Social enterprise accelerator One10 enters Sydney after a blazing start to 2016

Social enterprise accelerator One10 enters Sydney after a blazing start to 2016

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Geoff Gourley

Australian social enterprise accelerator One10, dedicated to commercialising purpose driven business, has opened its Sydney office. They work with organisations at seed, start-up and scaling stages to create and grow sustainable businesses and also offers services to assist nonprofits in exploring a more commercial lens that reduces dependency on grant and government funding.

One10 is on a mission to enable 1,000 purpose driven businesses. They aim to grow the social enterprise sector, increase uptake of socially and environmentally responsible practices, and answer the call for socially and environmentally conscious products and services. “Our goal is to increase the deal flow for impact investments, so that impact investing is no longer a niche area, but a mainstream practice by both individual and corporate investors,” said Geoff Gourley, founder One10.

“Social enterprise has been emerging in the Australian landscape for over a decade now, but the past two years have seen a profound growth of social enterprise start-ups. In a time of worsening social inequality, exclusion, and under-representation of cultural minorities, this is unsurprising.

“An increasing number of people are turning to business solutions that tackle society’s biggest challenges, and with this shift comes a great need for specialised support systems and infrastructure for the purpose driven enterprise, nonprofit and social impact sectors.”

What exactly does One10 do?

One10 is creating an ecosystem for people pursuing business solutions to environmental and societal problems. They help build the capacities of social entrepreneurs to develop products and services with positive impact, through incubation and acceleration programs.

“Despite having a shared vision, the moving parts of the purpose driven startup ecosystem have previously worked in silos. At One10, we actively work to dissolve these silos and enable a connected and collaborative purpose driven start-up ecosystem for all entrepreneurs, regardless of their location,” said Geoff.

The issues that One10’s Australian based enterprise clients are addressing include, but are not limited to, environmental degradation, homelessness, health and obesity, gender equality, poverty, isolation of seniors, and the lack of agriculture venture opportunities for young people. One10 is also working with several internationally based organisations in Kenya, Vanuatu, India, and throughout other parts of Asia.

What has One10 been up to lately?

One10 certainly practices what they preach when it comes to scaling and acceleration. Since launching at the start of the year they have:

● employed nine people, hosted four major events for the community,
● facilitated 22 group and individual workshops;
● shared the team’s expertise by mentoring participants in entrepreneurship programs with Deakin, Swinburne, and CSIRO, as well as a number of individual businesses;
● accepted three businesses into their accelerator program, with 6 more in the preacceptance due diligence stage;
● been commissioned for 11 capital raises totalling more than $15 million;
● coached 35 clients on commercialisation and business, strategy and development;
● invested in three companies; and,
● cofacilitated a corporate sponsored innovation program, and have been approached by a regional based corporate to facilitate another.

One10, born in Melbourne, is quickly expanding nationally and has a vision to attract social entrepreneurs from across the Asia Pacific. It delivers all its services, including its incubator and accelerator programs, through a creative and collaborative
approach. They have an extensive network of partners and collaborators with years of experience and specialised knowledge, that provide the best possible support to their clients and accelerator participants.

One10 is growing very quickly

The social accelerator program has generated considerable interest. Geoff revealed that they have been inundated with enquiries from social enterprise founders and people looking to make a positive impact.

“Since December 2015, we have received 180 information memorandums and applications from enterprises interested in participating in the program, and are currently working with 35 clients. We have already been fielding interest from entrepreneurs and local economic development initiatives from across the state.”

The accelerator has been designed to prepare social enterprise participants to be investment ready in three months. It takes participants through a tailored 12 week program, which establishes and refines all aspects of the business, to ready it for both investment and success.

With a focus on investment readiness, a highly flexible roadmap, and an impact driven mandate, this program is tailored to the needs of individual social enterprises and their teams, ensuring that no time or resources are wasted. Once participants have completed the program, One10 provides ongoing support to raise capital, and continues to share expertise with program alumni throughout the year after they have completed the program.

The launch of the Sydney office perfectly coincides with Promise or Pay (a Sydney based social enterprise) joining One10’s social accelerator program. “We’re really excited to have Promise or Pay on board, they’re a fantastic enterprise with huge potential for scale – exactly the type of enterprise we look to take into the accelerator” said Geoff.

One10 is always open for pitch applications so if you have a social enterprise head to the website and pitch your business.

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