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UNSW Reveals the 40 Finalists in the New Founder Awards

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

Announced later this month at a gala dinner in Sydney on November 22, the awards recognize startups, founders and mentors in 8 award categories.

They all have an affiliation with UNSW, with 40 finalists announced – 5 in each category.

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

UNSW’s Director of Entrepreneurship, David Burt, said they decided to enter the Founders Awards, realizing that a quarter of the Australia’s 100 Best Innovators were affiliated with UNSW. More than 100 startups subsequently registered 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,” said Burt.

“The quality of these finalists demonstrates the tremendous depth of entrepreneurial talent present in the UNSW community.”

In addition to categories like founder and mentor of the year, best new idea and positive impact, people can vote for their favorite startup in the Audience Award here.

The UNSW Founders Awards finalists are;

Startup of the year

This category recognizes startups that have shown impressive traction from 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.
  • psychiatrist: Psychedelic inspired medicine for the treatment of mental illness.
  • Contact: Giving robots a human sense of touch and enabling robot skills

Founder of the Year

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

  • Frances Atkins – Co-founder at giveable: Helping companies achieve their sustainability and ESG goals faster.
  • Greg Miner – Co-founder at clear: Turning health data into evidence. Automating translational medicine.

Mentor of the year

This category recognizes 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 excellent leaders through self-awareness, identifying and developing talents in others.
  • Caleb Gibbins: An expert mentor in fintech, investing and parenting. Caleb is known among his mentees as a great listener and passionate supporter of all fledgling founders.
  • Brad Deveson: Brad is deeply involved in mentoring the entire startup community, specializing in new business fundamentals, early validation and development and growth.
  • Leah Fricke: Supporting founders who are so strong that they can be compassionate, so talented that they can be humble, so passionate that they can be rational, and so focused that 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 recognizes curious and daring entrepreneurs and innovators, who develop their first brilliant idea. Their solutions have the potential to bring about change that will have a positive impact on the world.

  • Door to Future Pty Ltd: Connecting job seekers and start-ups/small businesses to design the future of the tech world together.
  • Maeve: Transforming the delivery of women’s health and well-being – delivering an integrated, supported model of care, virtual and personal.
  • Flett Architecture: Providing the world’s first 3D printed gutter that perfectly matches any specified roof profile and color.
  • BantingMed: Accessible type 2 diabetes prevention for everyone, everywhere.

Research Making Impact Award

This category recognizes UNSW academics, researchers, and eHDR students who strive to be a global leader in change, innovation, and discovery that translate into real-world results.

  • HEO Robotics: On-demand orbit inspection of space objects that matter in space, from space
  • psychiatrist: Psychedelic inspired medicine for the treatment of mental illness.
  • footpath.ai: Making the world more walkable with better maps.
  • Contact: Giving robots a human sense of touch and enabling robot agility.
  • LLEAF: Making a film-modifying material to increase food productivity

Positive Impact Award

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

  • Number 8 Organic: Globally scalable animal nutrition that eliminates agricultural greenhouse gas emissions
  • Xylo Systems: An easier way to measure and manage the impact on biodiversity.
  • giveable: Helping companies achieve their sustainability and ESG goals faster.
  • 4 eyes: Making vision accessible to everyone.
  • NetNada: Software that enables everyone to make sustainability a strength in their company.

health innovation award,

presented in collaboration with The George Institute of Global Health

This category recognizes the work of startups developing affordable and scalable solutions to some of the most pressing unmet medical needs worldwide.

  • clear: Turning health data into evidence. automation of translational medicine.
  • CardioBionic: One platform technology platform, multiple wearable heart failure devices.
  • Nuroflux: Continuous monitoring of brain activity and blood flow in stroke patients, to provide valuable information to clinical staff.
  • consulted: We partner with healthcare organizations to shape a future that is digital, connected and data-driven.
  • Merunova: Better Targeted Spine Surgery

People Choice Award

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

VOTE HERE (Voting closes Nov. 10 at 11:55 PM AEDT).

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

  • projectors: A special range of sunglasses designed to protect children’s fragile eyes from significant UV damage and disease.
  • say66: Is revolutionize the way children with speech difficulties access affordable and engaging speech therapy exercises.
  • JDoodle: An online software programming platform for learning, teaching, recruiting and hosting.
  • force: The world’s first mass-produced smart motorcycle helmet offering a significantly safer, more dynamic experience.
  • Charopy: Technology to restore public confidence in recycling.
  • Startup Daily is a sponsor of the UNSW Founders Awards


Shreya has been with australiabusinessblog.com for 3 years, writing copy for client websites, blog posts, EDMs and other mediums to engage readers and encourage action. By collaborating with clients, our SEO manager and the wider australiabusinessblog.com, Shreya seeks to understand an audience before creating memorable, persuasive copy.

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