Welcome to HATCH: Taronga Accelerator Program. HATCH aims to inspire, support and launch innovative ideas and actions to help address some of the most pressing environmental and conservation challenges currently facing our planet.
We are calling on innovators, thought leaders, disruptors, developers, passionate individuals and everyone in between to help develop and implement brilliant ideas for the planet.
One simple idea could change the future. The future starts today. What’s your brilliant idea?
Pitch event 2021
Catch up or relive the fantastic finale to the 2021 HATCH Program - the HATCH Pitch Event!
Hear from our eight amazing founders sharing their six brilliant initiatives for the planet, and celebrate the winners of the HATCH Grant and the People's Choice Award.
Meet the 2021 teams
This year we are working with a fantastic group of founders driving six amazing initiatives to support wildlife and create a more sustainable future.
Carapac is changing the world of packaging. Carapac has developed the technology to make trustworthy sustainable plastic alternatives out of crustacean shell waste. We are using our material to make sustainable packaging that can home composted in 3-6 weeks and extend shelf life of fresh produce.
CEO & Co-Founder: Kimberly Bolton
At Sine Surf we make sustainable wooden surfboards and surf accessories by using natural materials and new manufacturing methods. These are some of the most sustainably manufactured surfboards on the planet, designed for performance surfing with a love for the ocean and environment. We are making a sustainable surfing lifestyle affordable and available to every surfer.
Spottr is an integrated thermal-optic drone reconnaissance platform for automated location and species identification of vertebrate feral pests, livestock and wildlife. It gives large private and public land managers the ability to quickly, easily and cost-effectively scan their geographic areas of responsibility with results being instantly displayed on their tablet PC maps for action and also uploaded to feral-scan, agricultural and scientific databases. This air superiority makes everything from feral management, to stock monitoring to wildlife protection materially more efficient and effective.
Founder: Matthew Kronborg
The Pedal Club
Our world is inundated with charities and causes. As individuals we are challenged to where our money and effort should be directed, and rightly or wrongly there is a donor audience that wants to buy into a charitable narrative with an edge that aligns with how they consume, live and work. Visible is built to create more engagement and value for its causes by focusing on a deep value exchange and interesting narrative with its audience. Working with conservation causes, we are committed to developing models that provide talking points, direct tangible benefit and visible impact that can shift consumers towards advocacy.
We are facing a biodiversity crisis. With thousands of conservation teams working to save Australia's iconic species, there is no easy way for them to share information, track actions and collaborate. This is leading to siloed and duplicated efforts, wasting precious conservation time and money.
Xylo Systems is a cloud-based platform for conservation teams to connect, track and manage conservation projects. It's an easy-to-use collaboration and project management tool for threatened species management. With innovative technology including automated collaborator matching, impact tracking and decision-making capability, Xylo Systems will empower conservationists to tackle systematic threatened species conservation. We are turbocharging threatened species management with technology so we can tackle the extinction crisis faster, together.
Founder: Camille Goldstone-Henry
Meet the judges
We are honoured to introduce our esteemed HATCH Judging Panel for 2021:
- Cameron Kerr AO – CEO Taronga Conservation Society Australia
- Natalie Kyriacou OAM – Social Entrepreneur, CEO and Board Advisor
- Andy Marks – Climate Change and Sustainability Leader
- Alexandra Holcomb – Experienced Business Executive
- Adam Ferrier – Founder, Consumer Psychologist and Author
The judging panel are very excited to see the final pitches from each of the HATCH teams, and they have the unenviable task of determining which initiative will receive the HATCH $50,000 Grant. A huge thank you to our judges for their support for the HATCH Program!
Cameron Kerr AO
CEO Taronga Conservation Society Australia
Cameron commenced his career in the agriculture sector as a researcher in animal health. He later undertook a Masters of Commerce majoring in Marketing and Organisational Behaviour. Cameron then held a number of senior marketing roles in FMCG, with Schwarzkopf, Wella and Faulding Consumer Healthcare.
In 2000, Cameron joined the Taronga Conservation Society Australia as the General Manager for Marketing, Communications and Education, and then moved to Life Sciences operations managing very diverse teams.
In 2009, Cameron became CEO and since that time has led the transformation of the Zoos into the Taronga Conservation Society, as well as a number of significant capital works programs and a globally recognised wildlife conservation organisation receiving awards for its wildlife conservation and sustainability.
Cameron is also President of the Zoo and Aquarium Association of Australasia, a Board Director of the International Rhino Foundation and a Director of the Jane Goodall Institute Global, and past Chair of the accreditation organisation Ecotourism Australia. Cameron also sits on the Advisory Board for the University of NSW Faculty of Science.
