The nation’s best recent graduates of university accelerator programs came together last Tuesday in Sydney to pitch to an audience of over 100 drawn from Australia’s innovation community at the inaugural KCA Accelerator Demo Day.
In true Dragon’s Den style, teams pitched their businesses to industry experts and got money-can’t buy time in front of key opinion leaders from the likes of Blue Chilli, Blackbird Ventures, StartupAus and Google.
Teaching high-impact entrepreneurship and immersing university students in a diverse range of hands on business training has become a high priority for Australian research organisations in recent times. Many now run their own accelerator and incubation programs, all aimed at supporting students, staff and alumni to commercialise ideas, access seed funding and learn how to grow and scale their businesses.
“Student entrepreneurship is a major national focus right now. As our nation transmissions away from the resources boom towards an ideas boom, our research organisations are stepping up to educate and mentor students along the entrepreneurship pathway and encourage staff to think about commercial application of their work.
Many organisations running accelerator programs are looking for new ways to get their participants in front of active investors, customers and partners. In collaboration with Google, we have accumulated the best from accelerator programs across Australia to promote interaction and exposure for new businesses” said Rohan McDougall, Director IP Commercialisation, Curtin University.
“Entrepreneurship across universities and research institutions should be encouraged to thrive and be an option for every student to consider as they commence their studies. We’re pleased to have been able to host the first National Demo Day and can’t wait to see what teams achieve going forwards” said Sally-Ann Williams, Engineering Community & Outreach Manager, Google.
The eight businesses pitched spanned a variety of different sectors, and ranged from early-stage right through to revenue generating.
A summary of the businesses and accelerators that participated are as follows:
Chatterbox is an education technology startup developing a specialised online learning platform for students and teachers of debating and public speaking. Chatterbox went through the University of New South Wales’ FounderLab program, a program that enables startups in need of software development to receive professional software engineer services whilst they continue their search for a permanent technical co-founder.
Me3D was founded with the specific purpose to create the world’s best 3D printing educational package. Me3D manufactures its own hardware through a partnership with Greenacres Industries, and provides essential training and consulting services. Me3D was part of the University of Wollongong’s iAccelerate business incubator which aids startups and new businesses via two streams: Start and Advanced.
Hypetap is a platform which connects agencies, brands and influencers to work on marketing campaigns together. Hypetap was part of the University of Melbourne’s five-month Startup Accelerator program known as MAP. MAP provides teams AUD20,000 in funding (no equity taken), and are provided structured mentoring, free office space and pitching opportunities in Sydney, Melbourne and Silicon Valley
Storekat is an aggregation service for Self-Storage providers that functions as a peer to peer platform, with a purpose to expand their online presence in the marketplace. Storekat was part of Curtin University’s Curtin Accelerate program, a ten week program which assists teams to bring ideas and businesses closer to commercialisation.
Vald Performance is a sports technology startup commercialising an innovative hamstring testing system. The Nordbord is the fastest, easiest and most powerful way to train, screen and monitor hamstring strength. Vald Performance has been through the bluebox Accelerator which enables high potential startup teams from the QUT ecosystem to develop a business model, minimum viable product and investment grade pitch.
Anonalytix is a cloud based technology that offers a new approach to data anonymisation by producing synthetic data sets which cannot be re-identified. Anonalytix is part of the CSIRO ON program, which fast-tracks Australian science and technology innovation for real world outcomes. Open to all Australian universities and PFRAs, ON is supporting helping Australia’s best researchers and their partners translate great science and technology into commercial ventures.
Miriad Technologies have developed the “Miriad Spectrometer,” a device to identify the existence and concentration of chemicals in different mediums such as food and the general environment. Miriad Technologies was part of the University of Sydney’s INCUBATE startup development program, which is open to students and alumni and focuses on technologically innovative companies.
Certified Renewable certifies businesses that use 100% renewable energy. Certified Renewable has been a part of InnovationACT, The Australian National University entrepreneurship program for students, staff and alumni of Canberra’s major tertiary institutions. Teams are mentored by local entrepreneurs, participate in workshops and seminars, and the top teams pitch for a share of the $50,000 seed pool.
KCA and Google are working together to do this all again in 2017. Keep checking back for future dates.