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Three WA startups tackling global climate change challenge

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Andrew Outhwaite
Climate Change 3
// // Local scalable tech is being developed to reduce, measure and repair the impacts we have on the planet

The recent IPCC report made headlines with the UN labelling it ‘Code Red for Humanity’.

Here in WA, we are both causing, and feeling the effects, climate change. Our per capita carbon emissions are amongst the highest on earth and our temperatures, rainfall and sea levels are changing faster than almost anywhere else.

So obvious questions for the entrepreneurs amongst us are: “What can I do in the face of this massive challenge?” and “Who is already leading that I can learn from?”

Three local startups who help answer those questions offer a mix of inspiration, practical solutions, and investment opportunities.

Each venture is tackling a different aspect of the climate challenge: helping our most sensitive ecosystems adapt to changing conditions, measuring and managing your carbon footprint and reducing the impact of your travel on the planet.

As you read, consider what you can do: support them by using their products or services, help spread the word about them, perhaps join them as an investor or even use them as inspiration to found your own venture.

Coral Maker

Based in Geraldton after relocating from San Francisco last year, Dr Taryn Foster is founder of Coral Maker.

Her team, including robotics and AI experts in San Francisco and engineers in the UK, are tackling the impacts of climate change by accelerating the scale and speed at which we can restore or relocate coral reefs.

Reef restoration efforts are underway globally, but coral production is orders of magnitude below what is required for reef scale restoration. Reef restoration is currently done using slow, manual processes, with no products specifically designed for large scale restoration. Additionally, with no supply chain and no automation, the cost per unit of coral deployed is prohibitively high.

Three WA startups tackling global climate change challenge
The Coral Maker

Coral Maker is adapting technologies from the manufacturing industry and automating repetitive steps in the process, to enable the mass production of corals for both reef restoration and the installation of new coral reefs. They are developing pre-made coral skeletons that can be manufactured at a very high volume and low cost. The skeletons are then seeded with live coral, using their mobile robotic coral seeding unit for onsite deployment. These products and systems could increase coral production by an order of magnitude, making reef scale restoration a reality. These technologies have many applications outside of pure ecological restoration, including: tourism, coastal protection, industry, and offsetting.

We’d like to see coral reef restoration operating at a scale that can have a real impact on a reef. For that to happen, the industry needs to operate like any other industry that mass produces; with a supply chain, specialisation, fast and cheap production, and automation wherever possible.

These technologies already exist in many other industries and just need to be repurposed to meet our needs in coral reef restoration. We envision a future where large scale reef installation projects (kilometres per year) will be possible, and we can ‘move’ corals to locations where they are more likely to survive climate change .

Taryn Foster

Coral Maker is currently seeking seed funding to complete their product development, and will soon be seeking partners and funds for their first pilot project in WA. Contact Taryn to learn more [].


Dr Vanessa Rauland has combined her expertise in climate change, policy and decarbonisation with Alexander Karan’s expertise as a software engineer to create an award-winning product and WA’s ‘most admired’ startup.

Based in Fremantle, ClimateClever makes it easy and affordable for businesses, schools, households and local governments to accurately measure and monitor their carbon footprint, reduce their emissions and utility costs, and offset emissions to become carbon neutral. ClimateClever has more than 100 Australian schools, 28 local governments and thousands of households actively reducing their home carbon emissions.

Having just released their business version, they have GP’s, breweries, architects, retailers and other office-based businesses all signing up. For some larger companies (think mining and infrastructure), impending Carbon Border Adjustment Taxes and ‘net zero’ commitments are flowing through their supply or value chains, meaning even SMEs will have to demonstrate action.

Three WA startups tackling global climate change challenge

We saw an opportunity to partner with large companies that are likely to be exposed to these supply chain regulations and are offering a similar partnership to our LGA program.

We provide a discount to their suppliers/community and aggregate and de-identify all the data and provide it back to them, enabling them to easily measure and report their total emissions and the impact of various actions. Our aim is to empower whole communities to take measurable action on climate change.

Vanessa Rauland

You can sign up yourself, your kid’s schools, your business or your whole supply chain right now at [] They are also about to close a fundraising round, so investing is also an option.

Tiller Rides

A significant portion of your personal and business carbon emissions will be from transport. It’s that fact, combined with the lived experience of it becoming harder to move through our congested cities that lead Julian Ilich to create Tiller Rides, also based in Fremantle.

Tiller is producing the world’s most advanced and digitally connected e-bike: the Roadster. The Roadster is a viable form of urban transport with a very small carbon footprint when compared to other transport options such as a car. Its production creates just 149kg of C02 compared to the 4000kg CO2 of a car and uses 90% less emissions to operate, even if charged from coal-fired electricity.

Combining the Roadster’s production footprint and its lower emissions per kilometre, a rider only needs to ride 1,000km instead of taking a car to offset the entire carbon footprint of its life cycle.

As Startup News announced two weeks ago, the first 500 Roadsters will be arriving in Australia in December, and Tiller is currently offering Australians the opportunity to invest in the company alongside some of Australia’s leading funds, for as little as $250. A range of rewards are being offered as an incentive for investment, including substantial discounts on Roadsters. Find out more at [].


Disclosure: Andrew Outhwaite has worked as an advisor with these three companies

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Andrew Outhwaite

I work with the leadership teams of scaling social ventures to grow the good they are doing more easily. I have a special focus on marine industries and the 'blue economy'. This builds on my last fifteen years of international experience growing influential social innovations in collaboration with many remarkable humans.
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