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January 2019

launchgroup.com.au > Blog > 2019 > January
29 Jan

Startup Talent Gap Report: Five Roles Key to Growth of Australia’s Startup Ecosystem

by launch-admin Jan 29, 2019 0 News

Startup Talent Gap Report: Five Roles Key to Growth of Australia’s Startup Ecosystem
StartupAUS report reveals skills gap in Australian technology market, with international comparisons highlighting trends and global competition

Australia, 26 July 2018: Five key roles have been identified as growth multipliers for Australia’s startup ecosystem, according to the Startup Talent Gap report released today by StartupAUS, Australia’s peak national advocacy group for startups.

StartupAUS produced the report in collaboration with Microsoft, University of Technology Sydney (UTS) and Google, with its official launch taking place at Fishburners on the evening of 26 July 2018.

Key findings reveal where the talent shortage sits, with the following roles identified as immediate critical skills gaps:
  • Coders – including full stack developers, front-end, back-end, and mobile
  • Startup-focused sales roles – account managers and business development managers
  • User experience (UX) designers

Additionally, the following roles were identified as emerging skills gaps in the Australian market:
  • Product managers
  • Data scientists                   


The report combined surveys of and in-depth interviews with 23 successful scale-up founders with a custom LinkedIn data set looking at roles and hiring among young Australian tech firms. Results were then measured against hiring patterns from international peers including New Zealand, Canada and Finland, alongside data from countries with top-tier technology ecosystems, including the US, Germany and Israel.

StartupAUS COO Alex Gruszka says there are two key ways to inject talent into our startup ecosystem – education and migration – but warns that Australian startups are not just competing with each other, but also battling it out with the world’s most promising young companies and global tech firms.


“The Startup Talent Gap report uses a data-driven approach to identify the highly-skilled, high-impact roles that can trigger high-growth in businesses and are proving difficult to fill. We analysed what top founders across the country told us they were looking for in their businesses, and cross-referenced that with broader hiring trends visible in aggregated data provided by LInkedIn. We found that some roles were in universal demand across the globe, while some niche technology roles were in high demand in more advanced ecosystems, but not yet in Australia. This gives us an excellent insight into not only what are the key skills gaps in the Australian technology sector today, but also what skills will be in high demand in the near future.

“Education is our medium-term solution.  It’s critical to identify these skills gaps and pinpoint the most immediately in-demand jobs in the technology space, so we can generate a local talent pool that is equipped with the skills and expertise that will be valuable to our fastest growing businesses. We also need to consider how we can make Australia as attractive and open as possible in the short-term to entice this coveted talent to our shores, considering the race to sign them is globally competitive,” said Mr Gruszka.

Professor Margaret Maile Petty, UTS Executive Director, Innovation and Entrepreneurship said “With education being key to equipping our future workforce, at UTS we believe pairing disciplinary depth with enterprise skills is critical for producing the quality graduates the startup ecosystem needs. And this is not just what our students need, it’s what they want. With 40 per cent of them wanting to create their own ventures, we are implementing a number of initiatives to support them. This includes our recently signed partnership with Fishburners to place students in startup internships – bridging the gap between learning and doing. We have also introduced future-facing degrees centred on solving real life industry problems, like the Bachelor of Transdisciplinary Innovation.

“How successfully we overcome the talent gap will depend on how quickly we can adapt our education system. At UTS we know we can’t do this without close collaboration with industry and the startup ecosystem. We are committed to forging new and innovative partnerships that will allow us to bridge the talent gap – together,” said Mrs Petty.

The report revealed that product – the technical position which controls the creation, iteration and development of the core products of the business – is the most pressing focus for scale-ups, featuring as an important role in every category, and dominating overall talent conversations. Given the clear prominence of product in terms of the difficulty of past hires, this is a role that startups prioritise early.                                                


Data science also featured strongly as a present and future area of business concern. Very early stage startups lack capital for non-core employee roles and have smaller datasets, making data science an expensive luxury. However, as they start to scale, the organisation has both more users and more ability to hire, leading to data analysis as a tempting strategic option.

