UNSW Founders recently hosted the inaugural Virtual Pitch & Panel event, featuring eight teams from the first ever New Wave U.S Ready Bootcamp. The invite-only event saw eight of our ten women-led teams share learnings and pitch plans for their expansion to the U.S., in an effort to build the support and networks the teams need to succeed in the complex, but high potential U.S. market.
Intensive masterclasses for U.S. market-focused mentoring
The New Wave U.S. Ready Bootcamp is an expansion of UNSW’s New Wave Program.
The Bootcamp was made possible through support from The United States Embassy and Consulates, and provides a U.S market-focused mentoring program for ten successful women-led startups.
“This program was designed to help women founders who want to take their businesses to the U.S. in the next 12-36 months,” explained New Wave Program Manager Kristen Phillips. “We also provided resources and mentoring to help founders evaluate their readiness for expansion to the US, and understand the to-and-fro’s of a U.S market-entry plan.”
The program featured four weeks of intensive masterclasses with industry leading experts from Austrade, Exit Velocity, PWC, Silicon Valley Bank & Aliavia Ventures.
In addition, the New Wave U.S. Ready Bootcamp delivered sessions with Aussie women founders who have successfully blazed a trail to the U.S., including Carted CEO and co-founder Holly Cardew, and Christie Downs, CEO & Cofounder of Handdii.
“The UNSW Founders program is here to nurture the next generation of Australia's entrepreneurs,” declared David Burt, Director of Entrepreneurship at UNSW.
“The US Ready Bootcamp is a great example of what we do in the UNSW community. With Australian women increasingly playing a leadership role in Australia’s startup sector, we at UNSW are committed to supporting stronger female representation in startups.”
“This year, my team supported just over 200 startups. At least 44% of these startups featured a female founder, which is about double the industry average.”
Representing the U.S. Department of Commerce and U.S. Consulate General in Sydney was Mr Eric Crowley, the Deputy Regional Senior Commercial Officer for Australia and New Zealand in the U.S. Consulate General.
“The U.S. is the world’s largest economy,” observed Eric. “It is home to the world’s most vibrant innovation ecosystem, featuring 25% of the world’s R&D spending, access to large pools of tech and business talent, and venture capital funding.”
Eric shared some of his observations from the eight New Wave U.S. pitches, and provided information about support services available to our New Wave US Ready Founders on their journey to US expansion.
“An important part of my job is to help companies like yours succeed in the U.S,” Eric said, addressing the New Wave founders involved in the Virtual Pitch & Panel. “Your success is our success.”
Meet the 8 teams of New Wave U.S. Virtual Pitch & Panel
“We are thrilled to provide you with a first look at eight of these extraordinary teams, the businesses they’re building and the great impact they're making,” said Kristen. “The teams are really looking forward to meeting with as many supporters, investors and customers as possible. If you would like to reach out to any of the eight teams, you can do so via their LinkedIn profile.”
Club Melon sells high-quality, high-performance activewear made especially for plus-size women, starting with a radically adjustable sports bra, allowing customers to create their own perfect fit.
Founder of Club Melon: Holly Richard
“We currently have 500 people on our wait list, including some of Australia’s leading plus size women influencers. The vision for Club Melon is not just a sports bra. I want to motivate the 1B plus size people on this planet to embrace an active lifestyle.”
Learn more at www.clubmelon.com.au
Contact Holly Richards here
Say66 is a clinically-validated platform that provides cost-effective access to speech therapy for children via a gamified speech therapy platform that supports structured intensive home practice with a parent, remotely supervised by a speech-language pathologist.
Co-founders: Beena Ahmed & Kirrie Ballard
“Say 66 is a game changer in speech therapy. We use proprietary AI built into video game apps to provide evidence-based speech therapy accessible to anyone anywhere. It’s fun and engaging for students, and affordable for parents. There’s no solution in the market like Say66.”
Learn more at www.say66.com
Givvable captures and aggregates supplier sustainability credentials mapped to widely used reporting frameworks (SDGs, GRI, SASB, TCFD, ISO, etc.). Our tool tracks existing suppliers, can grow pools of sustainable suppliers, and support suppliers on their sustainability journey.
