July 19, 2020

Virtually Unbeatable — Social Enterprise charityBay Spears Top Spot

Virtually Unbeatable — Social Enterprise charityBay Spears Top Spot

Answering the infamous “Bear vs. Shark” question, Mateo Palacio Gómez predicted the winner would be whichever animal could move fastest to adapt to the particular environment. He has proven himself to be one such entrepreneurial animal, co-winning the Hacker Exchange 2020 Virtual Innovation Program Pitch Competition.

Mateo is Co-Founder and Director of, an online marketplace for converting everyday items into cash donations for your favourite charities.

charityBay is a marketplace where people can turn their everyday items into cash for charities.
charityBay is a marketplace where people can turn their everyday items into cash for charities.

Competing against for-profits can be difficult for non-profits at the best of times, as financial return is a compelling driver of decisions. But Mateo has tapped into a different motivation for users of his product:

Donate. Buy. Smile.

Everything about Mateo makes a person smile.

He lives his principles: community, diversity, sustainability, respect and hard work.

When he joined the HEX Virtual program, Mateo already had an Economics degree and had studied finance, business, innovation, sustainability and social entrepreneurship.

He’s also the Founder of La Tricolor Events, one of Australia’s top Latin culture events companies.

So why did he decide to spend 2.5 weeks doing an intensive Virtual Global Innovation Program with HEX?

He believes successful businesses should think globally and act locally, be customer-centric, and be innovative — think differently from the rest.

“By searching the world’s best cohorts, I found that not only is HEX one of the top, but also applies the same principles I believe in.”

— Mateo Palacio Gómez, Co-Founder & Director,

HEX programs immerse innovators in startup ecosystems around the world. And HEX Virtual was no different. But for the first time, thanks to the pandemic, we incorporated all four of our ecosystems — Silicon Valley, Singapore, Tel Aviv and Melbourne — into the one program, online. This HEX cohort was also the first to include incredible participants located in the US and Sudan, as well as all around Australia. Mateo described it as “a full entrepreneurship journey”.

Help Mateo make the world a better place:

“We are looking for like-minded investors who have a passion for utilising technology for social change. We want to receive help and support from such individuals to assist us in getting investment-ready.”

— Mateo Palacio Gómez, Co-Founder & Director,

His key objectives?

  • Educate people on how easy and satisfying it is to help using charityBay,
  • Quickly grow contributions going to charities and the less fortunate,
  • Eradicate dumping hard waste on the street, which damages the ecosystem.

Amazingly, Mateo’s co-winner, Tess Guthrie, is also a social entrepreneur — in the data science space. We can’t wait to tell you all about her too — check out what Tess’ business WhyHive is doing to help NFPs. In true PAY-IT-FORWARD style, Tess and Mateo are already planning to help each other out — helping others out.

Check out Mateo’s pitch below, and donate/buy for charity at

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