Open Innovation

Bridging the gap––and eliminating the challenges––between startups, corporations and academia.

YBF’s open innovation hub focuses on B2B startups in the areas of fintech, healthtech, Internet of Things (IoT), big data and analytics, cloud and SaaS, gamification and marketplaces, cyber security and adtech.

Innovating within an organisation can be challenging

Intrapreneurs (internal entrepreneurs) from all industries are all too familiar with the dangers of trying to build future-thinking and disruptive ideas from within an organisation and a defined cultural construct. YBF is neutral territory offering a safe-to-learn environment, enabling innovation to be brought to life.


YBF’s open innovation platform allows organisations to access a prolific entrepreneurial ecosystem to incubate an idea. Intrapreneurs can embrace creativity and develop ideas free from constraints. Focus can be redirected to ‘out-there’, disruptive ideas and the ability to build those ideas into prototypes, potentially pilots and then products.


YBF provides a platform to collaborate, connect and drive real outcomes.

How We Help

Idea Incubators

YBF is the entrepreneurial platform that enables great people with great organisational ideas to experiment in a safe-to-learn environment.

People Connectors

YBF facilities the connection between larger organisations and curated startups in a directed and purposeful manner. It is a collaboration-first, open-attitude environment geared to deliver innovation through connectivity.

Growth Experts

YBF, leveraging its expertise and enviable network, is a growth expert and advisor of corporate venturing. YBF’s unique approach accelerates network connectivity and capabilities within corporates.


Putting together the world’s first TEDx event in the sky

The Qantas ‘Ideas that Travel’ is a partnership with TEDxSydney in which a series of TEDx talks took place on a Qantas flight to San Francisco. Talks from some of Australia’s most prominent innovators were live-streamed to all on-board the flight.


We helped Qantas select and source six Australian startups from the YBF network, seeking to accelerate their international growth to join in the TEDx experience and the subsequent 3-day intensive tour. These companies were FrankBody, CarCloud, Beanhunter, Omny, DrawBoard and Relectrify.


The 3-day intensive tour of San Francisco and Silicon Valley saw the TEDx presenters and entrepreneurs attend growth sessions with Facebook, Google, Optimizely, and others.

The ‘Ideas that Travel’ tour organised by Qantas and the York Butter Factory was an outstanding opportunity to deepen our understanding of the US startup community and to strengthen our networks within it.
Valentin Muenzel, CEO, Relectrify
The inspiration and information that I gained from the tour of Silicon Valley as well as meeting and travelling with some of the most innovative minds in the country has honestly changed my life.
Mitch Secrett, Omny
So do I think we created genuine value from the exercise? I can categorically say yes and I will be driving my team to continue to foster our ecosystem relationships through activities such as Hackathons.
Dr. Patrick Maes,
GM Strategy & Planning, ANZ


A fresh approach to streamlining operations

In 2015, our corporate partners ANZ and IBM wanted to collectively digitise and streamline aspects of ANZ’s operations. Wanting some fresh perspectives, ANZ partnered with YBF and RMIT to establish a weekend long Hackathon, titled “Digitise ANZ Ops” to crowd-source new solutions for ANZ’s operations.


YBF hosted this event, which saw RMIT’s top Computer Science and IT engineering grads work on ANZ’s objectives and build solutions on the IBM BlueMix platform. The YBF and IBM team both provided assistance in planning and running the event alongside ANZ GM of Strategy & Planning, Dr Patrick Maes, and his Senior Leadership team. The event also included representations from YBF’s academic partner, RMIT.


The event provided 13 fresh, clever and dynamic operation solutions, all of which had direct relevance and tangibility within ANZ. The winners of the event were provided the opportunity to tour the ANZ head office in Melbourne and to have lunch with Dr. Patrick Maes.


This event not only crowd-sourced some great new ideas – it also directly connected ANZ employees with customers, showcased some top talent for potential graduate hires and supercharged everyone with enthusiasm, creativity and a greater sense of collaboration.


Read about Dr. Patrick Maes’ experience at the ANZ Hackathon here, “Hackathons: not a gimmick but a genuine collaboration tool”.


Supporting the growth of international startups

The New Zealand Trade & Enterprise – York Butter Factory (NZTE-YBF) Accelerator Programme was launched in February 2015 with the aim of supporting the development of rapidly growing New Zealand Technology companies in the Australian market.


The programme provides participants access to a landing pad, local mentors, investors, workshops and an invaluable network of startups and corporate partners to instantly connect with.


The programme has attracted 9 technology businesses, who have actively participated in advisory sessions and workshops focused on improving their understanding on the following topics: business development, financial modelling, customer acquisition, cashflow projections, digital marketing and capital raising to name a few.


They have also collectively hired an Australian based workforce of 18 people, as well as raising an estimated $15 million in capital from venture capital investors. Furthermore, we have brokered over $2 million worth of transactions and partnership deals between the participants and YBF’s suite of corporate partners (i.e. ANZ Bank, Coles, EY and etc.)

Interested in becoming a corporate partner?