UNSW startup givvable gets backing from CBA and Microsoft

UNSW startup led by a team of two sisters has been named winner of the inaugural Xccelerate2020 venture program hosted by X15 Ventures, taking home a total prize value of more than $300,000 from CBA and Microsoft.

Commonwealth Bank’s venture building entity X15 Ventures has announced givvable, a platform that helps companies find and source sustainable suppliers, winner of X15’s inaugural external venture program, Xccelerate2020, in addition to being accepted into Microsoft’s Social Entrepreneurship Program.

The idea conceived by sisters Frances Atkins and Naomi Vowels, both UNSW alumni, out of their passion for promoting sustainable practices, has won $150,000 in funding from Commonwealth Bank to help them realise their vision, along with a further $150,000 worth in technology, equipment and software from Microsoft as part of their program.


The theme of this year’s Xccelerate program was improving the financial wellbeing of small businesses, and helping them bounce back from the coronavirus pandemic. The event was supported by Innovation Bay and X15’s strategic partners Microsoft and KPMG High Growth Ventures – who provided mentorship, technology, business and subject matter expertise and ongoing venture coaching, over the four-week program. This was a fully remote program, given current restrictions.

CEO and co-founder of givvable, Frances Atkins, said many sustainable suppliers are small and micro businesses who often struggle to establish relationships with corporate buyers due to lack of access, resources and understanding of corporate due diligence processes, and givvable is designed to remove these barriers.

“With changing investor and consumer expectations, companies are looking to procure in an environmentally sustainable and socially impactful way.”

“There are a growing number of wonderful small businesses out there going to great lengths to embed sustainable and ethical practices into their business. Now with the coronavirus pandemic, they are faced with a whole range of other challenges.

“This backing from X15 and CommBank will propel givvable forward in the sustainability-tech landscape, making it much easier for businesses to source more sustainably, and track the impact of this spending going forward. More valuable than the cash contribution, we’re excited by the role X15 can play helping us to experiment and test with CBA as both a potential strategic customer and distribution channel. From that perspective, this is a really unique program, and we can’t wait to get going.”

Full article:  CBA Newsroom

(givvable, New Wave 2019 Cohort #3, Launch & Grow 2019 & 10x Accelerator, 2019 Cohort #4)