Technology incubator, Stone & Chalk, is buying Ribit, a digital student job and internship matching platform that was set up by CSIRO’s Data61. 

Ribit was launched by CSIRO in 2016 with funding support from the federal government. The platform connects STEM and digital students with Australian businesses to build the talent pipeline for Australian SMEs and startups. 

The startup has created a marketplace of almost 40,000 students from 40 universities and TAFEs, and 3,000 Australian employers. The platform also runs network events for students and employers around the country. 

Stone & Chalk, which has worked closely with Ribit since its launch, said the strategic acquisition will support its services for startup and scaleup founders and corporate partners. The incubator provides services such as mentorship, sector advocacy, building innovation pipelines and providing collaborative workspace. 

Liz Jakubowski, who has headed up Ribit at CSIRO’s Data61, said the timing was right to take the platform to the next level.

“At CSIRO, we support a culture of research and technology transfer to industry. As an organisation which plays a vital role supporting the emerging technology ecosystem, Stone & Chalk is the ideal organisation to take Ribit forward from being a highly valued research program to a multi-functioning service that meets the growing needs of the market.” 

Ribit has been incubating within CSIRO’s Data61 over the past four years, building a critical base of users, matching students to jobs and internships and establishing many connections across the STEM and digital talent community. 

“The platform has now reached the right level of maturity to transition out of CSIRO and continue to build its future model and deliver even more impact through Stone & Chalk,” said Jakubowski.

Alex Scandurra, CEO of Stone & Chalk, said the Ribit platform was the ideal choice for Stone & Chalk as it expanded its network beyond fintech into emerging technology areas. 

“The platform has strong links to most universities and TAFEs and provides live data on skills in demand by employers,” Scandurra said. 

“Our business partners have already engaged hundreds of very capable students from it and we’re very excited to have the opportunity to take this important platform forward.

“With so many of Australia’s talented STEM and digital tech students on the platform, our plan is to build out a fast-growing, thriving community of innovators across the nation by leveraging our network of startups, scale-ups, partners and investors.

“We will continue to ensure that students from every institution around Australia can access the most rewarding jobs and career opportunities in the country and to ensure as much talent as possible is able to flow to the sectors with the highest growth potential.”

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