Calling all environmental innovators: our environment needs your ideas

By Australian Geographic 21 May 2020
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The Wild Idea Incubator wants to hear your business ideas that can help our environment.

OUR COUNTRY IS currently facing one of the biggest challenges we’ve ever seen. A growing number of Australian plants and animals are now facing extinction – our mammal extinction rate is the worst in the world.

But it isn’t too late to save Australian species on the brink of extinction and we’ve seen some successes in the last few years: the bilby has returned to NSW, ‘bogong biccies’ are helping the fire-affected Kosciuszko pygmy-possums and there are continuing conservation efforts protecting the Manning River helmeted turtle.

Australia isn’t short on innovative scientists and entrepreneurs, bursting with ideas to save our environment. But a lack of funding means the Australian conservation industry does not have sustainable revenue streams to do their great work. There is a need to design enterprise-based solutions to environmental conservation, which do not rely on traditional funding methods.

We need to close the gap between environmental innovators and funding

Introducing the Wild Idea Incubator.

In 2019, the New South Wales Government’s Saving our Species program partnered with Odonata and the NAB Foundation to develop a business incubator focussed on supporting conservation-focused start-ups.

The result was a collaboration between government, not-for-profits and the private sector, to fund and develop innovative ideas, helping environmental entrepreneurs get their projects off the ground.

Wild Idea is the first-of-its-kind – a nature-first business incubator designed to support business ideas focused on environmental conservation. In its first year, Wild Idea supported four promising conservation projects:

• The Lonely Conservationists is an online platform for conservationists to share stories and increase mental health awareness
• Owl BnB creates portable habitats for owls
• Grow Love Project is a social enterprise media company advocating for a healthy, bio-diverse Australia
• Charopy solves the problem of contamination in recycling bins

This year, Wild Idea Incubator is on the hunt for new and exciting environmental entrepreneurs.

Do you have a great business idea to help our environment, and the time and skills to make it happen? Visit their website to find out more – the program is free to join and we’re looking for innovators from across the country. Applications close 21 May 2020.

This article is sponsored by the Wild Idea Incubator.