Australian startups form Envirotech Alliance in wake of climate crisis

From left to right: Carola Jonas CEO of Everty, Matisse Walkden-Brown of Launch Group, Grant McDowell Founder of Spark Club, Dr Katherine Woodthorpe AO, Nicole O'Brien CEO of Fishburners, Bill Barden COO of Enosi. Photo by Jamie Andrei, Bake.

Startup | Tech

By Momoko Metham

A community of Australian startups have partnered up to establish the Envirotech Alliance, an initiative focused on creating scalable solutions to help protect the environment and tackle climate change.

Led by technology advocacy body TechSydney, the Envirotech Alliance is a partnership with SparkClub, a community of energy tech professionals and founders, Fishburners, Australia’s largest startup community, Launch Group, a leading startup communications agency and women’s technology movement, Girl Geek Academy. 

The Alliance brings together hundreds of professionals and founders of startups focused on building businesses with positive environmental impacts in the wake of Australia’s catastrophic bushfires and floods.

Fleur Brown, Director of TechSydney, said “There are so many enthusiastic founders working in this space and our aim is to generate community support for their efforts whilst encouraging more founders and investors into the space.”

Brown said the initiative was an obvious step to support the growing shift towards climate impact-specific work as the world confronts the challenges of climate change.

“Technology has a crucial role to play in addressing the climate crisis effects and solutions and our community is in a unique position to be able to accelerate the impact of those solutions,” said Brown. 

The Envirotech Alliance will host regular meetups, create focused forums and a community platform for government advocacy around support for Australian-grown environmental technology solutions.

They will focus on exchanging ideas, tips and survival techniques whilst providing a support network to those in the envirotech industry who are trying to pave a way for sustainable business solutions.

Spark Club founder, Grant McDowell, said energy tech is a fast-growing market in Australia, particularly as renewable energy uptake increases.

“Australia’s high electricity prices, great solar and wind resources, world renowned university engineering departments and broken energy policy create the perfect petri dish for leading energy tech to emerge,” said McDowell.

Fishburners has committed to hosting the Envirotech Alliance for their regular meetups at its Sydney CBD premises, as the non-profit organisation steps up its commitment to supporting impact entrepreneurs.

Fishburners Chair, Dr Katherine Woodthorpe AO, said “Tech and innovation is key to finding our way out of this global environmental crisis and as Australia’s largest startup community, we have a significant role to play in that.”

Fishburners, which supports more than 350 founders nationally, estimates that as many as 15 per cent of their current startups are focused on environmental and sustainability solutions.

The first Envirotech Alliance meet-up will be held on 17 March 2020.

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