category recognises teams and startups that are committed to building for-purpose products and/or services that benefit people, the environment and communities.

  • Number 8 Bio: Globally scalable animal nutrition that eliminates agricultural greenhouse gas emissions
  • Xylo Systems: An easier way to measure and manage biodiversity impact.
  • Givvable: Helping businesses meet their sustainability & ESG targets, faster.
  • 4eyes: Making vision accessible to all.
  • NetNada: Software that empowers everyone to make sustainability a strength in their business.


Health Innovation Award,

presented in partnership with The George Institute of Global Health

This category recognises the work of startups that are developing affordable and scalable solutions to some of the most pressing unmet global medical needs.

  • Evidentli: Transforming health data into evidence. automating translational medicine.
  • CardioBionic: One platform technology platform, multiple portable devices for Heart failure.
  • Nuroflux: Continuous monitoring of brain activity and blood flow in stroke patients, to provide valuable information to clinical staff.
  • Consultmed: We partner with healthcare organisations to shape a future that is digital, connected and data-driven.
  • Merunova: Better targeting spine surgery


People Choice Award

The People’s Choice award is open to the public.

VOTE HERE (Voting closes on 10 November at 11.55pm AEDT).

This category recognises well-rounded startups that embody the entrepreneurial spirit. Their commitment to high-impact innovation will lead to a more just, equitable, or sustainable future.

  • Beamers: A special range of sunglasses designed to protect the vulnerable eyes of children from significant UV damage and disease.
  • Say66: Is revolutionising the way children with speech difficulties can access affordable and engaging speech therapy exercises.
  • JDoodle: An online software programming platform for learning, teaching, recruiting and hosting.
  • Forcite: The worlds first mass production smart motorcycle helmet providing a significantly safer, more dynamic experience.
  • Charopy: Technology to restore public faith in recycling.


  • Startup Daily is a sponsor of the UNSW Founders Awards