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