The rise of the incubator: How Australia’s start-up incubators performed in 2012
Thursday, December 20, 2012/
It’s fair to say 2012 was a mammoth year, not only for the various incubators and co-working spaces, but for the Australian start-up scene in general.
While the last few years have seen a surge in the number of new start-up programs and venues, this year has been very much focused on helping those start-ups succeed. And it shows.
Here’s a wrap-up of how the various start-up incubators and accelerators have performed this year, as well as a look at what’s in store for 2013:
In 2012, Sydney-based incubator Pollenizer created six new businesses, opened an office in south-east Asia, established a training school, published a book called Startup Focus and celebrated its fourth birthday.
It welcomed a bevy of new businesses including Big Happy, Coachy, Ryuu, GetListed and Flikgift, and was named Best Startup Investor at the 2012 StartupSmart Awards.
Pollenizer also worked with Startup Genome, Deloitte and From Little Things to launch Silicon Beach: A study of the Australian Startup Ecosystem, offering an in-depth analysis of the sector.
Among other things, 2013 will see Pollenizer focus on opportunities that require less scale to validate. These will typically be non-consumer products, says Pollenizer co-founder Phil Morle.
“We will also be focusing on customer acquisition or ‘growth science’ so that we can validate our businesses in large pools of customers. We need to be systematically better at this,” he says.
“It’s been a pretty amazing year actually. I think 75% of my predictions have come true,” BlueChilli’s head honcho Sebastien Eckersley-Maslin told StartupSmart.
“The challenge for this calendar year was to start 12 investments, and we’ve started 14 and launched 11… Five of our start-ups have gone on to raise angel rounds, with the total amount raised at $1.7 million.”
In addition to launching 11 start-ups, BlueChilli offered its support to start-ups such as Housl, and snapped up Vividways, an app designer and developer that specialises in loyalty programs.
“The other challenge we set ourselves is a broader long-term vision of 100 start-ups by 2016. That means that next year, we’re going to have to do 24,” Eckersley-Maslin says.
“When we set ourselves high-level challenges, it becomes the focus of everything in the BlueChilli organisation. We’ll probably do a capital raising as well, very early next year.”
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