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Seed Funding to Kick Start Young Entrepreneurs


Monday, 31st October 2016 at 1:47 pm
Lina Caneva, Editor
Eight young social changemakers will share in more than $70,000 in seed funding after winning pitches as part of the Young Social Pioneers incubator program.


Monday, 31st October 2016
at 1:47 pm
Lina Caneva, Editor


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Seed Funding to Kick Start Young Entrepreneurs
Monday, 31st October 2016 at 1:47 pm

Eight young social changemakers will share in more than $70,000 in seed funding after winning pitches as part of the Young Social Pioneers incubator program.

The winning entrepreneurs were part of 60 young people who have spent over three months learning from industry and business leaders about how to turbocharge their venture through the Foundation for Young Australians (FYA) Young Social Pioneers (YSP) incubator.

FYA CEO Jan Owen said that the PitchUp event was a celebratory end to the incubator program.

“This year’s winners represent the best and brightest young innovators, entrepreneurs and thought leaders across the country – rethinking the world and solving tomorrow’s problems today. That’s what YSP is all about,” Owen said.

“Our judges at this year’s event were impressed by the calibre of all pioneers, the quality of their pitches and depth of their passion. After more than three months of intensive workshops, training and study, these young entrepreneurs are ready to take their ventures to the next level. We can’t wait to see what that looks like.”

Owen said YSP was Australia’s only incubator for Australia’s emerging social innovators, entrepreneurs, intrapreneurs and changemakers aged 18 to 29. By backing talented young changemakers to develop, test and scale their ventures, the program provides an important launching pad to turn ideas into reality.

The 2016 program was made possible by the support of key corporate and philanthropic partners including, PwC, Betty Amsden OAM, The Dyson Bequest, Creative Partnerships Australia, UBS, Nelson Meers Foundation, Mutual Trust, The Wilson Foundation and The Lord Mayor’s Charitable Foundation.

FYI group

Melbourne cohort of entrepreneurs 2016

2016 YSP Winners projects:

Mia Falstein-Rush – Winner, Arts supported by Betty Amsden AO, Nelson Meers Foundation, Creative Partnerships Australia

Mia Falstein-Rush, 27, began Seen & Heard Melbourne, which aims to redress the industry biases for women behind the camera, focusing on the film industry, with an online platform that will screen both short and feature length films made by women.

Victor Zhang – Winner, Education supported by UBS

Victor Zhang, 18, co-founded Generation Entrepreneur (also his YSP project) which is a not-for-profit social organisation that runs weekend events where high school students are empowered to launch a startup, social venture or project they are passionate about. The events bring together some of Australia’s leading mentors from the startup, education and business community to support students.

Usman Iftikhar – Winner, Open supported by Mutual Trust

Usman Iftikhar is a 26 year old from Sydney. His project Catalysr is a startup incubator working with exceptional individuals from migrant and refugee backgrounds, by supporting them to break down barriers to employment and starting their own businesses.

Dimitri Vidin – Winner, Sustainability supported by Lord Mayor’s Charitable Foundation

Twenty-two-year-old Dimitri Vidin’s project addresses the problem of non-biodegradable synthetic rubber found in tennis balls. It provides an alternative, renewable input source for manufacturers and empower consumer and the sporting bodies to manage their waste.Vidin is a professional tennis player.

Ally Watson – Winner, STEM supported by PwC

Ally Watson”s project Code Like a Girl is a small initiative with big ambitions to inspire females into careers in coding and leadership roles within the tech industry. Code Like a Girl has an online community of women and hosts free events around Melbourne with a focus on celebrating women in the local tech-industry.

Murrawah Johnson – Winner, Environment supported by The Dyson Bequest

Murrawah Johnson is a Wirdi woman hailing from the broader Birragubba peoples of Central and North Queensland. She comes from Wangan and Jagalingou country and is a spokesperson, community organiser and campaigner for the Wangan & Jagalingou Traditional Owners Family Council who are fighting to stop the Adani Carmichael coal mine proposed on their traditional country.

Laura Pintur – Winner, Youth Mental Health supported by The Wilson Foundation

Laura is a 24 year old from Melbourne. Her project What’s Normal aims to engage and educate young people about what is currently being normalised in regards to pornogrpahy, sex, relationships and success.

Zoie Carroll – Winner, Youth Mental Health supported by The Wilson Foundation

Zoie Carroll from Queensland is the founder of Zottie Dottie, an online platform that shares video content to reduce the stigma surrounding mental health. The videos focus on inspiring individuals who have overcome adversity and organisations who are making a positive social impact.


Lina Caneva  |  Editor |  @ProBonoNews

Lina Caneva has been a journalist for more than 35 years, and Editor of Pro Bono Australia News since it was founded in 2000.

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