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?

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 logo

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

Sine Surf

Sine Surf logo

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.

Co-Founders: Emile Theau and Alastair Pilley


Spottr logo

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

The Pedal Club logo

The Pedal Club is a kids bike subscription service seeking to provide parents with a more flexible, convenient and sustainable alternative to buying children's bicycles and in turn reducing bike waste globally.

Founders: Fergus Woollcombe and Edward Womersley


Visible logo

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.

Co-Founders: Sacha Kenyon, George Barnes and Marty Wirth


Xylo Systems

Xylo Systems logo

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

Cameron Kerr

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

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

Andy Marks

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

Alexandra Holcomb

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

Adam Ferrier

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.

HATCH program overview and structure

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

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

Eligibility criteria

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 openOnlineWednesday 31 March 2021
Applications closeOnline5pm on Tuesday 11 May 2021
Applications reviewOnlineMay - June 2021
Short-listed applications to provide additional informationOnlineEarly June 2021
Short-listed applicants panel interviewsVia video conferenceMonday 21 and Wednesday 23 June 2021
Program participants confirmedOnlineEnd June 2021

Program welcome session 

(5pm - 7pm Sydney time)

OnlineTuesday 20 July 2021
Immersive One (in-person)Taronga Zoo SydneyThursday 22 July to Saturday 24 July 2021
Immersive One (online*)Online

4 x half day sessions:

  • Friday 23 July 2021
  • Saturday 24 July 2021
  • Friday 30 July 2021
  • Saturday 31 July 2021

Mentor introduction session

(5pm - 7pm Sydney time)

OnlineTuesday 27 July 2021

Weekly workshops

(5pm - 7pm Sydney time)

OnlineTuesday 3 August to Tuesday 31 August 2021
Immersive Two (in-person)Taronga Zoo SydneyWednesday 1 September (night) to Friday 3 September 2021
Immersive Two (online*)Online

4 x half day sessions:

  • Thursday 2 September 2021
  • Friday 3 September 2021
  • Friday 10 September 2021
  • Saturday 11 September 2021

Weekly workshops

(5pm - 7pm Sydney time)

OnlineTuesday 7 September to Tuesday 19 October 2021
Pitch event preparation, judging and public pitch eventTaronga Zoo SydneyWednesday 27 October to Thursday 28 October 2021

Public pitch event


Taronga Zoo Sydney and onlineThursday 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 Fryday

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.

View Danielle on LinkedIn

Tom Allen - Entrepreneur in Residence

Tom Allen

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.

View Tom on LinkedIn

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

Julie Alexander

Julie Alexander

Culture, business performance & people change specialist | MC & speaker, facilitator & trainer | Leadership & exec coach

View Julie on LinkedIn

Warren Bingham

Warren Bingham

Chairman | CEO | Adjunct Fellow | Ambassador | Motivational Speaker

View Warren on LinkedIn

Francisco Caffarena

Francisco Caffarena

Investment Manager at BridgeLane Group

View Francisco on LinkedIn

David Chung

David Chung

Founding Director at Creo Legal

View David on LinkedIn

Tanya Christie

Tanya Christie

Tax Queen | Techie | AI Enthusiast

View Tanya on LinkedIn.

Jack Dean

Jack Dean

R&D Tax Consultant at Fullstack Advisory

View Jack on LinkedIn.

Bradley Delamare

Bradley Delamare

CEO, Investor and Mentor

View Bradley on LinkedIn

Robyn Foyster

Robyn Foyster

Entrepreneur and Senior Media/Tech Executive

View Robyn on LinkedIn

Matt Gillam

Matt Gillam

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

View Matt on LinkedIn

Jarod Green

Jarod Green

Founder Partner & Director at Rad

View Jarod on LinkedIn

Kylie Green

Kylie Green

Founder & Director at The Lime Agency

View Kylie on LinkedIn

Lachlan Harris

Lachlan Harris

Co-Founder at Remediator | Founder & CEO of RevTech Media

View Lachlan 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

Luke Mills

Luke Mills

Senior Associate, Clean Energy Innovation Fund

View Luke on LinkedIn

Stuart Reynolds

Stuart Reynolds

Founder & CEO at Fullstack Advisory.

View Stuart on LinkedIn.

Ian Roth

Ian Roth

Former Chief Veterinary Officer at NSW DPI

Taronga Conservation Society Australia Board Member

View Ian on LinkedIn

Tim Silverwood

Tim Silverwood

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

View Tim 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

Ellie Sursara

Ellie Sursara

Biologist and Science Communicator

View Ellie on LinkedIn

David Taylor

David Taylor

Operations and Business Development at Macchina Volantis.

View David on LinkedIn.

Kristin Vaughan

Kristin Vaughan

Director - Innovation Fund at Clean Energy Finance Corporation

View Kristin on LinkedIn

Dr Julie Vonwiller

Dr Julie Vonwiller

Director of Vonwiller Foundation.

Read more about Julie.

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

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:


Poop Loop 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 logo

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 logo

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:

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.

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

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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.