Co-founder: Frances Atkins
“Givvable focuses entirely on the sustainability of your suppliers. Every business everywhere will soon need to demonstrate their sustainability credentials. Our platform is being used by companies and governments across Asia and Australia, while several US companies have reached out to us, unsolicited. The highly fragmented nature of sustainability data is what makes this so attractive. We cut through complex reporting frameworks with simpler assessments, and recently came equal first in SingTel Future Makers.”
Learn more at www.givvable.com
Contact Frances Atkins here
WearDigi is a digital wardrobe. With working from home set to become a permanent feature of our professional lives, it’s time to stop worrying about your outfit every day and focus on getting your work done. WearDigi will allow everyone to wear a different outfit every day, with no washing, and no risk of entering the boardroom in our PJs.
Co-founder: Emily Knoblanche
“We’re building a digital clothing wardrobe for online meetings, built using 3D Design, Augmented Reality and Artificial Intelligence. Imagine turning up to your Zoom meeting…in a suit!”
Learn more at www.weardigi.com.au
Contact Emily Knoblanche here
AtOne is a virtual reality (VR) solution that targets anxiety, stress and builds long-term capacity using meditation, mind fitness reporting and online training. It is Australia’s only VR meditation app in the market. AtOne uses a multi-sensory approach to take people into a virtual world of relaxation with smell, sound, sight and guided meditations to help them relax.
Founder: Edwina Griffin
“We’re facing a mental health crisis that’s having a huge cost on society. Sixty-three million Americans have a mental illness, and 66% of people who suffer mental illness remain untreated. AtOne is a solution to supercharge people’s ability to meditate by combining ancient practises and leading edge technology. By using immersive technology, we can take people into a relaxed state faster. We use VR and focus on the B2B market, to make meditation mainstream so people can have a safe space at work to refresh and refocus.”
Learn more at www.atoneapp.com
Contact Founder Edwina Griffin here.
Wildlife Drones delivers a world-first drone radio-tracking receiver and a base station laptop, equipped with unique signal processing algorithms and software. This improves the efficiency, quality and quantity of real-time data, and can allow aerial tracking of up to 40 animals simultaneously - even across physically difficult terrain.
Founder: Debbie Saunders
“There are currently one million species threatened with extinction. Wildlife Drones can cost-effectively collect actionable data, enabling critical insights to be shared, and autonomously monitor every ecosystem on the planet. Through the New Wave U.S. program, we’ve learned how to approach US investors, the seasonal investor cycle, and the importance of being on the ground in the US, as well as gaining introductions to new investors.”
Learn more at www.wildlifedrones.net
Contact Debbie Saunders here
AssuranceLab 's readiness software provides automation to effectively deliver audits and assurance standards as a single package. We’re developing a scalable software platform, which includes artificial intelligence / machine learning models to perform auto-review and validations on audit documents.
Co-founder: Erica Villaneuva
“Audit firms focus on big companies and deliver an expensive, manual, high touch and non-scalable process. At AssuranceLab, we’ve digitised audits, and reduced the cost of audits by a factor of 10. It’s what’s allowed us to deliver a $2.3m ARR with just 3 auditors. We’re now pivoting to selling a SaaS platform to other CPAs, and aim to partner with the 46,000 CPA firms in the U.S. We’ve landed one CPA firm - 45,999 to go!”
Learn more at www.assurancelab.com.au
Contact Erica Villaneuva here
Contactile provides robots with a human sense of touch and enable robotic dexterity. Their world-leading bio-inspired soft tactile sensor array can measure 3D deflection, 3D force and 3D vibration at each array element, allowing our robotic grippers to autonomously grasp any object with optimal grip force.
CEO and Co-Founder of Contactile: Dr Heba Kharmis
“There are labour shortages in virtually every industry, which is only going to get worse as the population ages. We need versatile, dexterous robots to help people perform dull, dirty and dangerous jobs. At Contactile, we’re here to give robots a human sense of touch.”
Learn more at www.contactile.com
Contact Dr Heba Khamis here
Learn more at www.contactile.com
Contact Dr Heba Khamis here