Online platform Pledger pitches in to connect companies with charities

One of the finalists at this Friday’s Sydney Genesis student entrepreneur pitching competition hopes to provide charities with an easier way to access support from corporate sponsors.


Pledger is an online platform that aims to link charities and small to medium-sized businesses together on the basis of characteristics like geography, industry and desired level of commitment.


The co-founder of the fledgling startup, Nicholas Rudder, says the idea arose after consulting people he knew working for charities.


“Our premise is basically we want to be an online bidirectional portal that matches small-medium enterprises to charity events,” he says.


“We found that on average there are about 250,000 charity events in Australia alone.


“Charity events are always looking for corporate sponsors, they’re always trying to get resources whether it be monetary, product donations, or manpower and businesses in general are looking to give back to the community and raise their philanthropic profile.”


Charities and businesses will be able to sign up to the service, answer a brief questionnaire and then be matched with each other according to the various characteristics.


“Our main value proposition is providing the match, once businesses are matched with a charity they can pledge or contribute in three main ways, monetary funds, manpower, or they can donate through free product,” Rudder says.


Pledger was selected from 38 applications in two categories, commercial and social not-for-profit startups.


Joining pledger in the final eight are:


  • Healthy Start: A Social business aiming to promote equity in access to proper food and nutrition through provision of healthy recess and lunch products for busy parents.
  • Breathe Well: A unique medical device to improve radiation treatment of lung cancer.
  • CsquaredM: A social app that helps people dress using clothing information and images share by friends, designers and retailers using facial and clothing recognition technology.
  • medical devices for smartphones, health apps for patients and doctors.
  • Research Skilled: An online learning platform that helps research students fill their skill gaps.
  • Food Pod: puts local farmers and groups of locals in contact to simplify access to local products and guarantees a fair return for the farmer.
  • Hydrophobic Plastics: developing a water resistant helmet visor that will give motorcyclists enhanced visibility and safety during wet conditions.


Sydney Genesis has been running since 2008 and offers cash prizes and a chance to attend the European Innovation Academy for the winning startups.


Rudder says the competition was vital to help him take the first steps towards making Pledger a reality.


“It’s a great thing to be doing, it really motivates you to get things done, I don’t think we could have got Pledger to this stage without it,’’ he says.


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