Despite a focus on data science and product management in the conversations with Australian scale-up founders, ‘product manager’ and ‘data scientist’ roles did not feature in Australia’s LinkedIn data results, as it did in the data for the international counterparts. This indicates that Australia’s ecosystem is not as mature as some of the global comparisons. The scale-up founders focus on the importance of these roles is a lead indicator that demand for data and product roles is set to increase substantially.

Despite the focus on newer, startup-specific skills, there is still strong recognition of the value of traditional business roles. Sales and marketing are two of the top three components cited as important for reaching the scale-up phase. While these roles are not specified as difficult to hire, startup-focused sales and marketing roles are distinct from their counterparts, with the key skills gap centering on technical ability. The data suggests that closing this skills gap could offer significant growth potential for businesses looking to hire in these important roles.

“This report brings much needed balance to the discussion around the future of work.  Whilst we acknowledge there is much to be done to help workers in disrupted industries transition into new roles, it is also incredibly important that we shine a light on where those jobs of the future are, and the pathways to getting these exciting and rewarding roles,” said Steven Worrall, Microsoft Managing Director. “The report’s finding that sales and marketing are crucial to start-ups is no surprise to Microsoft and is one of the key areas of support Microsoft offers to its Scale-Up program participants.”

Anil Sabharwal, Vice President of Photos and Communications at Google added “Demand for software engineering expertise has created a highly competitive global market for talent. Google sees the potential to build on our strong local presence and emerging Australian engineering talent to develop teams here in Australia – but to do that we have to be able to draw on global digital skills. The markets that make that easy will have an edge creating new jobs and attracting the people we need to build the companies of the future.”    


The largest volume of job postings in the Australian cohort were for technical roles, with nine out of the top 15 most advertised positions being for developers, software engineers and UX/UI roles. This was mirrored in the international data which  highlights sustained high levels of demand for tech skills globally. It is clear that for those early stage businesses with fewer than 200 employees, a pipeline of STEM talent is critical.

As Australia’s high-growth tech ecosystem matures and more startups continue to scale, it is likely that their demand will begin to mirror the experience of the scale-up founders studied for this research. If so, Australia will see a shift in its talent gap, moving more in line with our international peers.



29 Jan

New Kombucha with first-of-its-kind Probiotic: Bacillus Coagulans

by launch-admin Jan 29, 2019 0 News

New Kombucha with first-of-its-kind Probiotic: Bacillus Coagulans
Australia’s health drink innovation is here to shake up booming kombucha market

5 Things You NEED to Know about Nexba’s Kombucha:
  1. First-of-its-kind bacteria that survives the journey to your gut so you can reap the full health benefits
  2. Naturally Sugar Free (no sugar, nothing artificial), lactose free, GMO free, BPA free and vegan friendly
  3. Made with over 500 million probiotics
  4. Available in Elderflower & Lemon, Cinnamon & Lime & Mixed Berry.
  5. Available in Woolworths nationwide

A Closer Look
Kombucha is experiencing an unprecedented boom in the beverage market as more health conscious Aussies are ditching sugar-laden soft drinks for healthier alternatives. Australia has seen a 700% increase in kombucha sales within the last 2 years. This translates to a whopping 173.8% growth rate in consumer choice for choosing kombucha over sugary carbonated beverages and is forecasted to experience a further 25% growth year on year.

Australian beverage pioneers, Nexba have formulated a first-to-market kombucha that uses a unique strain of smart & robust probiotic specifically designed to survive the treacherous pH conditions of your stomach. This means that the probiotic actually reaches the gut so the consumer can enjoy the substantial benefits of maintaining a healthy balance of good bacteria. Probiotics have been proven to boost immunity, lower cholesterol and reduce symptoms of eczema.

