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VicHealth X LaunchVic CivVic Challenge

Positive young person laughing while collaborating with colleagues on creating presentation using colorful stickers for productive work in a group setting.Other young people having fun during workshop in the background.

VicHealth is partnering with LaunchVic to bring innovative health-tech prototypes to life to tackle the big health challenges facing Victoria's young people.

What you'll find on this page:


Our first startup collab.  

Investing in health-tech to advance greater health and wellbeing for Victoria’s young people.  

Giving innovators a pathway to use their skills for social good. 

We know that technology is shaping the future of health. And Victoria’s entrepreneurs are steering that transformation.  So, we've joined forces with LaunchVic to harness that power of entrepreneurship for prevention.  To connect with the startup community to create locally led health-tech solutions. 

We have a vision of a Victoria where no young person is denied a future that is healthy. So, we’re backing aspiring tech entrepreneurs and early-stage startups to support young people in Victoria to get Future Healthy.   

 This CivVic challenge will see our health-tech innovators take up the big health issues facing Victoria's young people.

Children eating food stock image with a question next to the image in "A call for Victorian startups to solve big challenges facing our kids". The logo of CivVic Labs and VicHealth are at the bottom of the image to show partnership.


“Challenge?”, you ask.  
The focus for this challenge is to improve young people’s access to healthy food and expose sneaky digital marketing practices of harmful industries. The innovators will develop prototypes for these big questions:  

  • How might we improve young peoples' access to healthy food in their community? 

    All kids should be guaranteed access to the healthy food they need to live, play, and learn through the day. But not every kid gets that chance. For many, cost, proximity, and availability are significant barriers to accessing healthy food options. We want to apply startup and codesign principles to drive youth-led solutions that address these barriers.  
  • How might we better understand and expose digital advertising of harmful industries that impacts young people? 

    All children deserve to grow up in environments that support their health and wellbeing and set them up for the best start in life. But the unhealthy food industry uses sneaky tactics. Like activities, images and characters that appeal to children – to target them online. We want the tools that can shine a light on these practices to the public and drive legal and policy solutions.

Break it down for me

  • 13 aspiring entrepreneurs and early-stage startups  
  • 6-week CivVic Labs pre-accelerator program* 
  • $10,000 up-front funding to develop the prototype 
  • Ideas co-design with VicHealth experts 
  • Growth development via business acceleration workshops 
  • New mentor networks 
  • Potential of $25k in seed funding**  

Selected startups

  • E-mojo is an app that will turn up the volume on young people’s voices to deliver critical information to adult ‘enablers’ so that they can identify young people who need intervention and support and ensure their basic wellbeing needs are being met and protected.
  • Plant Pick Share hopes to mimic the founders’ own journey of becoming involved in growing food and joining a community garden, through a technologically enabled, standardised, and scalable model. The plan is to address every barrier in the process of growing your own food. The initial step is working with the government, schools, universities, and community groups to achieve land access.
  • Eat Your Future is a technology-based startup led by Brittany Gardner. It allows young people to understand how the types and quantity of food they eat impact climate. Through an interactive web application, people are invited on the journey to understand their own consumption, and how it relates to their community, their health and the climate.
  • ReciMe is a social cooking platform, where everyday cooks can share recipes with their friends and family. Their mission, led by co-founder Christine Nguyen, is to democratise the cooking industry and empower everyone in the world to discover their love for cooking.
  • The Community Food Network (CFN) is Josh Farrigua’s start-up. Its’ mission is to make healthy food accessible to all Victorians, regardless of dietary requirements or cultural background, by connecting food-insecure people with providers of free food products.
  • Planté is a startup project that provides urban residents aged 18 to 35 with intelligent solutions to help them pick up self-gardening at home, led by Nguyen Hanh Nguyen
  • Anna Dai’s Good Food Market is a platform that connects young people with locally sourced and accessible raw foods and cooked meals from local marketplaces, health food retailers, and local home cooks.
  • WIRL: We are in the midst of a global mental health crisis. Scientists are finding answers in the gut-brain link, but there are no tools to support implementation in a relatable & scalable way. WIRL is the world's first mental wellbeing platform driven by the gut-brain axis.
  • HeadlinesAI will monitor digital news, RSS, social media accounts of food companies for current and new product mentions of ultra-processed foods using artificial intelligence. Andrea Schujman will use Natural Language Processing techniques to capture news on real-time, and the model will "talk" to a database of ingredients, policies, legislations and voluntary initiatives.
  • Product Forge is a technology startup that wants to build solutions to public policy challenges through leveraging cutting-edge modern technology. They specifically focus on the rapid pace of innovation made possible by modern open-source tech, and on help speed up the historically slow rate of innovation within government "from the outside".
  • DHI-AI are a Melbourne based startup that has been operating since 2019. They specialize in data mining, machine learning and insight generation with a focus on sentiment and emotion analysis. Their solution, led by Ken Rodrigues is a web-delivered platform that lists companies, scores them as to their likelihood of predatory activity, and provides analysis on what behaviors that are exhibiting are anomalous / indicators of predatory behavior.
  • Gotcha is creating a digital platform that combines gamification, critical thinking training, circular economy enablement, and AI-based research for school-aged children. Omar Ibrahim’s platform has embedded AI that uses computer vision to analyse the ads uploaded by users to be able to play the game.
  • Haast is an early-stage start-up focused on marketing and digital online compliance. We aggregate companies’ digital presences across multiple channels (web, social media, programmatic advertising) and apply a rules-based logic system to help users intelligently monitor, search and audit their entire digital presence

Meet the winners...

And the other finalists are


*This partnership is part of the latest round of CivVic Labs, LaunchVic's pre-accelerator program that brings startups and government together to prototype solutions to Victoria’s big challenges. 

**At the pitch event, three most innovative prototypes received seed funding of $25k per challenge to bring their ideas to market. 

Artwork by Dexx (Gunditjmara/Boon Wurrung) ‘Mobs Coming Together’ 2022
VicHealth acknowledges the Traditional Owners of the land. We pay our respects to all Elders past, present and future.
This website may contain images, names and voices of deceased people.

VicHealth acknowledges the support of the Victorian Government.

Artwork Credit: Dexx (Gunditjmara/Boon Wurrung) ‘Mobs Coming Together’ 2022, acrylic on canvas. Learn more about this artwork.