Optus names five start-ups as 2020 Future Makers

Tuesday, 15 September, 2020

Optus names five start-ups as 2020 Future Makers

Optus has announced five social start-ups as its 2020 Future Makers program finalists, who have developed innovative technology solutions addressing social challenges for disadvantaged and vulnerable people focused on employability, education, health, and aged and disability support. Now in its fourth year, the flagship innovation program equips start-ups with the tools to grow their for-purpose business.

A panel of judges, including senior leaders from Optus and exports from the social enterprise and impact investment sector, selected this year’s shortlist. This year’s Future Markers will take part in a six-month capacity building and accelerator program designed to develop skills through workshops and coaching from top talent at Optus and industry experts. At the completion of the program, each finalist will have the opportunity to access a share of $200,000 in grant funding to help scale their solution.

Helen Maisano, Optus Director for Group Sustainability, said the finalists will leverage technology advancements to not only fill some evident gaps in the market, but also make a difference to those most in need in the community.

“During a time where we have been able to experience how technology has been core to aiding our resilience amidst great challenges, I am especially proud of our commitment to supporting innovation and social entrepreneurship, both through funding and access to our expert resources,” said Maisano.

The recipients of the 2020 Future Makers Funding include Narelle Priestly from AIBLE, Francis Atkins from givvable, Nitin Fernandez from Maslow, Bronwyn Covill from Need A Tutor and Clive Vaz from PeepsRide.

“The entire team at Optus is looking forward to working with this year’s finalists and providing the best possible support to ensure the development of each start-up,” said Clive Dickens, Optus Vice President of Television, Content and Product Development.

AIBLE is a Victorian job search app that uses artificial intelligence to match abilities, personality types, experience, skills and certifications with job requirements. Profile questions are designed to improve workplace diversity and inclusion, to include people on the margins of society in the recruitment process.

Givvable is a data-driven technology platform that helps companies find, source and track the impact of sustainable and social spending. This is achieved by mapping the impact credentials of suppliers to reporting frameworks used by listed companies and large organisations, such as UN SDGs and ESG indicators.

Maslow is a voice-enabled rehabilitation assistant for young people living with paralysis. Maslow’s inclusive design provides tools to help users structure their personal and rehabilitation schedule, measure their rehabilitation habits, and access guided health education to better understand and manage their condition.

Need A Tutor addresses the problem of how people living in rural and geographically isolated areas don’t receive the same educational support as those in the city. Need A Tutor matches students with a network of qualified educators, teachers or tutors, who provide personalised, live one-on-one lessons hosted via a custom-built secure online platform.

PeepsRide provides an on-demand transport service for care organisations, to help the elderly and those with disabilities get outdoors more often. Currently this demographic either has long wait times or doesn’t have any avenues to get reliable door-to-door transport. PeepsRide aims to provide a better customer experience with its fleet of vehicles and drivers.

Image credit: ©stock.adobe.com/au/denisismagilov

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