This wonder probiotic – Bacillus Coagulans – is unlike other probiotic’s of its kind as it is encased in a protective outer shell which enables it to reach where it’s needed to make a visible health difference. Bacillus coagulans can survive the harsh digestive process and populate the colon at a 30% higher rate than other probiotics. These gut buddies can also survive higher temperatures than most common probiotics on the market and can be consumed at room temperature, making this the ideal option for maintaining your gut on the go!

Nexba also brew their Kombucha for 40 days to ensure that all the sugar has been consumed during the fermentation period. The average brewing time is 7-30 days.

The Nexba Kombucha range is available in Elderflower & Lemon, Cinnamon & Lime and Mixed Berry at Woolworths nationwide. RRP: $8-8.45


29 Jan

NEW First-of-its-kind Probiotic Water: Nexba Australian innovation that actually reaches your gut

by launch-admin Jan 29, 2019 0 News

NEW First-of-its-kind Probiotic Water:
Nexba Australian innovation that actually reaches your gut

9 October 2018:

5 Things You NEED to Know about Nexba Probiotix:
  1. Finally a probiotic water that survives the journey to your gut so you can reap the full health benefits
  2. Supports a stronger immune system and better digestion
  3. Naturally Sugar Free (No sugar, nothing artificial), lactose free, GMO free, BPA free and vegan friendly
  4. Made with over a billion probiotics
  5. Available at Chemist Warehouse from 8th October

A Closer Look
A healthy gut isn’t always easy to conceptualise, let alone maintain, but Nexba have got us covered. Australia’s leading Naturally Sugar Free brand is launching a range of probiotic waters to deliver the very best in gut health but with no hidden nasties – added sugar, artificial sweeteners, flavours, colours or preservatives – the whole shebang.

Nexba probiotic water drink uses a unique strain of smart & robust probiotic specifically designed to survive the treacherous pH conditions of your stomach and actually reach the gut, so you can enjoy all its nourishing benefits and maintain a healthy balance of good bacteria. Probiotics have been proven to boost immunity, lower cholesterol and reduce symptoms of eczema.

Evidence shows the most common form of probiotic on the market, Lactobacillus, is destroyed by gastric acid before it has a chance to germinate and restore your gut bacteria to optimal levels. Nexba Probiotix enjoys a probiotic that is encased in a protective outer shell which enables it to reach where it’s needed to make a visible health difference. These babies are invincible.

The gut is closely connected to the brain – surprising, we know – and studies have shown that an imbalance of bacteria is associated with Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease and even schizophrenia. Bad bacteria in the gut also produces the chemical responsible for weak blood vessels in your brain, which can cause strokes and seizures, a condition affecting every 1 in 100 people today. In fact, 80% of your immune system is located in the digestive tract! Probiotics are so integral to the delicate balancing act of maintaining gut health because each of the 1000 species of bacteria play an integral role in your overall well-being. Your body is made up of around 40 trillion bacterial cells and only 30 trillion of human cells – so don’t ignore your gut health!

As with all Nexba products the Probiotic Water range features Nexba’s proprietary Natural Sweetener blend of erythritol – epic tasting natural sugar produced by fermentation of fruits and vegetables  – and stevia. This is combined with purified water, natural flavours and A LOT of the star of the show, the probiotic Bacillus Coagulans – billions to be exact – to deliver the ultimate probiotic water.

The Nexba Probiotix range will be available first at Chemist Warehouse in Mango, Citrus and Watermelon & Strawberry flavours.


29 Jan

Let the good times be gin… Nexba launches Naturally Sugar Free tonic water range. No Sugar, Nothing Artificial.

by launch-admin Jan 29, 2019 0 News

Let the good times be gin… Nexba launches Naturally Sugar Free
tonic water range. No Sugar, Nothing Artificial.

