Generation One01 Sep 2022

$150,000 of seed funding granted to Indigenous businesses

Minderoo Foundation’s Generation One, in collaboration with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and Citi Foundation’s co-led Youth Co:Lab initiative, delivered the 2022 Dream Venture Masterclasses.

Dream Venture partners with some of the 2022 Masterclass seed funding recipients.

An agriculture start-up, a regenerative seaweed business and an art-monetisation technology platform have headlined a host of winners in one of Australia’s most significant programs for Indigenous entrepreneurs at a gala event at the Wade Institute of Entrepreneurship in Melbourne.

In front of representatives from Blackbird VC, Finley Capital, AirTree, Startmate, Atlassian and TDM Growth Partners, Dream Venture Masterclass finalists pitched their business ideas to an expert judging panel.

The $150,000 of seed funding was shared between the 10 finalists and included awards for impact, perseverance and growth potential across a youth cohort for Indigenous entrepreneurs aged 18-30, and an all-ages cohort. The winners were granted seed funding to invest in and grow the businesses that they pitched at the Dream Venture Masterclasses.

The Dream Venture Masterclasses were made possible thanks to Minderoo Foundation’s Generation One initiative, in collaboration with the UNDP and Citi Foundation’s co-led Youth Co:Lab initiative.

Collaborating with Generation One, Youth Co:Lab launched its inaugural event in Australia this year. Across the intensive four-week accelerator program, 20 young Indigenous entrepreneurs received coaching and mentorship promoting business growth, investment and access to networks. An all-ages cohort was also offered by Minderoo Foundation.

The Wade Institute of Entrepreneurship — a leading centre for entrepreneurial training — helped to deliver the program. The Dream Venture Masterclasses have supported more than 120 Indigenous business owners since 2019.

Generation One Director, Shelley Cable, said Dream Venture provided Indigenous Australians with the connections, capabilities, and access to capital they need to become investor-ready.

“This year has been the best and biggest we have had for the Dream Venture Masterclasses,” Ms Cable said.

“Our goal is to break down the barriers between Indigenous entrepreneurs and access to capital and we were so pleased to give our amazing finalists a share in $150,000 of seed funding.

“We must continue to back the next generation of Indigenous business leaders and entrepreneurs. Research shows that majority-owned Indigenous businesses are up to 100 times more likely to employ Indigenous workers than other Australian businesses, and their growth can start a chain reaction that accelerates Indigenous employment parity.”

Youth Cohort Winners

Impact ($20,000)
Provvy — Alisha Geary

Alisha is descended from the Gurang-Gurang, Deibau and Wuthathi clans from Queensland. She is the founder and CEO of Provvy. Provvy is a unique tech platform that empowers artists to claim ownership of their work as well as monetise it through tokenising their art into NFTs and selling usage rights.

Never Ever Give Up — NEGU ($20,000)
Yaali Collective — Cleveland McGhie

Born in Wollongong and raised in the Dharawal community in the Illawarra, Cleveland identifies as a Wiradjuri man. He also acknowledges his Wiradjuri connections to Condobolin and Lake Cargelligo, New South Wales, through his maternal family. Yaali Collective’s vision is to develop proud identities by delivering authentic and interactive learning resources that are accessible and easy to use.

Ready to Grow ($20,000)
South Coast Seaweed — Sarah Gorst

Sarah is a Kamilaroi woman born and raised in the Hunter Valley, New South Wales. She is a marine conservation advocate and co—founder of South Coast Seaweed, an Indigenous aquaculture initiative on the far south coast NSW, focused on the revitalisation of traditional knowledge to create modern resources using seaweed.

Rising Star ($7,500)
Gan-bu Country — Skye Hunter

Skye is a Taungurung woman. She is 27 years old, lives near the beach on Bunarung country. Skye is currently experimenting with creating skincare products using native plants in her formulations. She has already made some good products and is looking to expand her knowledge within traditional practices and Australian regulations to create innovative products.

Rising Star ($7,500)
Alinta — Alinta Tatana

Alinta is a proud Bundjalung and Te Rarawa woman. She grew up on a Bundjalung country within community before moving to Durag country to further her career in the justice system. Alinta’s brand vision is to build a culturally safe space for people and communities, and to create quality, environmentally sustainable pieces which cater for all genders, sizes and shapes from XS-XL.

All Ages Winners

Impact ($20,000)
Yilam — Kaley Nicholson

Kaley is a proud First Nations woman with family lines within nations throughout Victoria and New South Wales. This led her to co-found Yilam, which provides ethically and sustainably sourced camping equipment and on Country experiences for Mob and socially conscious campers.

Never Ever Give Up — NEGU ($20,000)
Rainstick — Darryl Lyons

Darryl is a proud Maiawali man, passionate about what technology can do for agriculture and traditional owners to provide a more sustainable future. The goal of his business is to integrate Indigenous sustainable practices with modern technology to address the climate and planet impact modern agriculture has.

Ready to Grow ($20,000)
Ochre Sun — Alana Kennedy

Alana is a proud descendant of the Waanyi and Kalkadoon tribes of north-west Queensland, and is currently living on Kabi Kabi Country in the Sunshine Coast. After many years of market feedback, Alana designed a multi-tasking sun protection and skin healing product known as Ochre Sun.

Rising Star ($7,500)
The Coaching Director — Carla Egan

Carla is a Wotjobaluk woman who lives and works on the traditional lands of the Wadawurrung people. Carla identified a gap in the market for an online directory that connected businesses who needed specialised help but didn’t know where to start.

Rising Star ($7,500)
It’s a Mob thing — Ngaree Blow

Dr Ngaree Blow is a Quandamooka (Noonuccal tribe)and Goreng-Goreng woman through her father’s peoples and Yorta-Yorta woman from her mother’s side, currently living in Meanjin (Brisbane). Ngaree works as a medical doctor in the field of public health and preventative medicine.

Minderoo Foundation
by Minderoo Foundation

Established by Andrew and Nicola Forrest in 2001, we are a modern philanthropic organisation seeking to break down barriers, innovate and drive positive, lasting change. Minderoo Foundation is proudly Australian, with key initiatives spanning from ocean research and ending slavery, to collaboration in cancer and community projects.

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