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.
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
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
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.
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
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.
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.
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
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
View the key program dates
We are excited to confirm updated dates for the HATCH Program 2020!
|Applications close||5pm on Tuesday 9 June 2020|
|Application review||June 2020|
|Short-listed applications to provide additional information||Early July 2020|
|Short-listed applicants panel interviews||Second-half July 2020|
|Program participants confirmed||End July 2020|
|Program welcome session (online)|
5pm - 7pm Sydney time
|Tuesday 11 August 2020|
|Immersive One - Day 1 (online)|
|Saturday 15 August 2020|
|Mentor introduction session (online)|
5pm - 7pm Sydney time
|Tuesday 18 August 2020|
|Immersive One - Day 2 (online)|
|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)*|
|Friday 18 September 2020|
|Immersive Two - Day 2 (if run in-person, in Sydney) OR Day 1 (if run online)|
|Saturday 19 September 2020|
|Immersive Two - Day 2 (if run online)*|
|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.
- 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
Mentor and Investor
Positive Change: Impact Design, Social Enterprise, Climate Change & Sustainability Leadership
CEO, Investor and Mentor
Co-founder & CEO at Sonder
Founding Director at Creo Legal
Investment Manager at BridgeLane Group
Former Chief Veterinary Officer at NSW DPI
Taronga Conservation Society Australia Board Member
CEO ReadyFundGo | Non-Executive Director I Strategy, Innovation, Sustainability, Digital Disruption, CSR
Strategic Advisor | Sustainable business models and strategic planning for for-purpose organisations
Product & Engineering Leadership | Technology Strategy | Digital Transformation & Scale-Up
Founder at Team & Work | Former Head of Product at Canva
Entrepreneur and Senior Media/Tech Executive
Chief Financial Officer at Sonder
Obama Foundation Leader: Asia Pacific - consulting on Social Impact | Strategic Communications | Creative Campaigns
Co-Founder at Ocean Impact Organisation | Former CEO of Take 3 for the Sea
Chairman | CEO | Adjunct Fellow | Ambassador | Motivational Speaker