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January 2019

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

CA ANZ partners with Fishburners to capitalise on disruption in the profession

by launch-admin Jan 29, 2019 0 News

CA ANZ partners with Fishburners to capitalise on disruption in the profession

28 October 2018: Today Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand (CA ANZ) unveils its plan to align with leading innovation community Fishburners as part of its strategy to strengthen the accounting profession for the future.   

“Our Strategic Review, involving more than 100 member workshops, confirmed that the profession is changing rapidly, with much more diversity and disruption than experienced in the past. For the profession to remain at the forefront, it is vital we keep pace,” said Rick Ellis, CEO of CA ANZ.


“Members, particularly in public practice, yearn for connections with new solutions, technologies and insights to be able to shape the services they offer.”

“One source of this disruption is within innovation communities – they are evolving business models, creating new markets and driving operating efficiencies.”

CA Catalyst brings together Chartered Accountants from all segments, innovation communities Fishburners, Stone & Chalk and The Icehouse, and technology providers to create opportunities for mutually beneficial collaboration.

“This includes immersions within innovation communities, access to training, toolkits and guides for disruption-readiness, and exposure to practical solutions,” said Ellis.

“CA Catalyst is an opportunity for Chartered Accountants to get on the leading edge of the future of accounting, build personal and organisational capabilities, explore new markets and services, and leverage innovation to provide greater value for themselves, their clients and their communities.”

Fishburners is a well-established not-for-profit in Australia, nurturing high impact, scalable start-ups in a culture of shared ideas and experiences.

“This partnership and professional exchange offers fantastic learning opportunities for both organisations and will generate huge benefits to our startups as they prepare to expand,” said Pandora Shelley, CEO of Fishburners.

“Much of the conversation in the startup world is focused around securing a funding outcome. Yet, understanding when to take on external funding and how to apply that funding efficiently is equally important – with many of our most successful startups boot-strapping for a significant period in the early stages.”

“Fishburners is focused on supporting startups at every stage in their growth journey.  Helping them to start out strong, with a firm financial foundation is critical.”

“Many startups, particularly at early stage, don’t have the resources to take on a senior CFO who can provide this kind of advice.”  

“Through this partnership, start-ups can have access to accounting and financial expertise, assisting them to make confident and accurate decisions about their growth.


29 Jan

Australia’s largest startup community, Fishburners, doubles its Brisbane operation in second year

by launch-admin Jan 29, 2019 0 News

Tech sector in shock at AA Bill:

StartupAUS deeply concerned about big step backwards

for Australian technology

Australian startups left reeling from the rushed legislation passed late yesterday evening in what amounts to an own goal by the Australian government

Australia, 24 October 2018: Australia’s largest non-profit startup community, Fishburners, has doubled down on its Queensland presence, growing to a 205 desk operation within the two-year old Capital hub in Brisbane’s CBD.

The growth follows a successful two-year partnership with the City of Brisbane and a steady increase in the demand for desks within Fishburners’ Brisbane and Sydney operations. Through the City of Brisbane, Fishburners are in the process of launching two new accelerator programs, including a Launchpad for startups looking to scale to Asia.

Fishburners hosts Australia’s largest startup community – with 383 startups and 728 entrepreneurs across the Sydney, Brisbane and Shanghai working hubs. The successful startup funnel has mentored and grown currently more than 1,800 entrepreneurs and 1,250 startup entities since opening.

Fishburner’s CEO Pandora Shelley said, Fishburners is a community which helps foster and grow startup businesses, offering much more than desk space.

“We’re on a mission to help inspire tech startups to take their first step and to support each stage of their growth journey.  This year, Fishburners is itself scaling up, with demand for our services seeing unprecedented growth over the past year,” said Ms Shelley.

“There is enormous entrepreneurial energy coming out of Queensland at this time and the Capital is a vibrant and visionary initiative which has really helped fuel local startup growth. We are thrilled to take our partnership with City of Brisbane to the next level with this expansion.”

Brisbane City Council’s Lord Mayor Graham Quirk said he is excited to watch the growth continue as Brisbane transforms into a national innovative hot spot.

“Brisbane is transforming into a business and innovation hub, with our attractive lifestyle offering, links to overseas markets and great employment opportunities, [we are] luring start-up’s to build a global business in our own backyard,” said Cr Quirk.

