Hannah Mourney is Investment Associate at Giant Leap. She’s also a co-founder of VC Women Down Under, a community of women working across investment and operations in the Australian and New Zealand start up ecosystem.
What was your first job?
My first job was as a receptionist for my childhood optometrist, which included responsibilities like booking appointments, processing payments, glasses repair and helping people choose new glasses (not my forte!)
Out of University my first full time job was an Associate at L.E.K. Consulting, working across strategy and due diligence projects spanning projects in transport, heavy construction, healthcare and consumer goods.
When did you first discover the concept of Impact Investing?
I discovered impact investing in my search for a role where I believed in the purpose or ‘why’ behind what I would be working on.
I was first introduced to VC through an internship where I spent a week each with Blackbird, Main Sequence Ventures and Reinventure. When I started looking for a new pathway, I was excited to see a number of roles open up in the VC space, but as soon as I saw Giant Leap I knew it was the right fit for me. We invest in founders solving urgent and pressing global problems at scale across climate, health and empowerment and education, and I feel that I personally have a really strong passion for and tie to each of these areas.
What is your vision or what do you wish for?
I always wanted to be an engineer and build things that would help people, so I studied Biomedical Engineering at University. During my honours project, designing paediatric orthopaedic devices, I realised how challenging the commercialisation of medical innovation is and the major funding gap that exists for these potentially life saving technologies.
I’d love to close the funding gap for medical innovation, and work to build an ecosystem that has the knowledge and skills available to support the founders working in this space. We’re really in the early stages of building a healthtech/medtech ecosystem that has what it needs to back novel solutions in these spaces and I think through greater collaboration, more patient capital and better informed (and empowered) investors we could create more businesses like Cochlear, and Mindset Health.
What’s one exciting initiative or development you and your team have in the pipeline?
We’re hoping to build and develop the impact startup ecosystem in Sydney, having been heavily Melbourne focused in the past. We know that urgent and pressing global problems require solutions at scale and we want to see more companies harnessing technology and innovation to reimagine industries and create transformational change across climate, health and empowerment and education.
Keep an eye out for our first Sydney based Impact Pitch Night to be hosted later this year!
Name one high impact company (local or globally) that investors should keep their eye on?
Investors should be keeping their eye on Trace, an incredibly impactful business helping SMEs measure their emissions, set targets and unlock the power of their workforce to reach net zero.
As countries are already emitting more CO2 equivalent emissions than can be feasibly drawn down, achieving net zero will depend heavily on reducing avoidable emissions. John Doerr, author of Speed and Scale: An Action Plan for Solving our Climate Crisis, estimates that we will need to avoid 59 billion tonnes of CO2 emissions by 2050.
We’ve been blown away by what founders Cat and Jo have been able to achieve, with the business on a high growth trajectory and having already facilitated the offset of over 50,000 tonnes of CO2 equivalent emissions. Trace’s tech platform is super simple to use and I’ve just gone through the process of quantifying Giant Leap’s footprint (see our impact page). The team and their community engagement and education tools are next level, and we can see them driving a significant amount of decarbonisation for SMEs over the next decade.
Trace is active across Australia and recently launched into the UK. If you know a business that is looking to start decarbonising connect them to Trace here.
What advice would you give to someone wanting to do this work?
You don’t need to work for an impact fund to be an impact investor. We want to see a world where impact investing is the norm, and believe that this transition will occur as more and more people see impact businesses outperforming in the long run.
If you’re interested in adopting some of our frameworks and methodologies into your investment decision making, the best place to start is with our impact roadmap and impact calculator.
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