This year we invited innovators, entrepreneurs, businesses, students and the community to come up with innovative solutions that will deepen and enhance the impact international students and alumni make on our city.

After six weeks of exploring how to use data and technology to make Melbourne a more inclusive city for international students and alumni, the finalists are ready to present their best ideas at the Open Innovation Competition pitch showcase.

Winners were announced on the night with a number of exciting prizes up for grabs including a slice of the $30,000 cash prize pool, entry into the University of Melbourne’s Velocity Program, RMIT’s LaunchHub program and Catalysr’s Migrapreneur Fellowship program, StartSpace membership prize and Startup Network membership prize.

Each pitch was subject to live Q&A by a panel of experts and prizes were awarded by our wonderful competition partners.

Event Details

Wednesday 21 June 2023, 5.30pm to 8pm

Meet the finalists

  • Enya Loo


    Stint is an online platform and community helping international students build a career in Australia. Through our online community, job board and recruitment services, we are creating a more equitable job landscape for international students, and a more inclusive and diverse workforce for Australia.

  • Laxmi Pun

    Illume Foundation

    Illume Foundation is a social enterprise that empowers students and graduate to break the 'no experience, no job cycle' through entrepreneurship skill-building programs and start up placements.

  • Xuan Wang

    City Compost Network

    Back to Earth International Champion program is a 10-week training program for International Students and Alumni to facilitate workshops and troubleshoot existing compost and food waste recycling systems, specifically targeting the culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) community and communities in high density dwellings. The program aims to help Students to improve confidence in communication and build meaningful relationships through food waste recycling.

  • Volker Breuer


    UPitch.Me empowers young talent on their professional journey to success and happiness. Our video recruiting platform, in-person talent pitch nights, and tailored (AI-assisted) job alerts help international students and graduates find their way into career-defining jobs and internships.

  • Chris Kong

    Asia Expert Connect

    Asia Expert Connect is a qualified talent pool of international alumni. It can be used by Australian SME companies to find cost-effective, on-the-ground advice when seeking opportunities in Asia. It helps international alumni to leverage their local knowledge/networks, supplement their current salary, and maintain a connection to Australia.

  • Ngoc Khanh Nguyen and Anh Hoang Vo


    Are you an international student who is struggling with finding affordable household equipment in Melbourne? PassMe is here for you! We understand how difficult it is to find affordable household equipment and furniture while you are only on a short-term exchange to Melbourne. We have a vision to provide an all-in-one marketplace for trading furniture or household equipment.

Event MC

Phil Ore

CEO and Co-Founder at 25eight Group. Co-Founder of Entrepreneurs&Co. Pitch Mentor for Startup Victoria.


Panel of Experts

Each pitch will be subject to live Q&A by a panel of experts and competition partners, including:
Usman Iftikhar

​Usman Iftikhar

CEO Catalysr


Christine Fyfe

Christine Fyfe

General Manager, International Education Association of Australia


Andrew Wear

Andrew Wear

Director, Economic Development and International at City of Melbourne


Vicki Stirling

Vicki Stirling

CEO Startup Victoria



Our prize winners are being announced by our wonderful competition partners:

Open Innovation Competition