By Annie Parker
With Techfugees chapters located in dozens of cities around the world, there’s a lot happening. We catch up with three of the most promising startups to grow out of Techfugees Australia.
SYD 2015 Winners
SettleIn creates psychologically informed goal-setting technology to help newly arrived refugees settle into their new country. Their software is used in case management and psychosocial support, designed to be accessible for every person of a refugee background, regardless of age, language, education or ability.
Over the last six months, SettleIn has formed a partnership with education company Momentum Cloud, and are currently working on a universally accessible design in collaboration with a British graphic designer specialising in designing software for people with disabilities.
In 2017, they aim to complete their first pilot with Settlement Services International (SSI) and STARTTS, two Australian NGOs who resettle refugees in New South Wales. They’ll also be coming to the UK with two versions of the software, along with a professional goal-setting tool aimed at staff.
You can support SettleIn by connecting them to refugee service organisations in the UK. You could also be able to help them find expert pro-bono advice on how to make the software accessible internationally, while maintaining strict safety and security protocols.
SYD 2015 runner-up
Refugee Talent is a social enterprise platform matching refugees looking for work with relevant vacancies.
The platform was created by Nirary Dacho, a Syrian refugee who arrived in Australia in 2015 with a Masters in Web Science, but still struggled to find suitable employment. After meeting Anna Robson at the Techfugees Sydney hackathon, Refugee Talent was born.
In their first year of operation, Refugee Talent has had more than 300 candidates signed up, along with 100 companies across Australia. The startup has placed dozens of candidates in meaningful employment in both Sydney and Melbourne and assisted all candidates with enhancing their resumes and job readiness workshops.
They’ve also run two ‘speed dating’ events, where 20 companies and 50 refugee candidates have had the chance to take part in multiple job interviews and network with prospective employers.
In 2017, they aim to expand to other states and run more events in Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth, as well as New Zealand. Refugee Talent is also working on a pilot project with Talent Beyond Boundaries, where companies using the platform can hire highly skilled refugees from overseas.
SYD Winners 2016
ArtCrew is a public art mentorship program and online community for young people with refugee and migrant backgrounds.
The online platform presents monthly topics and articles on current issues within youth refugee communities, based on data and research generated by SSI. Members of the online community are encouraged to respond creatively to these topics.
Each month, 5-10 young people are selected to be a part of an ArtCrew in which they learn design and public art skills from professional artist mentors, and paint murals in the Greater Western Sydney region over a 12-month period.
In late 2016, they developed a strategic partnership with Parramatta Council. The council has been a key supporter of Welcome Walls, our current community public arts campaign which aims to welcome refugees into our communities through the medium of public art.
In the first month of 2017, they secured five sites at which to create large-scale community murals. These murals have been designed through a co-design process with community members from refugee and migrant backgrounds at our first ever community design workshop.
For 2017, their focus is on creating a sustainable business model that enables the public art program to grow and attract the right partners, requiring them to raise around $200,000. They’re also exploring the augmented reality and virtual reality potential of murals and public space in order to make ArtCrew a technologically relevant and innovative business.
Later this year, they aim to develop a working pilot model that can be taken overseas in order to bring ArtCrew to other communities around the world.
Connections on fundraising and how to grow the business overseas would be much appreciated! Take a look at their crowdfunding campaign.
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