Startup News Awards 2020 announced

All the winners, including Golden Ticket winners

// The 3rd annual Startup News Awards acknowledged five winners at this week’s Freo Startup Fest…

Local gear marketplace Quipmo won Most Admired Startup of the year, ClimateClever’s CEO and founder Dr Vanessa Rauland won Most Admired Startup Person/Founder and Curtin University’s Danelle Cross was the Most Admired Startup Supporter at this year’s Startup News Awards.

Brendan McCormack’s Fitafy also walked off with the most read Startup News article of the year, and Claire Orange from Digii Social was the most listened to Startup West podcast.

In its third year, the awards attracted more voters and nominees than ever. The awards were announced as part of the second Freo Startup Fest, taking place again at Little Creatures overlooking Fremantle harbour.

The Golden Ticket Pitch event took place earlier in the afternoon, with two winners selected to go straight into the Plus Eight bootcamp in 2021:

  • Tender Relief
  • Charli
Tender Relief’s co-winning pitch from Eliza Carbines

MOST READ Startup News article

Startup News published 270 articles in 2020, and the most read were:

  • Brodie for Mayor, featuring Brodie McCulloch
  • COVID-19 assistance for startups
  • Fitafy’s name change and seed raise, Brendan McCormack
  • KIXXFit launch, Lorena Sumich

The award was presented by Sandra Draper, JTSI, New Industries Fund

WINNER: Fitafy’s rename & seed raise, Brendan McCormack, co-founder & CEO of Fitafy

Brendan McCormack (Fitafy) with Sandra Draper, JTSI New Industries Fund

MOST LISTENED TO Startup West podcast

Startup West published 19 podcast episodes this year, some remotely while in lockdown. The 3 most popular podcast episodes in 2020 were:

  • Jesse Emia, KeepSpace
  • Lacey Filipich, Money School
  • Claire Orange, Digii Social

The award was presented by Chris Tistrand from new sponsor, Dinner Twist (himself a podcast guest in 2019).

WINNER: Claire Orange, Digii Social      

Chris Tistrand from Dinner Twist with Claire Orange (Digii Social)

The following 3 awards were voted by the startup community of WA…

Startup SUPPORTER of the Year

43 different supporters, advisers, mentors, investors were voted for in this category

In 1st name alphabetical order, the following 7 were right up there in the vote tally:

  • Andrew Larsen, Larsen Ventures
  • Brodie McCulloch, Spacecubed (who won it last year)
  • Chandra Sundareswaran, Spacecubed
  • Danelle Cross, Curtin University & Ignition
  • Derek Gerrard, BetterLabs Ventures
  • Greg Riebe, Entrepreneurs in Residence
  • Tracie Clarke, Perth Angels

Kali Norman from Spacecubed (also co-host of the Startup West podcast in 2020) presented the award to…

WINNER: Danelle Cross, from Curtin University, & Curtin Ignition

Winner Danelle Cross with Spacecubed’s Katie Van Den Brand

Startup PERSON of the Year   

41 different people were voted for in this award category; they could be a founder, staff member, developer, leader…who works in and for a WA startup.

This was a hotly contested category. It was extremely close. In 1st name alphabetical order, these 7 startup founders and CEOs were right up there in the vote tally, so well done them…

  • Brendan McCormack, Fitafy
  • Chris Evans, Quipmo
  • Claire Orange, Digii Social
  • Lucy Cooke, Spacedraft
  • Suzanne Dodds, Complete Home Filtration
  • Tyler Spooner, U Group
  • Dr Vanessa Rauland, ClimateClever

The Award was announced by Curtin University’s (and just announced 2020 Supporter of the Year) Danelle Cross:  

Dr Vanessa Rauland, receiving Startup Person of the Year

WINNER: Dr Vanessa Rauland, founder & CEO, Climate Clever

Dr Vanessa Rauland (ClimateClever) with Danelle Cross (Curtin University)

STARTUP of the Year       

38 different companies were voted for in this award category. To qualify, the business had to be an early stage WA innovative venture, with a scalable business model.

In alphabetical order, here are the 7 startups with most votes:

  • Ads on Wheels
  • Fitafy
  • Functionly
  • Picture Wealth
  • Quipmo
  • Spacedraft
  • The U Group

Steve Elias from RSM announced the winner:

WINNER: QUIPMO, Chris Evans CEO and founder

Chris Evans from Quipmo humbly accepting the Startup of the Year award from RSM’s Steve Elias.


City of Perth were also a sponsor, but could not attend on the night. Thanks to all sponsors, voters, nominees and congrats to the award winners.

Main Photo: All the Startup News and Golden Ticket Award winners 2020.


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