10 September 2018:

5 Things You Need to Know
  1. No ‘Diet’ smokescreen here – Nexba is ‘Naturally Sugar Free’ i.e.100% sugar AND artificial free.
  2. The average 330ml tonic = 30g or 7.5tsp of sugar. FYI 330ml Coke has 36g or 9tsp of sugar.
  3. Nexba has less that 9 calories per bottle. Most other tonic water have 80-90 calories per bottle.
  4. Comes in 3 ‘I’m winning at life’ flavours: Classic, Lime/Cucumber/Mint, Cranberry/Hibiscus.
  5. Available at Coles nationwide.

Why should I care?
We all know that your mixer makes up approximately ¾ of your drink so yes we should care! When we say ‘natural’, we mean no artificial flavours, colours or preservatives and certainly no GMO ingredients. Did you know that the average 330ml tonic water contains 30g or 7.5tsp of sugar!? But with 0g sugar, less than 9 calories per bottle, only natural ingredients and the perfect tangy bitterness of a premium tonic water, you can now finally enjoy a kickass cocktail (or mocktail) without being shaken or stirred by sugar content.

Exclusive Colab with The Margarita Mum
We teamed up with The Margarita Mum (@the_margarita_mum – 46K Insta followers) to create an exclusive mocktail recipe so when life gives you grapefruits make a NANS Grapefruit Tipple! NANS = Nothing artificial, no sugar. The Margarita Mum a.k.a ‘Rhonda Rita’ is not your typical mixologist, she is a full-time working mum who joined the worldwide phenomenon of home cocktail enthusiasts known as ‘Drinkstagrammers’. Rhonda has paired our tonics with the best natural ingredients to help you get ready to cheers your way – guilt-free – into spring!

But how do you do it?
I know what you’re thinking, how do we manage all this and still keep it sugar free? All our tonic waters are naturally sweetened with Nexba’s proprietary natural sweetener blend, which contains Erythitol and Stevia leaf extract and a bit of magic. Erythritol is 100% natural and super low-calorie food. Unlike artificial sweeteners, which are man-made and synthetic, Erythritol appears naturally in foods such as pears, melons, grapes and mushrooms. We combine this with dried stevia leaves which are steeped in hot water to extract glycosides: the sweet-tasting parts of the leaf.

A little note from the brains behind the beauty…
We’re so excited about the launch of our new naturally sugar free tonic waters, this product has been a long time in the making and we are proud to provide our customers with a guilt-free answer to everyone’s favourite cocktails and summer beverages’Drew Bilbe, Nexba Co-Founder.

“I am blown away by the new range of Nexba Naturally Sugar Free tonics. They are absolutely delicious and don’t have the artificial taste that you find with some sugar free sodas. I am so excited to have found a guilt free Tonic that is just perfect for creating mocktails and of course, mixing up a refreshing G&T. Salud!” – The Margarita Mum, @the_margarita_mum.


29 Jan

Australian beverage leader responds to Fed Gov Sugar Labelling Consultation: Calls for clear identification of artificial sweeteners

by launch-admin Jan 29, 2019 0 News

Australian beverage leader responds to Fed Gov Sugar Labelling Consultation:
Calls for clear identification of artificial sweeteners

13 July 2018: Australian beverage manufacturer, Nexba Beverages strongly agrees with the Australia and New Zealand Ministerial Forum on Food Regulation that current information about sugar provided on food labels in Australia and New Zealand does not enable consumers to make informed choices in support of dietary guidelines.

Nexba Co-Founder Troy Douglas said food labels provide limited information about which foods contain added sugars and consumers are confused. A recent national consumer study found that 60 per cent of people are aligned with a naturally sugar-free ethos – saying they are either concerned or very concerned about their own and/or their family’s sugar consumption.   The research also highlighted there is poor understanding about how many spoonfuls of sugar are in the average 375ml can of soft drink.

There are nine spoonfuls of sugar in the average soft drink, according to Australia’s Department of Health, but only 3 per cent of Australian respondents correctly stated this, with estimates varying from 500 to zero.  The majority of guesses were at the lower end of the spectrum – with over half of respondents underestimating the amount.

