Hospitality ordering app Mr Yum has been named startup of the year in the annual Governor of Victoria Startup Awards.
The fintech, currently in talks with rival Me&u over a possible merger, was recognised for its role in helping the state’s restaurant sector continuing to operate during pandemic restrictions and now helping the hospitality sector as it recovers from Covid lockdowns.
The inaugural awards last year saw sustainable energy retailer Amber Electric and medtech Seer Medical named joint winners of Victorian startup of the year.
The 2023 awards spanned six categories ranging from scaleup of the year for firms less than 10-years-old to best newcomer for a startup less than three-years-old, was well as investor, ecosystem hero and regional hero.
Fintech Zeller was named scaleup of the year for setting an Australian record for the fastest time a local company has hit a $1 billion valuation, more than doubling its staff to over 220 and growing its customer base to 35,000 businesses in its first three years of operation.
Best Newcomer went to “deathtech” startup Willed, founded in 2019, before launching in 2020. It’s an estate management platform that allows people to create a legal will in less than 20 minutes online. The company raised $6 million last year.
GippsTech CEO Dr Elena Kelareva was named Regional Ecosystem Hero of the Year for bringing digital innovation to Gippsland through programs such as Startup Gippsland and for establishing a co-working space for regional innovators and entrepreneurs.
Health tech champion and Side Stage Ventures investor Emily Casey was named Ecosystem Hero of the Year for her work to enhance the Australian health tech community, and while Blackbird partner Nick Crocker shared the Investor of the Year award with Rachael Neumann for their support for early-stage founders.
The Governor of Victoria, Linda Dessau, presented the awards to the winners at Government House.
The awards come in the wake of the Victorian government allocating an additional $5 million in last week’s state budget for the Alice Anderson fund, its female founders-focused co-investment fund.