These four Australian startups just won $1 million from Google to help make the world a better place

Picture: Google Impact Challenge

Google has given four Australian startups $1 million each to help them help people in need across the country.

Google Vice President and Global President Jacquelline Fuller announced the winners of the Impact Challenge yesterday. Here’s who they are and what they do:


An anxiety-reducing app addressing the massive challenge of autism unemployment.

Picture: Google Impact Challenge

The Xceptional app uses activity-based assessments and games to reduce the anxiety that often comes with autism and prevents 65% of people with autism from gaining or retaining employment. 125 million people worldwide experience autism yet this group is often underemployed. Many people with autism have an incredible eye for detecting patterns in data and an ability to sustain superior levels of concentration, making them uniquely qualified to make exceptional contributions to tech and data teams. By mitigating anxiety and testing for functional skills, the Xceptional app will empower autistic employees to flourish, help employers embrace the benefits of neurodiversity, and make a massive dent in autism unemployment.


Platform for people with disabilities to find, hire, and manage support workers who fit their needs and share their interests.

Picture: Google Impact Challenge

The introduction of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) has allowed Hireup to create an online platform that empowers people with disabilities and their families to find, hire, and manage their own support workers. By filtering available support workers based on their own needs and interests, users will be able to create more meaningful connections and, ultimately, healthier communities. Access to this revolutionary platform will be expanded to new communities of NDIS users, creating more effective, hyper-local networks of support for thousands of people.

Orange Sky Australia

Technology to help nonprofits track their impact on people experiencing homelessness.

Picture: Google Impact Challenge

Orange Sky Connect enables charities and community groups to record and track their mobile outreach service delivery to over 116,000 Australians experiencing homelessness. The web-based solution will empower these 35,000+ charities providing essential services including food, health, hygiene, and housing to measure the impact of those services on people in need. This is the first and only centralised solution that accurately and consistently tracks and measures homelessness service delivery and impact.


Event ticketing platform which redirects “resented” booking fee profits to solve social challenges around the world.

Picture: Google Impact Challenge

Humanitix is the first not-for-profit ticketing platform in the world to redirect its share of the billions of dollars in event booking fees to solve social challenges including poverty, disadvantage and education gaps. Founders, Adam McCurdie and Joshua Ross founded Humanitix in 2015 to transform the events ticketing industry into a force for good and make events accessible to everyone, particularly those with disabilities who are often marginalised from community participation.

The platform is economic and unique in model, allowing Humanitix to invest grant funds wholly into charitable projects, yet still being able to scale its operations to support even more projects with sustainable revenue generated by ticketed events.

All remaining finalists were awarded $250,000 each to help fuel their development. They are:

Radiant, RASE
Data-driven algorithms match mental health professionals to help-seekers based on their needs.

OzHarvest Food Rescue Digital Platform
Mobile technology to reduce food waste drastically and to provide food relief to regional Australians.

Dugong Detector, Murdoch University
Using drones, AI, and dugongs to monitor seagrass ecosystems affordably.

Environs Kimberley and the KTLA
Pirra pani pi jara: Desert Eyes and Ears, a monitoring network to help Aboriginal Rangers better manage and protect biodiversity and culture.

Breaking Good, The University of Sydney
Engaging high school students in STEM education through open source drug discovery programs.

Bringing Care Closer to Country, Diabetes WA
Combating diabetes in remote Aboriginal communities through telehealth technology and cultural co-design.

You can read more about all the winners here at the Google Impact Challenge website.