Natalie Kyriacou OAM
Natalie Kyriacou OAM is an award-winning social entrepreneur, CEO, Board Advisor, and Environmental and Social Growth Driver at PwC.
Highly regarded for her authentic leadership in the environmental and social spaces, her passion and expertise lie in exploring the intersection of environmental, social, commercial and economic issues.
Natalie advises world leaders on environmental and social policy and driven the expansion, growth and impact of a range of social enterprises and non-profits around the world.
A recognised global emerging leader, Natalie was awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia for her services to wildlife and environmental conservation in 2018.
Andy Marks helps organisations create better climate change and sustainability outcomes by developing leaders as change makers, delivering high impact market leading strategies, energising team cultures and embedding new ways of working.
He has successfully implemented his Effective Visionary Leadership approach for government, NGOs, media, the arts and business.
Andy spent eighteen years as founder and CEO of two UK start-ups in experience design / content production and circular economy product development and the last seven years in Australia leading and advising purpose driven organisations.
Andy also has a creative practice exploring and interpreting our relationship to the environment and consumer culture with a recent installation artwork on display in Sydney telling stories of the devastating bushfires and society’s appetite for single use products.
Alexandra Holcomb is a business executive with over 35 years of financial services experience in banking and consulting. She has experience in consumer, business and corporate banking across multiple disciplines including strategy, M&A, risk management, relationship management, sales, service, product management and operations.
Over the course of her 22 years at Westpac, Alex held a number of senior executive positions in strategy, M&A, payments and risk. Prior to joining Westpac, Alex worked with Booz Allen & Hamilton International, Chase Manhattan Bank, Banque Indosuez and Barclays Bank in roles throughout Asia, Europe and the U.S.
Alex is an Advisory Board member and former deputy Chairman of Asia Society Australia, a former Board member of the Westpac Foundation, a member of Chief Executive Women and a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors. Alex has held a number of Board, Advisory and Industry Board positions in Australia, Asia and the U.S.
Adam Ferrier is a multi-award winning advertising creative and founder of the agency Thinkerbell and DOA (Decade of Action). He is also a leading Australian consumer psychologist, an expert brand strategist and an authority on Behavioural Economics.
Adam is the author of The Advertising Effect and part of The Australian Creatives’ Power 20; a regular on the Gruen series and has featured on The Project, Celebrity Apprentice and ABC Radio.
Adam was the creator of the idea behind the WARC World Innovation prize (2013), winner of the rare Cannes Gold Lion and Gold Effie double, and has won awards at all the world major advertising shows. Adam created the successful board game ‘The Analyst’ (translated into four languages). He sits also on the boards of social giving company Good Thnx, and social influencing company TRIBE.
Program overview and structure
HATCH is a 14-week accelerator program designed to help you develop your brilliant idea into a not-for-profit or social enterprise venture that has a positive impact on the environment. The program will involve two immersive events, weekly online workshops and a final pitch event.
What is an accelerator?
Think of an accelerator as similar to a University or TAFE unit – a structured, fixed term development program. However, the purpose of an accelerator program is not only to educate, but to help participants to develop and refine their initiative or business venture.
During the HATCH program, you will undertake education sessions, peer collaboration, and have access to mentors from a range of different expertise. You will also undertake work on your game changing idea or product for the planet in your own time.
Accelerators often provide seed capital to participants as well. HATCH: Taronga Accelerator Program will provide $2,000 to each participating team.
At the end of the structured program, participants will pitch their ideas to a panel of experts. The panel will provide feedback and determine which idea or product is the overall winner and recipient of the major funding.
If you have an innovative idea, an accelerator such as HATCH is a great place to develop your idea with the support of experts, and to meet and collaborate with like-minded people.
HATCH program inclusions
- The opportunity to receive up to $50,000 to bring your brilliant idea to life
- $2,000 seed funding for each team participating in the program (at zero equity)
- A blended approach of face to face workshops (subject to COVID-19 restrictions), online sessions and digital modules to provide you with the knowledge to develop your initiative
- Expert learning, guidance and support from mentors and subject matter experts including Taronga experts, industry professionals, and not-for-profit and social enterprise leaders
Your brilliant idea is...
- Targeted to address a key conservation or environmental challenge
- An innovative approach to address the issue you’re targeting
- Designed to make a positive impact on the natural environment
- Aligned to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and Taronga’s 360 degree approach to conservation (see below)
- A concept, pre-launch or early stage venture – you bring the concept, we’ll help you to assess, test and validate it
- Is established as, or plans to develop into, a not-for-profit or social enterprise organisation
- Has potential to scale up for ever greater impact over time
Taronga's 360 degree approach to conservation
At Taronga we recognise that to achieve successful conservation of species we must also consider and support the habitat in which the species live, and the communities that interact with the species and habitat. Below are some examples of activities that Taronga undertakes under each area that may help you to consider how your initiative aligns to these areas.
