startups in Australia

Startups in Australia – game changers to look out for

The term “startup” has been thrown around with increasing frequency over the last few years to describe everything from the scrappy garage-based ventures and hip social apps to colossal tech companies. Australia’s startup ecosystem is flourishing. Each year, thousands of talented Australian entrepreneurs come pouring out of the woodwork – starting fresh new startups with bold ideas, and seeking funding, customers, or just recognition. Industries from finance to recruitment and food are all prime for disruption by young startups in Australia according to a recent review by Linkedin.

Here in Australia, we are hosts to an impressive roster of star-studded startups including Atlassian, Envato, Campaign Monitor, Canva, Hey You, and Vinomofo – to name a few. But the big and successful stories we hear of are really only the tip of the iceberg – it’s a big iceberg with over 50,000 people with the job title ‘founder’ in Australia.

Understandably not all of these ventures succeed. The very nature of running a startup means the odds are against you – evidenced by HuffPost’s recent report that highlighted how a staggering 95% of all startups in Australia fail.

However, without shedding doom and gloom upon this fine Spring day, let us look at the startups in Australia that have made the cut. In the following sections, we run through a few startups that have succeeded in defying the statistics and changed the very landscape of their industry.


Graphic design platform Canva has had a stellar 2018 so far, achieving unicorn status in January — a title given to startups valued at over $1 billion. In the six years since its launch, the Sydney-based tech company, with main offices in Manila and San Francisco, has amassed a global following. The platform now churns out 13 designs per second, produced by 10 million users in 190 countries, using 100 languages.

The idea for Canva came to founder Melanie Perkins while she was teaching graphic design programs at the University of Western Australia. She quickly realised that the underlying tech had far greater potential than simply helping students capture their memories and it is with this in mind that Canva was founded on New Year’s Day 2012.



It’s been quite a run for the founders of the personalised cancer patient care app, CancerAid. After closing a $1.25 million funding round at the end of 2016, receiving further investment from investor Glen Richards on Shark Tank, and being named as a “standout launch” by Apple on its app store, the application has reached great heights already.

The CancerAid app helps patients organise their cancer journey and manage their awareness and expectations in an individualised way, while also working with clinicians to deliver tailored information.

The main goal of the founders is to make CancerAid the number one resource for patients when faced with a cancer diagnosis or undergoing therapy to improve their outcomes and satisfaction. This app operates as a smartphone application allowing cancer patients and their caregivers the ability to improve their health outcomes and patient experience through treatment planning, journals, an online community, and peer-reviewed cancer treatment information.


Power ledger

Power Ledger, with their gender diverse founding team, is bringing P2P solar energy trading blockchain technology to the world. The technology allows renewable energy asset owners to decide who they want to sell their surplus energy to and at what price. Power Ledger was founded by Jemma Green, Jenni Conroy, Dave Martin, and John Bulich in 2016.

Through blockchain technology, they can provide a transparent, auditable, and automated market trading and clearing mechanism for the benefit of producers and consumers. To date, they have raised $34 million AUD. The blockchain company raised $17 million in a pre-sale ICO in September, after 190 million Power Ledger tokens called POWRs — were snapped up in just 72 hours by buyers on the Ethereum cryptocurrency network.

The energy trading startup then followed with an additional $34 million, and to kick off 2018, Power Ledger was named as one of three finalists in the 2018 Extreme Tech Challenge. Their path seems to be illuminated with promise and potential.


Key takeaways about startups in Australia

Each of these startups in Australia has had illustrious careers since their respective inception and have defied their industries with their sheer innovation and dedication. No doubt, they are game changers in their respective industries and this is only the beginning of the journey.

To keep tabs on the startups that are changing the world or to find out how you can take your startup to the next level feel free to visit JumpStartMe and read our latest blogs for more information.

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