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28 Mar


by launch-admin Mar 28, 2019 0 News
28th March 2019, Sydney: Fishburners, Australia’s largest startup community, has appointed senior leader and social enterprise champion Nicole O’Brien as its new CEO. Ms O’Brien will take over the role from outgoing CEO Pandora Shelley in April, who completes her successful eight-year career at Fishburners in March to pursue overseas opportunities.  

Ms O’Brien’s most recent role has been with ACON Health, as Company Secretary and head of strategic and business planning functions, commercial operations, finance, HR, IT, risk management, and marketing and fundraising. Established in 1985, ACON works to end HIV transmission among gay and homosexually active men, and promote the lifelong health of LGBTI people and people with HIV.

Prior to joining ACON, Ms O’Brien spent a decade at YWCA NSW. Her role as Director of Marketing was a pivotal one for the charity which raises funds through profit-for-purpose businesses, donations and government grants to  improve gender equality and eliminate violence against women.

Fishburners Board Chair Dr Katherine Woodthorpe AO said Ms O’Brien was chosen after an extensive executive search, standing out amongst an outstanding selection of candidates for her powerful track-record within the areas of community-building, partnerships and non-profit.  

Nicole received unanimous support from our board as the right person to lead Fishburners into its next decade, as we support and champion the interests of our diverse community of Australian entrepreneurs.  She has enormous passion for improving lives and communities and has worked to create a powerful impact with social enterprises in the not-for-profit sector since 1989. Nicole is also very accomplished in creating financial sustainability in the non-profit sector, commercial services, strategy, governance and risk, and marketing and fundraising.

“We were thrilled with the overwhelming interest and response to the Fishburners role. It’s a testament to the impact Fishburners has had both in Australia and internationally since it launched in 2011, and we have enormous gratitude to Pandora for her contribution to building such a powerful community brand in her many leadership roles over the past eight years,” said Dr Woodthorpe.

Ms O’Brien said she is looking forward to applying her leadership skills to foster the growth of startups, enabling them to create their own success stories.

“Startups are critical to Australia’s ongoing economic success and global competitiveness, they bring innovations that improve lives, generate employment and contribute to our wealth,” Ms O’Brien said.  “Fishburners has such a generous and authentic commitment to helping inspire, nurture and grow Australian startups. I feel incredibly privileged to be joining the Fishburners team and to be given the opportunity to play a role in guiding and supporting our vibrant startup community.”

Ms O’Brien joins Fishburners after a record-breaking year of growth. With a talented and expanding team, the Fishburners membership has grown significantly, supported by the expansion  of new offices in Brisbane, Sydney and the launch of Fishburners virtual platform. Fishburners also boasts numerous partnerships established or strengthened with the community over the past 18 months, including Google for Startups, Jobs for NSW, Brisbane City Council,  UTS, Optus and Chartered Accountants ANZ.

Dr Woodthorpe thanked Ms Shelley for her commitment to Fishburners as CEO and prior to that as head of community.  

“Fishburners is at its heart a community of entrepreneurs and Pandora’s contribution over her eight years on our team has been fundamental to our work in that area.  She will be enormously missed, but she leaves with our gratitude and best wishes as she takes her Aussie startup expertise into new offshore opportunities,” she said.

Founded by entrepreneur Mike Casey and venture capitalist Peter Davidson in Ultimo in early 2011, Fishburners was the first, Australian coworking space dedicated to creating tech startups, and a pioneer in growing the Australian startup ecosystem. The founders’ vision was to create a space for aspiring tech entrepreneurs to learn and communicate, run by entrepreneurs. The community has grown from a small group of just 20 members in Ultimo in central Sydney to a scaling community of more than 850 members and 400 startups, across its offices in Sydney, and Brisbane

Ms O’Brien is excited about continuing this vision: “I can’t wait to get started.”


About Fishburners: Fishburners hosts Australia’s largest startup community – with 383 startups and 728 entrepreneurs across the Sydney and Brisbane hubs, as well as over 100 virtual members. A recent survey recorded that in 2018 Fishburners members achieved approximately $65 million in sales, raised around $40 million in investment and created close to 1,000 jobs. As one of Australia’s first startup spaces, more than 2,000 startup entities have been part of the not-for-profit operations since it opened, including high-profile alumni such as Koala, GoCatch, graphic design marketplace DesignCrowd, Code Camp, Tinybeans, Madpaws, Jayride, GradConnection and Hyper Anna. Fishburners is also home to Australia’s largest event space dedicated to startups and entrepreneurship and has hosted well over 4,000 startup-focused events since opening.

PR Contact: Sophie Hanson | sophie@launchgroup.com.au | 0417927316

Sophie Hanson
Launch Management Group Pty Ltd
office: + 61 2 9492 1003
mobile:            + 61 4 1792 7316
website: www.launchgroup.com.au

4 Mar

‘Gaingels’ – the world-first investment vehicle for LGBT founders – invests in its first Australian company, Nexba

by launch-admin Mar 4, 2019 0 News

‘Gaingels’ – the world-first investment vehicle for LGBT founders – invests in its first Australian company, Nexba
Gaingels’ investment forms part of the leading beverage brand’s $6M Series A capital raise

Australia, 28th Feb 2019: Nexba, Australia’s leading Naturally Sugar Free beverage brand, has become the first Australian company to be backed by the world-first, investment vehicle for LGBT founders, Gaingels. The investment forms part of Nexba’s Series A capital raise, looking to close shortly at $6 million with the Gaingels adding $150,000. The final allocation of Nexba’s Series A round is currently live on crowdfunding platform VentureCrowd.