Mr Douglas said he specifically supports the below options suggested in the report:

Option 3: Changes of statement of ingredients. This will overtly identify sugars-based ingredients so consumers can clearly and accurately  identify high-sugar foods. SugarScience says there are actually 61 names for sugar. Overtly identifying these makes the nutritional analysis of foods much easier.

Option 4: Added sugars quantified in NIP. This will only be effective if it is enhanced with added contextual information e.g. High/Medium/Low score or a traffic light system. This will then support the conceptualisation of abstract information, which research shows consumers currently struggle with.

Option 5: Advisory labels for foods high in added sugars. This is a great initiative but we must be careful not to become a ‘nanny state’ and demonise the joy of food and drink. Initiatives should focus on giving consumers as much information as possible so they can be free to make an informed and unjudged choice. Chile has recently implemented this for goods with over 10g of added sugar per 100g.  

Option 6: Pictorial labelling. For example visually displaying teaspoons of sugar. This is key as it reduces the reliance on numerical information, which is proven to be difficult to understand. What’s more this is a great tool for educating children in the consumption of sugar and – ultimately – shaping lifelong habits.  

However Mr Douglas urges the Australia and New Zealand Ministerial Forum on Food Regulation to consider two other additional variables.

1)     Beware of the Sugar-Free Smokescreen: We must focus on naturally sugar-free, not just sugar-free, as the latter runs the risk of championing a solution which has the unintended effect of creating a very unhealthy side industry of artificially sweetened products. Studies show artificial sweeteners are strongly linked to carcinogenic outcomes.

2) Encourage product innovation through a GST / tax exemption: This could be a genuine, viable solution to Australia’s diabetes and obesity epidemic. Taste and quality remain challenges in the sugar-free space and will only be overcome with the right kind of R&D and innovation efforts. GST exemptions already exist for certain food and beverage products. A GST exemption on natural and no-sugar products would allow the government to be at the vanguard of commercially supporting businesses to innovate and create Naturally Sugar Free alternatives – a potentially global economic opportunity, and world-leading health initiative.


29 Jan

National Diabetes Week: It’s About Time

by launch-admin Jan 29, 2019 0 News

National Diabetes Week: It’s About Time

9 July 2018: This years National Diabetes Week continues the “It’s About Time” theme, reinforcing the need to detect all types of diabetes earlier, and take preventative measures seriously before it’s too late. National Diabetes week is nationally recognised and will run from the 9-15th July.

Recent statistics from the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare state that the prevalence of diabetes (based on self-reported data) has tripled between 1989–90 and 2014–15.


Diabetes Australia supports this and adds further shocking statistics such as:
  • Around 1.7 million Australians have diabetes.
  • 280 Australians develop diabetes every day. That’s one person every five minutes
  • More than 100,000 Australians have developed diabetes in the past year.
  • Total annual cost impact of diabetes in Australia estimated at $14.6 billion.
  • Diabetes is the leading cause of preventable blindness in Australia.
  • There are more than 4,400 amputations every year in Australia as a result of diabetes.
  • Diabetes is the fastest growing chronic condition in Australia; increasing at a faster rate than other chronic diseases such as heart disease and cancer.
  • For every person diagnosed with diabetes there is usually a family member or carer who also ‘lives with diabetes’ every day in a support role. This means that an estimated 2.4 million Australians are affected by diabetes every day.
Nexba Beverages recognises the undisputed link between sugar consumption and diabetes, both directly and indirectly. With Australians consuming the weight of over 1.9million kangaroos worth of sugary drinks every year and diabetes sitting as the 7th highest cause of death in Australia now is the time to start getting serious about sugar consumption and educating Aussies on the effects of sugar in out diet.


It’s statistics like those above that quite frankly p*** us off hence why we are so passionate about serving our fellow Aussies with quality naturally sugar free products to show our bodies some love.

