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Five start-ups have been announced as finalists in the 2020 Future Makers program organised by Optus. Now in its fourth year, the program supports social entrepreneurs to develop innovative tech solutions that aim to make a positive difference in their community.
The finalists were chosen on the basis that they have developed innovative technology solutions that address social challenges for disadvantaged and vulnerable people, with a focus on employability, education, health and aged-disability support.
The five finalists are:
AIBLE – a job search app that uses artificial intelligence to match abilities, personality types, experience, skills and certifications with job requirements.
givvable – a data-driven technology platform that helps companies find, source and track the impact of sustainable and social spending.
Maslow – a voice-enabled rehabilitation assistant for young people living with paralysis.
Need a Tutor – a platform that matches students living in rural and geographically with qualified teachers, enabling educational access for remote communities.
PeepsRide – an app that enables care organisations with providing an on-demand transport service for the benefit of the elderly and people with disabilities.
This year’s shortlist was selected from a panel of judges which included both senior leaders from Optus and experts from the social enterprise and impact investment sector.
“We are thrilled to see this year’s finalists leverage technology advancements to not only fill some evident gaps in the market but also make a real difference to those most in need in our communities,” Helen Maisano, Director for Group Sustainability at Optus, said. “During a time where we have been able to experience how technology has been core to aiding our resilience amidst great challenges, I am especially proud of our commitment to supporting innovation and social entrepreneurship, both through funding and access to our expert resources.”
This year’s chosen Future Makers will take part in a six-month capacity building and accelerator program which will include workshops and coaching from top talent at Optus and industry experts, to help develop their skills. At the completion of the program, each finalist will have the opportunity to access a share of $200,000 in grant funding to help scale their solution.