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Genesis program fuels winning University of Sydney startups

19 June 2019
Startup competition finalists tackle key social challenges
Eco-friendly gel pens, a streamlined job-hunting app and an electorate mapping platform that seeks to democratise the lobbying industry are among the winners of the University of Sydney Genesis startup program.

Since its beginning in 2008, Sydney Genesis has helped over 1,000 students and alumni bring their startup ideas to life. The cross-faculty startup program provides participants with invaluable support through specialist interactive workshops, pitching and networking opportunities and one-on-one mentoring with entrepreneurs and business leaders.

The latest round of winners, announced at Final Pitch Night, showcase the Sydney Genesis commitment to fostering innovative Australian enterprises with social and commercial impact.

1st place: Advoc8

Democratising the lobbying industry by providing equal access to the development of Australia’s public policy.

Advoc8 is a B2B solution that tackles the difficulties of shaping public policy when business and community groups with competing interests vie for the attention of time-poor politicians. The startup plans to use the Genesis grant of $25,000 by hiring a full-time developer to work on growing their platform. This will fuel their best-practice advocacy at industry associations, advocacy consultancies and Fortune 500s across Australia and SE Asia.

Nicole Buskiewicz and Harry Curotta

Co-founders of Advoc8, Harry Curotta and Nicole Buskiewicz.

Whether you have a working prototype or just an idea, this will be the most productive eight weeks you'll ever spend at uni.
Nicole Buskiewicz, Founder and CEO, Advoc8

2nd place: Paper Pens Co.

Redesigning everyday products using environmentally friendly materials.

Sparked by the prevalent issue of climate change, Paper Pens Co. aims to reduce the unnecessary use of environmentally harmful materials. After extenive mentoring through Genesis, the startup is now planning to form a conglomerate of different brands that, together, redesigns everyday products using eco-friendly materials.

Genesis was a brilliant experience for Paper Pens Co. From social media growth to advertising to business partnerships, we had mentors who had done it before to give their advice.
William Tjo, Co-Founder, Paper Pens Co.

3rd place (tied): jobBuddy

Streamlining the process of finding trusted service providers.

Describing themselves as the personal online Yellow Pages, jobBuddy aims to declutter the process of finding service providers by connecting users with providers that are either friends, mutual friends or have been recommended by someone they know. Having honed its concept through Sydney Genesis, the startup now aims to expand its team and finalise the development of jobBuddy V1.

Genesis has played an integral role in the development and future direction of jobBuddy. Each session the mentors would challenge my prior assumptions on how a startup grows and provide me with feedback, resources and direction.
Kal Glanznig, Founder, jobBuddy

3rd place (tied): Treena

Refreshing STEM teaching using highly interactive online lessons.

Realising that students who find Math- and Science-based subjects difficult are usually the same students who struggle visualising concepts, Treena focuses on providing free high quality engaging resources. Through its mentoring support, Sydney Genesis helped Treena to ensure that their product remained free for students. After developing a business model, the startup has been able to build tools that provided teachers with tailored lesson plans. Treena is currently in partnership talks with local schools.

The Treena website listing educational courses
The weekly meetings were great as they provided a sense of accountability for progress. It was also great to meet other established businesspeople who were willing to provide high quality advice to help our business progress.
Julian Hamama, Co-Founder, Treena

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