29 Jan

Girl Geek Academy Reboots Work Experience for Year 10 Girls

by launch-admin Jan 29, 2019 0 News

Girl Geek Academy Reboots Work Experience for Year 10 Girls
Pioneering #SheHacks program helps students create their own startup
26th – 30th November, OneRoof, SouthBank

Australia, 20 November 2018:  Girl Geek Academy has partnered with world leading technology businesses Deloitte Digital and 99designsthe world’s largest online graphic design marketplace – to pilot a first-of-its-kind work experience program where students from Korowa Anglican Girls School will work alongside industry experts to create their own startups.

The Monday and Tuesday will see 40 Year Ten students learn key STEM skills directly from industry role models at Deloitte and 99designs to hone their talents as “hackers, hustlers and hipsters”. Teams of 3 will then collaboratively build a startup on Wednesday and Thursday, and instead of a “shark tank,” teams will present back to students in a friendlier “dolphin tank” format on Friday.

The week-long program will be held at the OneRoof all-women coworking space in Southbank from 26-30th November.

“Entrepreneurship and technology skills are key to the future of work for the next generation of students and we want to give young Australians a head start,” explains Girl Geek Academy Co-founder and CEO Sarah Moran.

“Gone are the days of running around getting coffees. We’re making sure students actually have the opportunity to experience work – and that the opportunities are immediately relevant and aligned with what young people are telling us they want and need to experience in these programs,” Sarah said.

Korowa Anglican Girls School Deputy Principal Liana Gooch said the program will equip students with valuable tools and insights, whilst spending quality time getting to know leading women in technology, STEM and the startup ecosystem.

“We are keen to ensure our students see the relationship between the STEAM skills learned in the classroom and their practical application in the real world. It’s exciting to collaborate with industry professionals to bridge that gap and showcase what a career in technology actually looks like,” said Miss Gooch.

At present women only make up 16% of all Australia’s STEM fields, but through initiatives such as this, Girl Geek Academy are on a mission to reverse the statistics and teach one million girls and women to learn technology by 2025.

The #SheHacks Work Experience is a bespoke program, customized to individual interests and learning methodology.  The program is designed to help the students explore their interests and passions in the STEM working landscape, and to help achieve gender equality in industry roles and sectors which traditionally attract less women.

Sarah Moran said the pioneering initiative is critical at this time when graduates face many uncertainties in the work market and are looking for more relevant employment experience that will help them to be truly work-ready.

“According to the Foundation for Young Australians it now takes almost 3* years to get a stable job after finishing education, compared to 1 year a generation ago. VicHealth recently hosted a deliberative forum bringing together a jury of 54 young people aged between 18-26 years to discuss the issues youth face in the workforce environment. The youth forum made a number of asks to the community to assist young people in the transition to purposeful work and the #SheHacks Work Experience program addresses more than half of these requests,” she said.

The six areas addressed by the #SheHacks program include.
  • High-school students gaining life skills and knowledge through experience.
  • Changing career-building culture in schools, universities and families
  • Building Work Readiness
  • Mentorship and programs to guide students and allow them to engage in different career options.
  • Investigation into current and future professional landscape
  • Guidance and education for youths starting new businesses.

The #SheHacks initiative will extend into high-schools around Australia in the coming year.  To organise an event or for further information on Girl Geek Academy initiatives and programs, please visit: www.https://girlgeekacademy.com.

– ENDS –

29 Jan

Warrnambool Girls Are Full STEAM Ahead!

by launch-admin Jan 29, 2019 0 News

Warrnambool Girls Are Full STEAM Ahead!
Girl Geek Academy to host a first-of-its-kind women’s coding and robotics event at Warrnambool Art Gallery

Australia, 8 October 2018: Social technology enterprise, Girl Geek Academy has partnered with Warrnambool Art Gallery and Creative Victoria through the Engaging Audiences program to put on a series of free innovative technology workshops, sessions, and panels, for women at Warrnambool Art Gallery from October 12-13.