- Monitoring of wild populations
- Breed for release programs
- Rescue and rehabilitation of injured native wildlife
- Research and development of suitable nutrition
- Habitat restoration, e.g. tree planting for Regent Honeyeaters
- Ensuring suitable habitat for native species within our two Zoo grounds
- Researching and monitoring habitat use
- Guest, student and community education programs
- Tools to enable the public to protect wildlife, e.g. the Wildlife Witness app
- Working with local communities to address challenges and be self-sufficient, e.g. Beads for Wildlife
Read the full list of eligibility criteria
- Open to Australian citizens and permanent residents only
- All applicants must be 18 years and over
- Teams can be a maximum of 4 people per team; individual applicants are welcome
- Initiatives must align to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and to Taronga’s 360 degree approach to conservation
- Initiatives must be delivered in Australia to benefit/support the Australian environment
- Not for profit and social enterprise initiatives are welcomed; for profit initiatives are not eligible for this program
- If applying as an organisation, the organisation will likely have an annual revenue of less than $150,000
- All participants must comply with the Terms and Conditions associated with the HATCH Program
- All participants must comply with Taronga’s Code of Conduct
HATCH program 2021 dates
View the key program dates
View the program key dates
|Applications open||Online||Wednesday 31 March 2021|
|Applications close||Online||5pm on Tuesday 11 May 2021|
|Applications review||Online||May - June 2021|
|Short-listed applications to provide additional information||Online||Early June 2021|
|Short-listed applicants panel interviews||Via video conference||Monday 21 and Wednesday 23 June 2021|
|Program participants confirmed||Online||End June 2021|
Program welcome session
(5pm - 7pm Sydney time)
|Online||Tuesday 20 July 2021|
|Immersive One (in-person)||Taronga Zoo Sydney||Thursday 22 July to Saturday 24 July 2021|
|Immersive One (online*)||Online|
4 x half day sessions:
Mentor introduction session
(5pm - 7pm Sydney time)
|Online||Tuesday 27 July 2021|
(5pm - 7pm Sydney time)
|Online||Tuesday 3 August to Tuesday 31 August 2021|
|Immersive Two (in-person)||Taronga Zoo Sydney||Wednesday 1 September (night) to Friday 3 September 2021|
|Immersive Two (online*)||Online|
4 x half day sessions:
(5pm - 7pm Sydney time)
|Online||Tuesday 7 September to Tuesday 19 October 2021|
|Pitch event preparation, judging and public pitch event||Taronga Zoo Sydney||Wednesday 27 October to Thursday 28 October 2021|
Public pitch event
|Taronga Zoo Sydney and online||Thursday 28 October 2021|
*The online dates for Immersives One and Two are a back-up plan if we are unable to go ahead with the in-person Immersives at Taronga Zoo, due to COVID-19 or other reasons.
HATCH delivery team
The HATCH program is led by Danielle Fryday and Tom Allen, with involvement and support from other members of the Taronga and Impact Boom teams.
Danielle Fryday - Lead Facilitator
Danielle is the Co-Founder of the HATCH: Taronga Accelerator Program and Lead Facilitator. Danielle combines her ten years of experience in adult learning and development, three years’ experience at Taronga and her passion for supporting others to design and deliver the HATCH program and help passionate changemakers bring their brilliant ideas to life.
Tom Allen - Entrepreneur in Residence
Tom is Founder and CEO of Impact Boom. As a certified social enterprise and leading intermediary, Impact Boom helps entrepreneurs and innovators unleash their greatest potential to create a better world. Tom has worked closely with hundreds of social entrepreneurs globally to maximise their impact and is proud to be supporting HATCH as the Entrepreneur in Residence and delivery partner.
Mentors and subject matter experts
HATCH participants are supported by a range of mentors and experts from across the startup, business, and for-purpose arenas, as well as Taronga’s in-house expertise in conservation, community engagement, education and not-for-profit management. A huge vote of thanks to our mentors and experts for their commitment to support the HATCH participants and program.
Alex de Aboitiz
Mentor and Investor
Culture, business performance & people change specialist | MC & speaker, facilitator & trainer | Leadership & exec coach
Chairman | CEO | Adjunct Fellow | Ambassador | Motivational Speaker
Investment Manager at BridgeLane Group
Founding Director at Creo Legal
Tax Queen | Techie | AI Enthusiast
R&D Tax Consultant at Fullstack Advisory
CEO, Investor and Mentor
Entrepreneur and Senior Media/Tech Executive
Product & Engineering Leadership | Technology Strategy | Digital Transformation & Scale-Up
Founder Partner & Director at Rad
Founder & Director at The Lime Agency
Co-Founder at Remediator | Founder & CEO of RevTech Media
Chief Financial Officer at Sonder
Obama Foundation Leader: Asia Pacific - consulting on Social Impact | Strategic Communications | Creative Campaigns
Senior Associate, Clean Energy Innovation Fund
Founder & CEO at Fullstack Advisory.
