Future Makers | Optus names fab-five finalists


Optus has announced five for-purpose start-ups as its 2022 Future Makers program finalists, who have each developed an innovative technology solution that addresses challenges for disadvantaged or vulnerable people in the categories of connected health and wellbeing, environmental sustainability and supporting vulnerable communities.

Now in its sixth year, Optus’ flagship social innovation program equips for-purpose start-ups with the tools to kickstart or grow their for-purpose business.

This year’s shortlist was selected by a panel of judges which included both senior leaders from Optus and experts from the social enterprise and impact investment sector. At the completion of the program, each finalist will have access to a share of $200,000 in grant funding to help scale their solution.

Helen Maisano, Director for Group Sustainability at Optus, said, “Technology is the great enabler and will continue to play a crucial role in meeting and overcoming both the environmental and social challenges facing our communities, and more specifically those in our communities who are disadvantaged and vulnerable.

“I want to congratulate our finalists. We are thrilled to be working with them. Optus is committed to supporting innovation and Australian start-ups as we continue to commit our resources and guidance to our future makers.”

This year’s Future Makers will take part in a three-month program made up of in-person workshops and webinars. Participants will also receive coaching from top talent and leaders at Optus and receive technology guidance and insights from industry experts.

The program will culminate in a pitch night where our Future Makers will have the opportunity to pitch for funding to a wider audience.

The 2022 Future Makers Finalists

Charopy – Martin Collings, NSW

Charopy technology solves the problem of out-of-home contaminated recycling bin contents going to landfill. Charopy’s technology ensures that only the correct items can go into the bin as the lid is locked and only unlocks for eligible items.

My Family Unit – Sarah Conron, VIC

My Family Unit is a dynamic therapeutic intervention providing organisations with a way to help working mothers lighten the ‘motherload’ and increase their wellbeing and workforce participation.

Indie – Danielle Owen Whitford, NSW

Pioneera’s bot Indie uses linguistic analysis and psychology to improve workplace mental health and wellbeing in a simple, non-disruptive way, to create workplaces that are happier, healthier and more productive.

SilVR Adventures – Colin Pudsey, VIC

SilVR Adventures is eradicating loneliness and isolation among older adults, through meaningful and shared virtual reality experiences, that stimulate memories to create connections and joy.

STEM Punks TV – Fiona Holmstrom, QLD

STEM Punks TV is a world first online streaming platform for STEM Education aimed at primary and high school students to ensure equity and equality in education worldwide.