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Meet the winning startups to join EY accelerator program



(From left: Belinda Cheng, EY Foundry Leader; Danielle Owen Whitford from Pioneera; Elliott Young, EY Foundry Manager; Eden Spencer from Block 2; James Walker from thedocyard; Ivan Cheah from Blockledger; Steven Coffey from thedocyard; Gina Mills, EY Asia-Pacific Tax Innovation Director; Max Frank, EY Foundry; and Jon Dobell, EY Asia-Pacific Tax Innovation Leader)

Startup

By Loren Webb

EY (formally Ernst & Young) recently announced four winning start-ups that have secured their place in the firms accelerator program, targeted towards early stage start-ups in the accounting, tax, fintech, legal tech and regulatory sector.

EY Foundry was established in November 2018 and gives the winners a six-month residency at EY’s Sydney office.

During their residency each start-up will receive $120,000 worth of Microsoft Azure credits to help with develop their technology stack as well as a tailored learning program based on deep EY insights of the business world and a wealth of experience from technology collaborators.

Eight shortlisted start-ups pitched their business ideas to a panel of EY leaders to secure their place in the program.

The four winning startups to begin residency with the EY Foundry program in Sydney are:

  • Block 2: a platform designed to solve underemployment and skills shortages
  • Block Ledger: an AI powered accounting platform with blockchain capabilities
  • thedocyard: a platform for secure, auditable, and digital delivery of complex projects
  • Pioneera: an AI platform to reduce workplace stress and risk taking behaviour

Jon Dobell, EY Asia-Pacific Tax Innovation Leader said “Collaboration between the start-up sector and corporate community can be a key contributor to innovation and growth and we are pleased to be drawing upon our experience to provide guidance, access to industry insights and networking opportunities to scale their business.

“We were very impressed with the high-calibre of start-ups that applied for EY Foundry and look forward to supporting our next cohort on their journey through the program.”

The announcement builds on the success of the 2018 pilot program and the EY Foundry Singapore which was launched in July 2019, demonstrating EY’s commitment to supporting start-ups and collaborating with third parties to bring innovative technology solutions to the market.

Emily Rich, Managing Director of Microsoft for Startups in Australia, New Zealand and South East Asia said, “The startup ecosystem across Asia-Pacific is thriving and Microsoft is delighted to support the EY Foundry in Sydney and Singapore to help the participants scale-up and become enterprise-ready. 

“It’s exciting to see the next cohort being selected in Sydney, and to watch what they will achieve with the dedicated support of the EYFoundry team.”


Eden Spencer, Founder & CEO of Block Two Pty Ltd

“Joining the EY Foundry is a huge achievement and milestone for us, and will help us to scale our business and take our solution to market with support from a large, global firm.

“What attracted us to the EY Foundry was the ability to collaborate with a multi-faceted team of experts to facilitate market activation, scale our business leveraging their significant expertise and global market insights and gain access to a comprehensive and diverse international network.”

Ivan Cheah, Founder & CEO of Block Ledger

“Being accepted into EY Foundry not only opens doors and networks for us, but also reaffirms that our blockchain and machine learning/AI technologies will be the future of how we do business. We hope to accelerate adoption and awareness with EY’s help.”

Danielle Owen Whitford, CEO and Founder of Pioneera

“The genuine opportunity for partnership was something that attracted us to EY Foundry and we look forward to gaining access to industry skills and networks while sharing insights from our journey and experience as a tech start-up.

“We believe our AI platform is very scalable and feel the size and scale of EY will be able to assist us with our growth ambitions.”

James Walker, Non-executive Chairman of thedocyard said:

“thedocyard is proud to be a part of this year’s EY Foundry cohort and we look forward to working with them to grow our deal tech business. 

“What attracted us to the program is the access to expert corporate and tech insights as well as networking opportunities across the Asia Pacific as we look to scale our operations.”

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