A former Ironman triathlete, amateur astronomer, budding pilot and ex-NRL player are among the founders of seven start-ups accepted into the River City Labs Accelerator Program, powered by Telstra’s muru-D.
Start-ups will be provided with seed capital, office space at technology startup hub River City Labs, mentoring, training, the opportunity to attend international trade missions, and high-level networking opportunities as part of the six-month program.
Each team will receive up to $60,000 each in funding in return for up to ~6 per cent equity. Investors in participating teams will include Shark Tank star and River City Labs founder Steve Baxter.
Who is entering the program?
The seven successful start-ups in the second cohort of the River City Labs Accelerator Program are:
- 2ndLease – a rental marketplace that enables individuals and businesses to rent appliances and household items
- Inco Docs – a cloud-based software created to increase sales and efficiencies for exporters around the world. It creates clear, professional quotes and export compliant documents
- Innovative Drone Solutions – airborne testing of antenna systems using unmanned aerial vehicles
- Maxwell MRI – a preventative health subscription service that combines the power of MRI and Artificial Intelligence to help detect potential health issues before it is too late
- SiteSee – a web platform for telcos that leverages 3D maps of mobile towers to streamline the design and management of mobile networks
- TalentVine – a talent acquisition platform where employers and recruiters collaborate to reduce the time and costs required to hire specialist and technical candidates
- Viberent – a cloud-based subscription software system and marketplace built for the worldwide SME hire and rental industry that integrates with SME accounting systems
How were these selections made?
The program received more than 80 applications from all over Australia and internationally.
According to Ken Macken, River City Labs Accelerator Program lead Entrepreneur-in-Residence, applications were also received from participants in eight countries.
“We’re excited by the response to the second River City Labs Accelerator Program in Brisbane … the quality of start-ups made the selection process all the harder,” Mr Macken said.
“We’re humbled that without any marketing the program has been recognised globally as a major, ‘go-to’ accelerator for startups, as evidenced by applications from Denmark, Turkey, Canada, Singapore, Vietnam, India, Indonesia and the Philippines.”
“I’m delighted to welcome another seven awesome start-ups into our ever growing family. Brisbane and Queensland are proving to be just as full of amazing talent as we hoped it would be. I can’t wait to see how far each of the teams will go – I’ve already blocked demo night out in my diary!” Annie Parker, co-founder of muru-D, said.
Interesting stories behind these start-ups
TalentVine co-founder, Justin Falk, was one of the world’s top 5 per cent for Ironman triathlon when he was in the corporate world.
“It didn’t take long for me to realise that the start-up world and 25-hour training weeks don’t really go hand-in-hand,” Mr Falk said.
He plans to “embrace a bulging waistline and elasticated sweatpants until I navigate TalentVine’s global exit”.
When he’s not crunching code, Viberent founder Siva Sivakumar spends his time as an amateur astronomer and the Brisbane Astronomical Society’s treasurer. He also writes plays and short stories in Tamil and is an active member in his community.
Inco Docs co-founder Ben Thompson is passionate about light aircraft but had to hit pause on his private pilot’s licence training to concentrate on the start-up. The word “try” had a different meaning to his business partner and fellow co-founder, Brandon Boor, in the early days.
“I find it amusing that I’m a co-founder of a tech start-up but my first career was an NRL player with the North Queensland Cowboys. At first glance both occupations seem so opposite but in so many ways they are very much the same,” Mr Boor said.
In August 2016, River City Labs announced a three-year partnership with muru-D, the global start-up accelerator backed by Telstra, to deliver the program after a successful pilot last year.