Hatching brilliant ideas for the planet.

Taronga is committed to conservation, and we believe innovation is a key part of securing a shared future for people and wildlife.

Hatch: Taronga Accelerator Program logo


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?

HATCH Pitch Event

If you missed our fantastic online Pitch Event that ran online on Tuesday 10 November 2020, or you simply want to relive the magic, you can now view the event recording!

This is your chance to hear from our passionate founders and learn about their brilliant initiatives to support us to all live a more sustainable life.

HATCH 2020 teams

We are delighted to announce the 2020 HATCH: Taronga Accelerator Program participants and initiatives! After a delay and restructure of program plans due to COVID-19, and a competitive national selection process, we selected ten passionate founders who are driving five exciting initiatives to address environmental issues. 

We are so excited to support these teams to progress their brilliant ideas for the planet. Check out their initiatives here, and follow us on LinkedIn to keep up to date with their HATCH journeys.

Every Drop

Every Drop logo

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

Follow the Every Drop LinkedIn

Follow the Every Drop Instagram

Watch the Every Drop pitch video:


Good-Edi logo

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 introductory video

Visit the Good-Edi website

Follow the Good-Edi Instagram

Watch the Good-Edi pitch video:


PoopLoop logo

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.

Co-founders: James Lyle, Samuel Hughes, James Chan and Sam Quinn

Watch the PoopLoop introductory video

Follow the PoopLoop LinkedIn

Follow the PoopLoop Instagram

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

Visit the RePlated website

Follow the RePlated Instagram

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.

Co-founders: Johnathan Pestano and Aleksandra Pestano

Visit the TOMbag website

Follow the TOMbag Instagram

Watch the TOMbag pitch video:

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 that you can attend from your home location, and a final pitch event.

HATCH program overview.
HATCH program overview.

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 present 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, 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
  • Co-working space during the program, subject to availability 

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
  • Early stage – 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 
  • Ideally it has potential to scale up for ever greater impact over time

Taronga's 360o approach to conservation

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

Key dates

View the key program dates

We are excited to confirm updated dates for the HATCH Program 2020!

Applications close5pm on Tuesday 9 June 2020
Application reviewJune 2020
Short-listed applications to provide additional informationEarly July 2020
Short-listed applicants panel interviewsSecond-half July 2020
Program participants confirmedEnd July 2020
Program welcome session (online)
5pm - 7pm Sydney time
Tuesday 11 August 2020
Immersive One - Day 1 (online)
Full day
Saturday 15 August 2020
Mentor introduction session (online)
5pm - 7pm Sydney time
Tuesday 18 August 2020
Immersive One - Day 2 (online)
Full day
Friday 21 August 2020
Weekly workshops (online)
Tuesdays 5pm - 7pm Sydney time
Tuesday 25 August to Tuesday 15 September 2020
Immersive Two - Day 1 (if run in-person, in Sydney)*
Full day
Friday 18 September 2020
Immersive Two - Day 2 (if run in-person, in Sydney) OR Day 1 (if run online)
Full day
Saturday 19 September 2020
Immersive Two - Day 2 (if run online)*
Full day
Tuesday 22 September 2020
Weekly workshops (online)
Tuesdays 5pm - 7pm Sydney time
Tuesday 29 September to Tuesday 3 November 2020 and Wednesday 4 November 2020
Pitch event run through (online)
Monday 9 November 2020
Pitch event (online)
Tuesday 10 November 2020

*We hope to bring all participants together at Taronga Zoo for Immersive Two, if the situation allows at that time. If we are unable to run the immersive in-person, it will be run online.

Eligibility criteria

  • Open to Australian citizens and permanent residents only
  • All applicants must be 18 years and over
  • Teams can be a maximum of 5 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 

Header photo: Shunsuke Ono

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

Alex de Aboitiz

Mentor and Investor

View Alex on LinkedIn

Andy Marks

Andy Marks

Positive Change: Impact Design, Social Enterprise, Climate Change & Sustainability Leadership

View Andy on LinkedIn

Bradley Delamare

Bradley Delamare

CEO, Investor and Mentor

View Bradley on LinkedIn

Craig Cowdrey

Craig Cowdrey

Co-founder & CEO at Sonder

View Craig on LinkedIn

David Chung

David Chung

Founding Director at Creo Legal

View David on LinkedIn

Francisco Caffarena

Francisco Caffarena

Investment Manager at BridgeLane Group

View Francisco on LinkedIn

Ian Roth

Ian Roth

Former Chief Veterinary Officer at NSW DPI

Taronga Conservation Society Australia Board Member

View Ian on LinkedIn

Jill Storey

Jill Storey

CEO ReadyFundGo | Non-Executive Director I Strategy, Innovation, Sustainability, Digital Disruption, CSR

View Jill on LinkedIn

John Sturt-Addicott

John Sturt-Addicott

Strategic Advisor | Sustainable business models and strategic planning for for-purpose organisations

View John on LinkedIn

Matt Gillam

Matt Gillam

Product & Engineering Leadership | Technology Strategy | Digital Transformation & Scale-Up

View Matt on LinkedIn

Lisa Miller

Lisa Miller

Founder at Team & Work | Former Head of Product at Canva

View Lisa on LinkedIn

Robyn Foyster

Robyn Foyster

Entrepreneur and Senior Media/Tech Executive

View Robyn on LinkedIn

Ryan Kaveney

Ryan Kaveney

Chief Financial Officer at Sonder

View Ryan on LinkedIn

Tim Middlemiss

Tim Middlemiss

Obama Foundation Leader: Asia Pacific - consulting on Social Impact | Strategic Communications | Creative Campaigns

View Tim on LinkedIn

Tim Silverwood

Tim Silverwood

Co-Founder at Ocean Impact Organisation | Former CEO of Take 3 for the Sea

View Tim on LinkedIn

Warren Bingham

Warren Bingham

Chairman | CEO | Adjunct Fellow | Ambassador | Motivational Speaker

View Warren on LinkedIn

Additional information

Frequently asked questions

Interested in the HATCH program and want to know more? Keen to apply but have a few burning questions?

HATCH newsletter

Sign up to the HATCH mailing list to receive important information and updates to your inbox.

Success stories

Taronga has supported innovative conservation ideas since 2011 through our Green Grants program. Read about our past winners and the great work they are doing to support the conservation of our environment.