Australian startups sweep inaugural Online Startup & Innovation Awards

Australia’s leaders in innovation, YBF Ventures, announce the winners of the 2020 Online Startup and Innovation Awards.

Leaders from California to Paris joined the City of Melbourne’s Lord Mayor, Sally Capp; Victoria’s Innovation Minister, the Hon. Jaala Pulford; the US Consul General, Michael Kleine and YBF Ventures’ CEO, Farley Blackman to usher in the winners of the inaugural Online Startup and Innovation Awards.

Produced in Australia, the Online Startup and Innovation Awards were open to the world, to all of those innovating during the global health and economic crisis.

COVID-19 has challenged the entire world and the awards acknowledge and celebrate the startups, scaleups and leaders that are stepping up to new obstacles by innovating, collaborating and demonstrating outstanding leadership.

From social impact to collaboration to agritech, artificial intelligence, biotech, cybersecurity, fintech, legaltech, proptech and more, the Online Startup and Innovation Awards were designed to shine a spotlight on ingenuity.

Following a public voting process, the winners include individuals and companies that have taken direct actions to combat the virus, pivoted their product or service to address the crisis, or are paving the road to recovery through their leadership.

The official awards ceremony was live streamed on YouTube on16 September 2020 and hosted by Jason Lim, the Chief of Staff of YBF Ventures and the presenter of the five-star-rated People Building Businesses podcast.

The Lord Mayor of the City of Melbourne, Sally Capp (pictured) officially opened the awards with an Acknowledgement of Country and said, “We are here tonight to celebrate and to acknowledge the amazing startups, scaleups and global leaders who are innovating, challenging, collaborating and making a positive impact in the face of adversity.”

Coming together in a time of crisis

The Lord Mayor was followed by YBF Ventures’ CEO, Farley Blackman who said, “As a British American living in Australia who has previously lived in Beijing, Delhi, Hong Kong, London and throughout the US, I know how small the world is and how important it is to come together and celebrate all of the good happening around us, especially during times of crisis.”

Category submissions hailed from across the globe, including from South Korea, the United Arab Emirates, Malaysia, India, the United Kingdom, Singapore, Russia, Turkey, the USA, Serbia, Italy, New Zealand and Australia, and based on the sheer volume of applications and nominations, YBF Ventures had to create two additional categories to encompass impressive projects in the edutech and wearables space.


The winners of the 2020 Online Startup and Innovation Awards are as follows:

Best Global Leader During a Crisis: Bill & Melinda Gates (USA)

Winner announced by the U.S. Consul General, Michael Kleine

Best COVID-19 Social Impact: Clipboard (Australia)

Winner announced by the CEO of Prosperity Advisers, Allan McKeown

Best Launch, IPO or Capital Raise During a Crisis: Aircart (Australia)

Winner announced by the CEO of Tyro, Robbie Cooke

Best Australian Collaboration During a Crisis: Alkira Software & the State Library of Queensland for Anzac Stories (Australia)

Winner announced by the Executive Director of the Melbourne Entrepreneurial Centre at the University of Melbourne, Professor Colin McLeod

Best International Collaboration During a Crisis: Digitology Healthtech by Health and Patient Services and Medachievers (Australia and India)

Winner announced by the Chief Program Officer of YBF Ventures, Kate Eriksson

Best AgriTech or FoodTech Project, Product or Pivot: AgUnity (Australia)

Winner announced by the CEO of Lucid Software, Karl Sun

Best Artificial Intelligence or Machine Learning Project, Product or Pivot: BEAD (USA)

Winner announced by the CMO of YBF Ventures, Courtney Blackman

Best BioTech or MedTech Project, Project or Pivot: DetectED-X (Australia)

Winner announced by the Deputy Medical Information Officer at the Royal Melbourne Hospital, Dr. Kudzai Kanhutu

Best Cybersecurity Project, Product or Pivot: Cyber Aware (Australia)

Winner announced by the founder and CEO of Aiculus, Dr. Omaru Maruatona

Best FinTech Project, Product or Pivot: Birchal (Australia)

Winner announced by the CEO of FinTech Australia, Rebecca Schot-Guppy  

Best LegalTech Project, Product or Pivot: Immediation (Australia)

Winner announced by the Chief Executive Partner of Lander & Rogers, Genevieve Collins 

Best PropTech Project, Product or Pivot: Conexie (Australia)

Winner announced by the CEO of OVHcloud, Michel Paulin  

Best EduTech Project, Product or Pivot: TalkiPlay by TalkiWear (Australia)

Winner announced by the Minister for Employment; Innovation, Medical Research & Digital Economy and Small Business, the Hon. Jaala Pulford

Best COVID-19 Wearables: Aō Air (New Zealand)

Winner announced by the CEO of Wrike, Andrew Filev  


Watch the 30-minute ceremony here:


Sponsors of the Online Startup & Innovation Awards include Lander & RogersCity of Melbournethe Victoria State Government’s Digital Innovation Futures 2020the UK Department for International TradeProsperity AdvisersMelbourne ConnectThe University of MelbourneLucidchartWrikeOVHcloud, the University of Tasmania and Tyro.

Thank you to community partners: AirTree, FinTech Australia, Girls in Tech Australia, Innovation Bay, Spark Festival, StartupGrind, Startup.Network, Startmate, Blockchain Australia, University of Sydney Genesis, Cicada Innovations, Winitha Bonney, Western Sydney University Launch Pad, Silicon Beach and Tanggram.