In just a single day participants will learn to code rainbow LIFX lightbulb patterns using Python programming, get to know the art of game design and even dabble with robotics. The event will be the first of its kind to be hosted in Warrnambool, which will also offer participants access to some of the celebrated women currently showcased in the acclaimed Codebreakers exhibit. This will be the debut of the LIFX workshop for Girl Geek Academy.

The first day of the workshop will be held for local school-aged girls, while the second day will be open to women of all ages.

At present women only make up 16% of all Australia’s STEM fields, but through initiatives such as this Girl Geek Academy are on a mission to reverse the statistics and teach one million girls and women to learn technology by 2025.

Girl Geek Academy Co-founder Lisy Kane will be presenting as part of a panel at the event. The award winning games producer and Forbes 30 under 30 alumni will discuss her wave-making career that has seen her ranked alongside the world’s top game makers.

“Girl Geek Academy is now Australia’s first organisation solely dedicated to boosting the number of women with successful STEM careers. We do this by working with companies, schools and governments to improve their capacity to support women at all stages in the talent pipeline: from teaching young girls to code at age five right through to getting more women into senior technology leadership roles.” Ms Kane explains.

The initiative at Warrnambool Art Gallery is just one example of many Girl Geek Academy run in an attempt to teach and excite girls about the field technology. The team are also set to run a dedicated programming space at Melbourne’s upcoming PAX Aus gaming conference this month, highlighting some of the most innovative work from female coders around the world.  


29 Jan


by launch-admin Jan 29, 2019 0 News


21 August 2018, Melbourne, AUSTRALIA:  Patrick Lee, co-founder and former CEO of Rotten Tomatoes, the world’s most influential movie and TV review aggregate site, has joined forces with leading influencers within Australia’s startup community to launch a local push for greater Asian representation on global screens.

The successful MediaTech entrepreneur is using the new film Crazy Rich Asians to showcase the commercial potential of featuring more Asian-Americans in film.  The #GoldOpen movement is a successful US social change campaign which has seen Asian industry leaders buy out whole cinemas to ensure the success of the movie on the opening weekend.  The romantic comedy is the first all-Asian blockbuster movie to come out of Hollywood in 25 years, following The Joy Luck Club in 1993.

Girl Geek Academy co-founder Lisy Kane has partnered with Jeanette Cheah from The Hacker Exchange, Nick La from WePloy and Sheryl Thai from Cupcake Central to host a “Gold Open” screening of Crazy Rich Asians in Melbourne next month as part of this drive for increasing diverse representation in media and business.

“Girl Geek Academy is about challenging the stereotypes and creating positive and visible new role models – whether that’s for women within the tech or gaming world, within cultural groups or the LGBTIQ community,” says Kane, who was recognised by Forbes in its prestigious top 30 list: Forbes 30 Under 30 2017: Games at the age of 29.

LA-born serial entrepreneur Lee, who took 12 years to graduate from college because he was so focused on building companies, says it’s important to have more Asian faces in film.

“We need Asian representation on our screens and, more importantly, to send a message to Hollywood and the film and television community worldwide about its commercial viability,” Lee said.

Crazy Rich Asians, which is currently 93% fresh on Rotten Tomatoes, opens August 30 in Australia. In the US, its commercial success has been resounding, making about $US34 million in its opening 5 days.

Jeanette Cheah said: “I had quite an emotional response to this movie, because growing up as an Asian Australian it’s so rare to see Asian faces on screen and you often feel there is a very defined path to success. Seeing Asian actors playing fun, romantic, lead roles is a powerful way to bust that myth.

“At The Hacker Exchange, our two founders are Asian American and Asian Australian. We are all about showcasing Aussie startup talent on the global stage, building a diverse pipeline of leadership, and creating a strong community. Seeing the Gold Open success in the US was proof of what a community can do when people back each other, and we wanted to be a small part of that,” Cheah said.

