Stone & Chalk acquires Ribit, digital fixer for students and businesses

Stone & Chalk acquires Ribit, digital fixer for students and businesses
Liz Jakubowski from Ribit and Alex Scandurra, CEO of Stone & Chalk

Stone & Chalk, Australia’s largest emerging technology incubator and impact network, today announced that it is to take on Ribit, a digital student job and internship matching platform that was set up by CSIRO’s Data61, the digital specialist arm of Australia’s national science agency.

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 start-ups

Ribit has built a steadily growing community and marketplace with almost 40,000 students from 40 universities and TAFEs, and 3,000 of Australia’s most innovative employers registered on the platform.

Thousands of students have been matched to job opportunities and over 5,000 have participated in 40 networking events around Australia.

How does Ribit complement Stone & Chalk?

Not-for-profit, Stone & Chalk brings together founders, investors, industry, government stakeholders and mentors to drive growth, advocacy and commercialisation.

Their services for startup/scaleup founders and corporate partners include mentorship, sector advocacy, building innovation pipelines and providing collaborative workspace.

The strategic acquisition of Ribit will enable Stone & Chalk to connect promising tech and digital talent with exciting emerging technology companies and established partners.

This will advance Stone & Chalk’s mission to identify, nurture, connect and propel those who are seeking to solve the world’s most pressing business and social challenges.

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 Ms Jakubowski.

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

“As Ribit’s anchor customer, we’ve worked closely with the team since its launch. The platform has strong links to most universities and TAFEs and provides live data on skills in demand by employers. 

“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.

“We want to help small and large entrepreneurial businesses find the finest emerging talent to supercharge their growth – software engineers, web developers, data analysts, PhD researchers, designers, business analysts, marketing and communications. 

“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.”

Ms Jakubowski said an important component of building business resilience was being able to find talented students with digital and STEM skills to help them grow. 

“Research has shown a direct link between the employability of students who undertake internships or part-time roles while they are studying and future career success. This is even more important in a period of economic recovery. 

“The majority of new, high-value jobs are created by innovative businesses and high-growth companies in emerging industry sectors. Providing these businesses with a pipeline of strong talent is absolutely critical to their success,” she said.