Fishburners doubles down on sustainability, announcing winners of Tech for Good Awards

Fishburners held the inaugural Tech For Good Awards Night on 15 September, highlighting inspirational Australian startups which are striving to solve pressing social and environmental issues. The night left all who joined excited for a more sustainable future! 🌎

The winners span nine categories: 

  • Fishburners Social Impact Award: Humanitix
  • Climate Action Award, sponsored by AWS: FloodMapp 
  • Better Health and Wellbeing Award, sponsored by AusIndustry Entrepreneur Programme: Nuroflux
  • Tech for Good Female Founder Award, sponsored by Microsoft for Startups: NeedleCalm
  • Sustainability Award, sponsored by BDO: RecycleSmart
  • Sustainable Product Award, sponsored by Amazon: Compassion Creamery 
  • The Diversity and Inclusion Award, sponsored by Optus: Homeable
  • Overall Excellent Award, sponsored by Investment NSW:  Nuroflux
  • People’s Choice Award: Homeable
From left to right: Marco Prayer (Recycle Smart), Sarah Qian (Compassion Creamery), Lauren Barber (NeedleCalm), Hayden Mumby (Humanitix), and Sam van Bohemen (Nuroflux).

Winners represent a broad variety of industries ranging across needle-phobia solutions, non-profit event ticketing, vegan cheesemaking, smart home solutions for those in wheelchairs, and more.

After recently launching the ‘Tech for Good Hub’ in conjunction with the City of Sydney – in which 30 sustainability startup founders are currently completing a 9-month scholarship program we decided to double down on our sustainability focus and specifically reward founders working to achieve the UN’s sustainable development goals, or “SDGs”.  

Our interim CEO Alan Jones says this move is based on the idea that the best way for companies to future-proof themselves is by working to solve – not contribute to – global problems affecting people and the planet.

Alan Jones (Interim CEO of Fishburners)

“Startups don’t exist in a bubble. The businesses we hope to build to fulfill our entrepreneurial ambitions depend upon the viability of the society, economy, and natural ecosystem we exist within. The big, intractable problems outlined in the SDGs are also the most valuable opportunities for startups to address. We’re delighted to raise awareness and support the growth of a group of awesome Aussie startups making real progress against SDG goals in our inaugural Tech For Good Awards. We’d like to thank our amazing sponsors Investment NSW, Amazon, AWS, Optus, BDO, Microsoft for Startups and AusIndustry for supporting this initiative in its very first year.” 

Sentiments shared by the award winners!

As an example, Social Impact Award winner Humanitix believes it’s entirely possible to leverage scalable tech within a 100 percent for-purpose model, to disrupt existing for-profit industries and solve urgent social issues in the process.

Adam McCurdie, founder & CEO at Humanitix, said: “There are a wealth of urgent social issues in the world that the for-profit sector is not dedicating enough resources to solving. Humanitix is already making incredible inroads at transforming the US$3.7 billion global ticketing industry, but this is just the beginning for us.

From left to right: Hayden Mumby (Business Development Executive at Humanitix) and Jacqui Feeney (Fishburners Board Member).

“There are hundreds of for-profit industries that can be disrupted using scalable tech to provide a valuable offering while also reinvesting profits to social causes. We invite entrepreneurs everywhere to join us in following a for-purpose path, to create a world where all businesses, structures, and systems work to serve the best interests of our planet and everyone (and everything!) sharing it.

“But it takes a village to raise a startup. So we are grateful for the support we’ve received from Fishburners – from using the Humanitix platform for all Fishburner events, to providing opportunities to inspire, engage, and educate audiences about our unique philanthropic model at Pitch Nights and other events.”

Winner of Sustainable Product Award, Compassion Creamery, additionally believes that startups must be focussed on where demand is headed in the future, including by acknowledging that what is acceptable today may not be acceptable to subsequent generations.

Sarah Qian, founder & CEO at Compassion Creamery, said: “The world is waking up to the environmental, ethical, and health consequences of consuming animal products such as dairy. It’s our belief that in 10 or 20 years’ time, younger generations will look back at today’s consumption of animal products and be just as shocked as we are today by slavery or other previously accepted forms of injustice.

From left to right: Sarah Qian (founder & CEO at Compassion Creamery) and Mickey Chung (Startup Development Manager at Amazon).

“Future-proofing any business today means meeting the ethical and sustainability standards of the future. Not only does Compassion Creamery’s world-first Oat Creme Cheese meet this requirement, but it also provides an option for the 75 percent of the global population who are lactose intolerant. Dairy has been linked to chronic disease development such as breast and prostate cancer, whereas oat milk production uses 80 percent less water and land, while emitting 70 percent less greenhouse gasses compared to its dairy counterparts.”

Winner of the Climate Action Award, FloodMapp, is focussing its good work for people and planet by addressing the devastating impacts of climate change resulting from natural disasters like floods.

Juliette Murphy, co-founder & CEO of FloodMapp, said: “Every year, flooding displaces 20 million people globally and costs Australia $9 billion in damages. Our 2022 floods alone cost more than $11 billion!

Juliette Murphy (co-founder & CEO of FloodMapp).

“FloodMapp’s real-time flood intelligence allows emergency managers to understand the impact to specific people, property, and critical infrastructure – before, during and after flood events. This enables them to coordinate targeted evacuations and swiftwater rescues, and route traffic around flooded roads.

“If all emergency managers and communities had access to FloodMapp, we could save thousands of lives, prevent billions of dollars in damage, and fasttrack recovery overall from flood events.”

The Tech for Good Awards were supported by Investment NSW as a primary sponsor, with individual award sponsors including Amazon, Optus, BDO, and Microsoft. Each category winner received a $5,000 cash prize to put towards further developing their innovation.

Watch the event here & view all of the photos here.

Thank you to our PR partners – Third Hemisphere.

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