Former Chief Veterinary Officer at NSW DPI
Taronga Conservation Society Australia Board Member
Co-Founder at Ocean Impact Organisation | Former CEO of Take 3 for the Sea
CEO ReadyFundGo | Non-Executive Director I Strategy, Innovation, Sustainability, Digital Disruption, CSR
Strategic Advisor | Sustainable business models and strategic planning for for-purpose organisations
Biologist and Science Communicator
Operations and Business Development at Macchina Volantis.
Director - Innovation Fund at Clean Energy Finance Corporation
Dr Julie Vonwiller
Director of Vonwiller Foundation.
HATCH Program 2020
The HATCH: Taronga Accelerator Program was launched in early 2020 and the inaugural program ran from August to November. COVID-19 forced us to rework the program delivery plans, but we were delighted to be able to go ahead with a fully online program and final pitch event.
After a competitive national selection process, we selected ten passionate founders driving five exciting initiatives to address environmental issues. The teams were put through their paces over the 14 week accelerator program to establish their ventures, validate their approaches and prepare their pitches to share their brilliant initiatives with the world, and compete for the $50,000 HATCH Grant. Click below to learn more about the teams and their inspiring ventures.
“HATCH program has been an invaluable experience for us. Without the support and direction from this amazing program we wouldn't be where we are. This is one of the best programs out there and I feel extremely lucky that we could be part of it and share it with such a great community.” – HATCH 2020 participant
Our vision is to help communities across Australia engage with and protect their local water resources. We all know how important our water is and, with the escalating impacts of climate change, we are starting to feel the reality of water scarcity and poverty in many of our communities. We believe that the safest hands our water resources can be in is our own, and so we aim to give you the agency to take charge of your relationship with water by providing you with the tools to accurately monitor and stay informed about your local water resources, connect with your community and advocate for improved local and federal water management. While one short shower won’t end a drought, Every Drop offers you the opportunity to join a growing movement that cares for and protects our communities, improves climate resilience and conserves our most precious resource.
Founder: Samantha Moody
Watch the Every Drop pitch video:
We are dedicated to solving the disposable cup problem. When we grab that takeaway cup, we are making a big mistake and become part of a huge environmental issue. Disposable cups are lined with plastic so aren’t recyclable or biodegradable. They create 60 tonnes of plastic waste per year in Australia, causing a huge amount of carbon emissions and water pollution. We have an innovative solution that actually solves the problem, an edible cup that is waste-free. It functions like a takeaway cup without harming the planet or compromising on convenience. Our cups are a healthy snack, plastic and paper-free, and if they end up in the bin they break down naturally in less than two weeks.
Co-founders: Catherine Hutchins and Aniyo Rahebi
Watch the Good-Edi pitch video:
The PoopLoop is a community-based composting system designed to manage the copious amounts of dog poo produced in parks and green spaces every day. It will divert the dog poo away from landfill which once processed becomes a safe and productive compost for local parks and gardens. We want to close the waste loop by helping people to see dog poo as a resource, not a waste-product.
Watch the PoopLoop pitch video:
RePlated wants to make single use history with our thoughtfully designed reusable takeaway food container systems. We manufacture our containers from recycled PET and glass right here in Sydney for distribution globally. As a business that is truly circular; from our philosophy to design and manufacture, we even take containers back at the end of their life for recycling into new products.
Practical solutions to our waste crisis are urgently needed to shift away from single-use. It takes just 15 washes for a reusable food container to be better than even the best compostable container. As we recreate a brighter and more socially and environmentally conscious future post-COVID, RePlated offers Australian businesses and organisations the opportunity to shift away from single-use for good.
Founder: Naomi Tarszisz
Watch the RePlated pitch video:
TOMbag is on a mission to rid the world of single-use garbage bags with our sustainable and functional reusable alternatives. Designed from the ground up, we’ve created a reusable garbage bag that is waterproof, durable, washable and is made with recycled plastic. A reusable garbage bag to replace single-use plastics at home and at work.
Watch the TOMbag pitch video:
HATCH 2020 Pitch Event
The 2020 Program culminated in a fantastic online Pitch Event on Tuesday 10 November 2020. Check out the event recording below to hear from our passionate founders and learn about their brilliant initiatives to support us to all live a more sustainable life.