The ANZ Innovyz Start program, the region’s own version of the hugely successful TechStars accelerator in the U.S., has kicked off with 10 startups in Adelaide. Notable features of the 13-week program in its second year are the addition of two international companies – one each from Italy and Ukraine; and a two-tier model, creating a new Bridge program.
While the ANZ Innovyz Start will focus on the early stages of developing a go-to-market strategy and refining a company’s business model, the Bridge, open only to startups that have previously completed the ANZ Innovyz Start, will help the companies get beyond the start-up phase and accelerate.
“We received applications from companies all over the world who want to come to Adelaide to benefit from the expertise of our mentors and our team, and now we’ve broadened our programs to encompass more than ‘start-ups’,” said Dr. Jana Matthews, one of the world’s leading experts on entrepreneurship and growth and the managing director of the program.
Matthews said the “deeply immersive programs” would enable teams to learn from each others’ experience, with more mature companies acting as an informal “accelerator” mentor to the startups as both programs work with the companies to refine their business model, shape their marketing and product strategies, and prepare for global growth.
“We know this accelerator program works. It’s already helped 20 companies embark on a rapid path to growth, raising more than $1.6 million in seed funding, with the potential of another $500,000 investment in the second half of the year,” she added.
The following are the six startups picked for the ANZ Innovyz Start:
1. Aegle Life, Perth
A personalised web and mobile-based wellness platform that aggregates data from mobile health sensors, devices and other databases. CEO: Jonas Petersen.
2. Big Big Book, Adelaide
A booking and client management system that automates administrative processes and integrates online services for businesses. CEO: Ben Smith.
3. Broken Arms Games, Acqui Terme, Italy
A young independent team of game developers that creates innovative mobile and online entertainment experiences. CEO: Elisa Farinetti.
4. GoCatalyze, Brisbane
GoCatalzye is a social media and campaign management tool that enables stakeholder interaction through CRM, outbound messages and social media monitoring. CEO: Andrew Barnes.
5. Happy Traveller, Adelaide
Dubbed the ‘Lonely Planet for drivers’, Happy Traveller will develop mobile tools aimed at overseas drivers, in hopes of preventing some of the estimated 25,000 road deaths by overseas travellers annually. CEO: Burney Visser.
6. Skwibl, Kiev, Ukraine
A visual collaboration platform that helps designers and clients work on projects together. CEO: Yuri Karadzhov.
The following four have been picked for the ANZ Innovyz Bridge program:
Captioning Studio provides a range of access solutions including captioning for people who are deaf or hard of hearing, audio description for people who are blind or have low vision. It is also developing new video search technology.
A popular community of mums and an online trading platform for pre-loved baby and children’s products.
An online storytelling solution that allows the linking of text and audio to photography, Memtell is focusing on offering services to aged and health care providers.
A platform that connects people through real-time singing, Singa is signing contracts with major channels, and will enable children to sing and share their performances with loved ones.
Each team of participants (minimum of three people) will receive a $20,000 stipend plus other perks. The 13-week program will include mentorship from top-flight mentors, besides opportunities to pitch at venture capital firms and angel investors. In return, startups part with a small equity stake.
ANZ Innovyz START is one of 53 accelerators in the Global Accelerator Network that was created by TechStars.
“When you’re a start-up business, success requires more than a great idea; it’s about having the right support, mentoring and access to capital to get off the ground,” said Nick Reade, ANZ’s General Manager for Small Business.