Sextech, social impact and lunch dates: The most interesting migrant-run startups in this year’s Catalysr pre-accelerator


The Catalysr Ideate cohort. Source: Supplied.

Catalysr has released a list of the 80 entrepreneurs creating startups through the first stage of its pre-accelerator program, and from data for social impact to tech for better sex, there are some wild and wonderful ideas in the mix.

Founded in 2016, Catalysr is a pre-accelerator program specifically tailored to first-generation migrants and refugees hoping to launch a startup in Australia.

The ‘Ideate’ first stage is about finessing ideas through startup-essential masterclasses, and access to community events and mentors.

The best 20 from this group will move on to the ‘Accelerate’ stage of the program.

The latest Ideate cohort features 80 entrepreneurs hailing from 30 countries. Half of the participants are women.

In a Medium post, Usman Iftikhar, chief executive of Catalysr, said the founders “come from wide-ranging backgrounds but share in their aspirations to solve hard problems and create a better Australia for all of us to live in”.

Backing international entrepreneurs is “critical to ensuring that our economy becomes more anti-fragile”, he said.

“Different experiments by migrapreneurs with strong feedback (and learning) loops lead to strong economic growth and long-term prosperity for Australia.”

Some stand-out startups

Here are just a handful of the entrepreneurs, and ideas, coming out of the program so far.

Walid Joyan, from Afghanistan, is working on creating a platform allowing communities and not-for-profit organisations to raise funds without having to outwardly ask for donations.

Masaba Gofran and Mashiat Gofran, who hail from Bangladesh and Indonesia respectively, are creating a platform bringing people together, whether they’re seeking love, friendship or business help, through lunch dates.

Veg Oxi MP, founded by Brazilian migrants MaCson Queiroz and Roseane Bob, is an organic and vegan alternative food additive designed to extend the shelf life of fruits and veggies without altering their flavour.

Javed Ismail, from Pakistan, is creating an e-health solution promoting helping users manage chronic illnesses such as diabetes, through diet and lifestyle changes.

Driverli, created by French founder Jacques Lepron, offers a new way for young drivers to learn the ropes behind the wheel, with a focus on becoming a safe driver.

Irish entrepreneur Deborah Keys is working on a technology providing multilingual beach and water safety information, in a bid to help prevent drowning.

Originally from Belgium, Ethel Karskens is working on a platform using data analytics to help charities and communities measure and improve their social impact.

Clare Zhu, from China, is creating special education programs focused on moral standards and improving mental wellbeing.

SexWo is a startup headed up by Jian Cheng, Candice Leung and Sol Garrido, from China, Hong Kong and Spain respectively — as well as Aussie Lucinda Whitty— which provides better sex education for women, with the tagline “the more we know, the better it gets”.

Founded by Arsedian Ivanurrahman, from Indonesia and East Timor, HireYourWizard is a recruitment marketplace and service provider with a focus on flexible work and equal opportunities.

NOW READ: Better for everyone: Meet the migrant entrepreneurs strengthening Australia’s startup ecosystem

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