Fishburners is a family of entrepreneurs who are committed to collaborating and building something big. Members are supported in their endeavors with perks, probonos, mentoring, events and programs etc.

Community is the foundation for Fishburners and to become a member or “Burner” is a special thing. All members must agree to Fishburners’ values of collaboration, brilliance and community, namely: “We give back whenever we can”. It is a proud, inclusive and discrimination-free space.

Fishburners’ startups create products in a broad range of categories, here are the top 5:
  1. B2B (36%)
  2. SaaS (29%)
  3. iOS app (28%)
  4. Android app (23%)
  5. Marketing (23%)

Originally located in Ultimo, within four years Fishburners went from one floor to taking up the whole building. A new chapter for Fishburners Sydney, began in 2018 in the new coworking space within the Sydney Startup Hub, which has set a new standard for startup spaces in Australia.

High-profile alumni that were ‘born’ at Fishburners include successful startups such as Koala, GoCatch, graphic design marketplace DesignCrowd, Code Camp, Tinybeans, Madpaws, Jayride and Hyper Anna. Koala, Australia’s highest-rated mattress, raised $15m and generated $14m in revenue in its first year.

All up, Fishburners has provided a community space and startup resources for over 100,000 people with support from category-leading partners including Google for Entrepreneurs, UTS and Optus and government partners such as Jobs for NSW and Brisbane Marketing.


29 Jan

Two Health Tech Fishburners Finalists in 2018 Google.org Impact Challenge

by launch-admin Jan 29, 2019 0 News

Two Health Tech Fishburners Finalists in 2018 Google.org Impact Challenge
“Burners” Xceptional and Radiant compete for up to $1 million in grant funding

12 October 2018, Sydney AUSTRALIA:  Anxiety-reducing autism app Xceptional and mental health social enterprise Radiant are amongst the 10 finalists in this year’s Google.org Impact Challenge, an initiative by Fishburners’ partner, Google for Entrepreneurs.
Now in its third year running, the challenge is open to Australian organisations whose innovative ideas for change are making an impact locally and globally.

Both Fishburners finalists are in the health tech space, a startup sector rapidly growing in Australia.

Xceptional is changing the lives of autism sufferers by using advanced software testing to address autism unemployment. 125 million people worldwide experience autism yet this group is often underemployed. The app uses activity-based assessments and games to reduce the anxiety that often comes with autism and prevents 65% of people with autism from gaining or retaining employment. Many people with autism have an incredible eye for detecting patterns in data and an ability to sustain superior levels of concentration, making them uniquely qualified to make exceptional contributions to tech and data teams. By mitigating anxiety and testing for functional skills, the Xceptional app will empower autistic employees to flourish, help employers embrace the benefits of neurodiversity, and make a massive dent in autism unemployment.

Radiant, a subsidiary of Relationships Australia and a registered charity, uses data-driven algorithms to match mental health professionals to help-seekers based on their needs. Recent reviews suggest the quality of this match is the best predictor of positive therapeutic outcomes and that many of the 1 in 5 Australians suffering from mental health issues would be more empowered to seek help if their path to assistance were more easily navigated. Longer term, Radiant will be able to identify mental health problems sooner and connect users to help faster, through an AI inference engine assessing search data.
The general public can vote for one finalist to receive the $1 million People’s Choice grant. The judges, including  Dr Sarah Pearson, the first chief innovation officer at the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and Dr Alan Finkel AO, Australia’s eighth Chief Scientist, will then choose a further three winners. Winners will be announced on 1 November.
Up for grabs is an additional $5.5 million in project funding: judges will select four winners to each receive $1 million in grant funding, as well as support from Google volunteers. The remaining six finalists will each receive $250,000.

The Google.Org Impact Challenge Hall of Fame includes Professor Fred Hollows who used mobile technology to check for blinding damage caused by diabetes and Jack Bancroft who created the Australian Indigenous Mentoring Experience – an online game to inspire young indigenous students to learn maths and science.
Fishburners CEO Pandora Shelley said the community is proud to see fellow startups recognised.
“Our focus this year has been on strengthening our internal community and this is really coming to the fore with social impact organisations getting the support and acclaim they deserve,” Ms Shelley said.
“Startups like Radiant and Xceptional are putting mental health and wellbeing into the spotlight and reducing the stigma.”
They join the ranks of other Burners making technology and innovation for the advancement of society. This year Fishburners, Australia’s most established startup community, celebrated its seventh anniversary.