April 12, 2023

KPMG expands start-up challenge to PNG and Fiji


Now into its second year, KPMG’s Nature Positive Challenge has an increased prize-pool and expanded geography, with Papua New Guinea and Fijian environmental start-ups now eligible to participate.

Professional services firm KPMG has expanded its Nature Positive Challenge to the South Pacific, with start-ups in Australia, Papua New Guinea and Fiji active in the areas of biodiversity and maritime conservation to potentially share in $400,000 (US$266,000) worth of prizes and services.

Launched last year, the inaugural Nature Positive prize-winner was Western Australia’s ULUU, which took home $100,000 (US$66,000) as the most impactful venture.

Narrowing on last year’s challenge, this year’s theme is focused on two key environmental areas; ‘Biodiversity’, for companies “accelerating the protection, preservation and regeneration of all species and living things on earth”; and the ‘Blue Economy’, for those “encouraging the sustainable use of oceans and marine resources to support economic growth and community prosperity, while preserving the health of blue ecosystems.”

Expressions of interest are open to start-ups working on ideas, technology and solutions in the designated categories, with five in total to share in a pool of $250,000 (US$166,000) worth of consultancy, tax, and accounting services to help scale their business. Those selected will once again compete for the ultimate $100,000(US$66,000) prize, while KPMG has also this year introduced a $50,000(US$3,000) ‘People’s Choice’ prize to be voted on by staff.

Julia Reisser and Michael Kingsbury, the co-founders of last year’s winner ULUU, which has developed a plastic alternative from sustainably-farmed seaweed, said the triumph was a defining moment for the business. “This program not only added credibility to our sustainability claims, but it also introduced us to so many customers and suppliers, seeding those vital relationships that will help us grow,” said Reisser

In addition to the financial incentives and consulting and services support, the five selected participants will also be exposed to industry, business, science, knowledge and community partners, along with potential investors, with the opportunity to feature at a Nature Positive Challenge pitch event and later showcase following the winner’s announcement in June. Expressions of interest remain open until the 28th of April.

“When our economies, livelihoods and well-being all depend on nature, we need to work in harmony with the environment as part of our business practice to ensure a sustainable future,” commented KPMG Australia CEO Andrew Yates.

“Last year’s Challenge highlighted just how many innovative Australian ventures are developing impactful and disruptive solutions to complex and ongoing environmental problems.”

Source: KPMG

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