Australian audiences can put the #GoldOpen concept to the test on September 7 at Melbourne’s Village Cinemas Crown, located within the bustling Crown Melbourne casino complex.

The fundraiser for charity One Girl is being hosted by emerging Asian entrepreneurs, rather than ‘crazy rich’ Asians, but all are welcome to attend in the spirit of inclusion and ensuring the films’ success at the box office.


29 Jan

Coding classes for girls and the wonderful women in their life to role model learning in STEM

by launch-admin Jan 29, 2019 0 News

Coding classes for girls and the wonderful women in their life to role model learning in STEM

Girl Geek Academy school holiday workshops will upskill parents and guardians alongside their children to address the wider societal issues of gender imbalance

Australia, 9 January 2019:  Girl Geek Academy has partnered with regional women’s health promotion agency,  Women’s Health East to deliver a series of STEM-focused workshops aimed at tackling gender imbalance in technology careers and promoting equality in the classroom.

The workshops will be rolled out in  January and March 2019 across Melbourne’s East to support mums, daughters, aunts, nieces, grandparents, neighbours, and more groups of women and girls to learn coding together. Every young person will bring along a parent or guardian and Girl Geek Academy will be delivering the successful  #MissMakesCode program model, which is specifically aimed at engaging young girls aged 5-8 into STEM.

Girl Geek Academy co-founder and CEO, Sarah Moran said: “Currently there is a lack of a STEM-based program that educates both women and girls in the same classroom, and we know the exponential value of working to build intergenerational STEM knowledge. By bringing women and girls together into one workshop, we are able to create something more vital and long-lasting — an instant role model within their immediate family.

“By upskilling the women parents and guardians, the girls have a role model in their household who shows confidence and interest in technology, and can work with them on coding games and STEM schoolwork. It could also be an opportunity for the women to explore a new career path option if they wish to cross-skill into this in-demand profession.”    

The sessions will focus not only on technical coding skills, but also contain content and discussions around gender equality and cyber safety. Studies show that gender equality is a precondition for the prevention of family violence and other forms of violence against women and girls.  

“It’s a privilege to partner with Women’s Health East on this initiative. Studies have shown societies with more gender equality have decreased rates of family violence, because it creates a society based on respect. Gender equality affects everyone, men and women, and should be a priority both in the workplace and in the home,” said Ms Moran.  

Women’s Health East is the women’s health promotion agency for the Eastern Metropolitan Region (EMR) of Melbourne. Its vision is equality, empowerment, health and wellbeing for all women. A key priority of Women’s Health East is advancing gender equality, through important projects like #MissMakesCode.

“Women are underrepresented in STEM-related fields. This is not because of a lack of talent, rather women and girls experience a range of gendered barriers to getting involved in STEM. Some of these begin early where girls are not encouraged to develop analytical and spatial skills through play. #MissMakesCode is a fun way to begin to bridge this divide for young girls in the EMR,” said Jayde McBurnie,Together For Equality & Respect Manager.

Through this initiative, both Girl Geek Academy and Women’s Health East hope to address the issue of gender inequality in STEM subjects, which is a leading cause of workplace inequality as there are simply not enough women with the skills to work in technology and STEM careers.

Ms Moran continued: “Our long-term aim is to explore whether this important behaviour modelling will result in influencing more girls to continue with STEM education, which we will do with ongoing evaluation at regular intervals after the workshop.”

These workshops are supported by the Victorian Government as part of  Free From Violence – Victoria’s strategy to prevent family violence and all forms of violence against women. The initiative’s goal of creating a safe and equal society for all Victorians is championed by Girl Geek Academy, whose focus is on addressing a broad range of technology gender equality issues.

Supporting partners also include Yarra Ranges Council, Inspiro Community Health, Maroondah Council, Whitehorse Council and Monash Council.

For more information, please visit:  www.girlgeekacademy.com/events

– ENDS –