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Send FIRST Robotics Teams to the USA for World Championships

A project by: Blackbird Ventures


WE RAISED $19,934

from 33 donors

This project received pledges on Thu 04 Apr 2019
Help Blackbird send Australian FIRST Robotics Teams to World Champs in Houston

Help Blackbird send FIRST Robotics teams from Port Macquarie, Wollongong, Melbourne, Helensburgh and Sydney to the World Championships in Houston. It costs around $30k to send a team over and they have 3-4 weeks to raise the money. 

about blackbird

Blackbird is a community driven Venture Capital company with offices in Sydney and Melbourne. We invest in mission driven founders in industries ranging from SaaS to Space. The social mission of Blackbird is to inspire the next generation of Australians through technology and entrepreneurship.

the story

FIRST Robotics is far and away the best program we have found that encourages young Australians to get into science and technology. These students will be the future founders we hope to invest in. They represent the best of Australia and we will continue to support the FIRST program for years to come.

The outcomes are just astounding:

  • FIRST Alumni are 2.6 times more likely to enrol in an Engineering Course at university.
  • 75% of FIRST Alumni are in a STEM field as a student or professional.
  • In Australia, Macquarie University guarantees FIRST Alumni a place in one of their engineering courses.

And these are just the measurable outcomes. The anecdotal stories that come out of FIRST are incredible. We’ve met a young woman who was selectively mute until she enrolled in a FIRST program. She hosted a bunch of our investors and CEOs for a fundraising event and was one of the most eloquent and beautiful speakers we’ve heard.

We’ve seen remote high schools, with no STEM curriculum at all, enrol in FIRST and within 2 years offer programming courses and robotics classes.

We’ve seen opposing teams drop their own tools to help a struggling team fix their robot.

The list goes on.

World Championships represent a once in a lifetime opportunity for many of these students. It is a crossroads in their life - an experience that will shape them for years to come. We have specifically picked teams to support that we think deserve to go, but are from lower socioeconomic backgrounds.

Macquarie University is the major sponsor of FIRST Australia. The team that run FIRST all work out of the University and their continued support is what makes all of this possible.

If you can, please consider making a tax-deductible donation. We’ve had donations from as little as $10, all the way up to $10,000. Every little bit counts.

Where will the money go?

  • Flights per student are around $2,000 return.
  • Accomodation costs as much as $100 per night, per person
  • It costs upwards of $3500 to ship a robot from Australia to the USA.

Help us succeed!

You don't need to give money to help us succeed! Please share this project with anyone you think would support us – on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, by email, telephone, in a chat over the fence or on your blog.

In fact, share it with everyone you know as we think it's a great idea, and the more people who know about it, the more likely we are to make this work out brilliantly.

And we know we said you don't need to give money to help us, but we'd love it if you did! Please sponsor us and help make this happen.