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Google Awards Millions to Groups Harnessing Technology For Change


2 November 2018 at 5:50 pm
Maggie Coggan
Australia’s top not for profits and social enterprises are celebrating after winning millions of dollars in prize money for their use of technology to make a social difference.


Maggie Coggan | 2 November 2018 at 5:50 pm


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Google Awards Millions to Groups Harnessing Technology For Change
2 November 2018 at 5:50 pm

Australia’s top not for profits and social enterprises are celebrating after winning millions of dollars in prize money for their use of technology to make a social difference.

Google divided $5.5 million between finalists and winners of its 2018 Impact Challenge, with groups pitching their ideas to a panel of judges featuring Professor Alan Finkel AO and Professor Tom Calma.

The winning ideas ranged from an app helping people with disability find a suitable carer, databases assisting NFPs to track impact, an anxiety reducing app, to a humanitarian ticketing platform.

The four winners Xceptional, Humanitix, Orange Sky Laundry and Hireup each received a $1 million grant, as well as training through a Google partnership, while each of the remaining finalists were awarded $250,000.

Winners of the challenge

Jordan O’Reilly, CEO of Hireup, a service that helps people with disability find support workers with similar interests through an app, said the company had always seen technology as a way to create social change.  

“We’ve always seen technology as a vehicle for driving positive social change so it’s an incredible honour to be recognised as a leading social impact organisation creating a better future through technology,” O’Reilly said.

Adam McCurdie and Joshua Ross, founders of the NFP ticketing platform Humanitix which redirects booking fees for events to charities said they would use the grant money to scale the business into global markets, and improve the platform for users.  

“This will ultimately improve the lives of millions of disadvantaged communities around the world,” they said.

They also said they were passionate about making live events more accessible for people with disability, and would work with Google to further Humanitix’ cognitive technologies, to make them leaders in this market.

“It’s incredibly exciting to have access to Google’s intel and global cognitive technologies to continue improving on making the overall experience of attending a live event easy and accessible for everyone,” they said.

A full list of the finalists and winners can be found here.


Maggie Coggan  |  Journalist  |  @MaggieCoggan

Maggie Coggan is a journalist at Pro Bono News covering the social sector.

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