Gaingelsderived from “gay angels” and “gaining from angels” – is an angel-investing group of members who invest their own funds into LGBTQ-led companies. The group currently operates in US, Canadian and British markets. Gaingels was formed to actively advocate for leadership diversity. LGBT founders have been shown to face discrimination and are less likely to receive funding. A recent study found that 37% of founders were not “out” to investors and 12% thought being “out” would hurt them.

Nexba’s Series A funding will be used to accelerate Australian growth and support global expansion plans, after recently launching into the UK through a major deal with English supermarket giant, Sainsbury’s. Nexba has its sights on becoming the fastest growing Naturally Sugar Free brand, with a focus on proving global scalability of its proprietary, natural sweetener blend. This follows a record year of significant growth, including 148% increase in year-on-year gross sales and household penetration up 202% in Australia alone.

Troy Douglas, Nexba Co-founder and Global CEO commented, “I’m honored that Nexba is Gaingels’ first Aussie investment. As an openly-gay founder in a family-first business, I’m aware of how fortunate I’ve been to have the support of my business partner and brother-in-law, Drew Bilbe. That said, I will always be thankful to groups like Gaingels who lead the way by encouraging each of us to feel safe and proud of who we are. Capital raising is an intense experience, but it has transitioned Nexba from being a start-up to a scale-up. As custodians of our Nexba Legends (our shareholders), we are energised to continue reinventing high sugar and artificial categories. Recent product range launches include Tonic Waters and more functional offerings such as our Kombucha and Probiotic waters. I’m more excited than ever to put our Australian Naturally Sugar Free innovation on the global stage.”

Since Paul Grossinger and David Beatty co-founded Gaingels in late 2014, they have invested more than $10 million directly and led $25 million in investments from other organisations; 32 companies and eight venture capital funds have received investment, including challenger bank Varo, travel tech start-up Freebird and swimwear company Andie Swim, which recently expanded to Australia.

Mr. Grossinger commented, “We’re proud that Nexba is going to be our first Australian venture. We believe in the company’s leadership, and that its brand and proprietary product range will continue to translate in Australia and beyond. Gaingels backs companies with LGBT leadership, such as Troy and Nexba, because we believe that diverse leadership correlates with stronger culture, better opportunities for more LGBT senior leadership at the companyand, ultimately, stronger performance. We look forward to helping Nexba scale toward its ultimate potential.”

12 Feb

StartupAUS and the Australian tech community call for AA bill to be curtailed

by launch-admin Feb 12, 2019 0 News

StartupAUS and the Australian tech community call for AA bill to be curtailed 

Australia, 12th February 2018: The Telecommunications and Other Legislation Amendment (Assistance and Access) Act 2018 must be limited to avoid crippling Australia’s technology sector, according to a submission by StartupAUS, Australia’s peak national advocacy group for startups. The submission has received surging industry support from the likes of tech giants Atlassian, Canva and SafetyCulture, and VCs Blackbird Ventures and Airtree.

StartupAUS made the four-page submission to the Federal Parliamentary Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security (PJCIS) today.

StartupAUS CEO Alex McCauley warned about the impact of the AA bill on Australian startups when it passed in the Senate on 6 December, 2018, saying it put them “under a regulatory burden that is unique to them, and limits the level of security that Australian startups can develop”.

The submission outlines the urgent changes that are required to divest the government of “globally-unprecedented power to involve itself in the operations of technology companies.”

“Startups are critical to Australia’s economy. At a time when we should be developing and broadening our vision and support for them, the bill will jeopardise their standing with investors both here and abroad,” it states.

The StartupAUS submission makes four key recommendations for the protection of both individuals and the tech industry:

1. Remove the possibility for TCNs to be issued to individual employees, to ensure that individuals are not targeted where a company is providing the service. While TCNs may only be issued to Designated Communications Providers, the bill’s Explanatory Memorandum states this can extend to individuals.

2. Reduce the breadth of organisations that may be regarded as a Designated Communications Provider. By broadly defining a Designated Communications Provider as any provider of electronic services with one or more end-users in Australia, this includes any technology provider that offers technology designed to connect to the internet, whether or not the service is designed to support communications as a market segment. The bill should only be applied to communications-based companies.

3. Increase oversight and provide limits on use. A bill of this scope must have checks and balances. The submission states:“The government must include an objective, merits-based review to ensure consistency regarding the exercise of powers under the Act.”

4. Reduce the broad basis for executing the powers of the Act. The bill should target high-stakes criminals but instead will weaken the security of law-abiding Australians using software. StartupAUS calls for a clearer definition of a serious offence, as currently defined in 317B of the bill: “The definition of ‘serious crime’ should be restricted only to those crimes which are the stated target of the Act, that pose a genuine and serious threat to Australia and its citizens.” On an equally important level, StartupAUS warns about applying the laws to international organisations providing digital services or operating R&D in Australia, stating: “Further, the ability to exercise powers in furtherance of other countries’ criminal laws should be withdrawn.”

Mr McCauley, along with the submission’s signatories, reinforced that the bill is disappointing and should ideally be repealed. “We agree with Scott Farquhar, Co-founder & CEO of Atlassian, that the legislation is a ‘gut punch’ to Australia’s tech sector” said Mr McCauley.

“We need to ensure every effort is made so that international confidence in the Australian technology sector is not undermined by new legislation. We welcome a formal consultation to amend the Act so it is practical for our burgeoning tech industry, without cannibalising on our efforts to innovate” commented Cliff Obrecht, COO and Co-Founder, Canva.

Scott Farquhar reinforced the importance of the technology sector coming together. “At at time when we should be leaning into Australia’s tech potential, we’re anchoring it with legislation that hurts us.

We know we’re louder as one voice – that’s why we’ve rallied together as an industry – and we’re calling on the government to reduce the scope of the bill and limit the negative consequences on our industry.”


Helen Hu
Launch Management Group Pty Ltd

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.

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