We sat down with Xylo Systems Co-founder Camille Goldstone-Henry to learn more about the decision to give a gift with impact and explore her passion for protecting the planet as well as why she’s a believer in collaboration, rather than competition when it comes to startups in the biodiversity space.

Xylo Systems Co-founders Jada Andersen and Camille Goldstone-Henry

Camille’s love of nature blossomed from her childhood surrounded by nature 

Growing up in Newcastle, NSW, Camille spent her upbringing immersed in nature, whether it be on the beach, bush walking, camping, or surfing.

During the 90s, her parents embraced an eco-innovative and sustainable lifestyle, utilising solar panels and growing their own organic produce. Sustainability and caring for the environment were embedded in her and her siblings from a young age, so she thought that was the typical way of living.

Camille fishing as a child

The apple didn’t fall far from the tree

Considering her parents were early adopters of solar for personal use it’s easy to see how Camille inherited this sense of innovation in using technology to protect biodiversity, even if it wasn’t as clear to her at the time.

“Ending up in the tech space isn’t where I thought I’d be but that’s kind of the future of what we were doing right?”

Camille Goldstone-Henry

Having such a nature-rich childhood, Camille always saw herself working in biodiversity due to her powerful connection with nature and drive to preserve it for future generations and said it was “just a no-brainer” that she would end up in the wildlife conservation space.

Growing up with such a sustainable lifestyle, Camille was shocked when she learnt of the environmental issues happening in the world around her. She recalls a formative moment when she was eight years old and first learnt of climate change.

“It was through watching the nightly news on TV, there was a news piece on climate change, and it devasted me, it rocked me to my core. It was such a pivotal moment for me in my life, realising that climate change is going to affect me, my siblings and future generations. I felt that I have to do whatever I can to stop it, and for me, that was protecting wildlife.”

Camille Goldstone-Henry

This pivotal moment ignited a drive in Camille to study Animal and Veterinary Bioscience at university and to work globally with endangered species. 

In hindsight, it was one of the early sparks that would eventually lead to developing Xylo Systems which originated as a solution to the challenges she had working in the biodiversity industry, namely that there was a lack of access to the right data at the right time to make critical management decisions.

Camille presenting at Startmate

Camille joins Jada Anderson to launch Xylo Systems

Founded in 2020, Xylo Systems is a cloud-based, data and AI platform that supports businesses understand their conservation efforts by measuring and managing their impact on biodiversity. Their overall goal is to help businesses reach a nature-positive future by 2030 and ensure their projects result in a net biodiversity gain. 

The team then joined Startmate which proved a game-changer.

Xylo Systems joined the Startmate accelerator cohort last year

The Startmate accelerator offers a 12-week program comprised of a mixture of sessions, including cohort check-ins, 1:1 mentor sessions and more structured training on key topics from the best startup operators in the region, which Camille still regards as having a transformative impact on the business.

“The customers we have and the investments secured to help us grow and wouldn’t have achieved without Startmate and their mentors.”

Camille Goldstone-Henry

Xylo Systems were given four mentors who coached them over 12 weeks and now act as advisors. Camille expressed her gratitude for the mentors’ generous support and her desire to reciprocate in a meaningful way. They gifted the mentors Wilderlands BDUs as they align with Xylo Systems’ mission of regenerating biodiversity. Camille emphasised the importance of giving a gift with impact. 

She shared that the mentors loved the gifts, as they saw the correlation with Xylo Systems and could view the impact they had on conserving critical habitats for critically endangered species. All of the mentors were delighted, with one of them even sharing their appreciation on Twitter.

Camille discovered Wilderlands through Twitter, where she stumbled upon the account and co-founder and CMO Heath Evans and thought… “This is a game changer.” 

“Having that simplicity is exactly what we need in the biodiversity space, we need to make it accessible and we need to make it mainstream for anyone.”

Camille Goldstone-Henry

She also had connections with our partners, Cassinia Environmental, as she participated in the Odonata Wild Idea Incubator when the idea of Xylo Systems first took shape. Wilderlands’ Co-founder, Paul Dettmann, served as a contributor and mentor throughout the incubator program. While biodiversity protection and restoration present complex challenges, Camille was particularly drawn to how “simple and easy” Wilderlands makes it for everyone to be a part of the solution. She also appreciated the transparent and detailed understanding of how much biodiverse land you are protecting and which endangered species are being protected.

Collaborating rather than competing to save Australian biodiversity

Having worked in the not-for-profit and academic space, Camille experienced the industry’s competitive nature, whether it was for grants, attracting the most donors or striving to be considered the best. The spirit of Xylo Systems was born in opposition to the idea that everyone must compete against each other. Camille understood that applying an overall collaborative mindset would bring the planet closer to reaching the collective goal of protecting biodiversity. Wilderlands have always noted Camille’s ability to uplift and support us as a start-up in the name of saving Australian biodiversity.

“I am such a huge advocator of working alongside and promoting other nature and biodiversity tech start-ups, particularly Australian-focused ones because we have so much work to do and we are going to go much further if we go further.”

Camille Goldstone-Henry

Camille also touched on the challenges of starting a business, that only other founders understand what you are going through, and that building strong relationships is crucial to creating a good support network so that you can help each other.

“We can only achieve it if we throw everything we can at environmental degradation from every single angle.”

Camille Goldstone-Henry

Xylo Systems and Wilderlands each play distinct roles in the broader picture of biodiversity conservation, Camille expressed that ultimately our values and operations are aligned, rather than in competition.

Xylo Systems KPMG Nature Positive Challenge win

Wilderlands were proud to be selected alongside Xylo Systems as 1 of 5 startups from across Australia, Fiji and PNG for the KPMG Nature Positive Challenge.

We were thrilled to see Camille and the team taking out the major prize of $100,000 as voted by a panel of judges which included representations from KPMG, WWF, and Climate Salad. 

Over the coming months, the program will provide access to a $250,000 pool of bespoke advisory services and connections to industry, business, science, community partners and impact investors, as well as the chance to pitch at a major event in September.

We’re proud to be flying the biodiversity flag alongside such a talented team and it is a testament to the relationship between both businesses recognising that any win for a biodiversity startup is a win for us all.

Learn more about the program by clicking the image below.