The muru-D accelerator team have worked their way through hundreds of applications and whittled down their top 25 to 10 companies to enter the program.
The start-ups, announced Monday night, will take part in a six-month training program and receive a $40,000 investment in exchange for 6% equity. This is the Telstra-backed accelerator’s first intake.
Muru-D coordinator Ann Parker, who’s run accelerator programs across Europe, told StartupSmart she was struck by the ambition of the companies that applied.
“We saw a lot of education technology and marketplace start-ups in the applications. These are global-first ideas,” Parker says. “Trying to be global first is the right solution for Aussie start-ups as a population of 20-odd million won’t make your start-up a colossal success. If you want to be a truly successful digital start-up, you need to be heading elsewhere pretty quick.”
Parker says rather than looking for particular kinds of start-ups, they were seeking a particular kind of person – those who were very passionate about their ideas.
“We wanted to see great passion. We really wanted to believe in them,” she says. “These are all very early companies, so none are going to have the perfect business plan or product or marketing strategy yet.”
Four of the companies in the accelerator program are women-led. Eight are based in Sydney, while the others are from Brisbane and Wollongong.
Parker says the muru-D team are excited about supporting the wider Australian ecosystem and even generating a bit of healthy competition among the Sydney accelerated start-up community.
“A bit of competition is a good thing, but ultimately we’re committed to growing the whole ecosystem. We’re working closely with Pollenizer, Startmate and Blue Chilli, and we all know if we work together we’ll all win by creating a massive hockey stick of growth for start-ups, rather than just a blip,” Parker says.
The start-ups in the program are video chat platform for global families Chatty Kids; online platform for casual teacher coordination Class Cover; farm monitoring system Farmbot; social games network Limerocket; cloud-based reporting software for schools and childcare centre Momentum Cloud; e-learning platform OpenLearning; image editing for e-commerce service Pixc; safety management system software Safesite; financial software Vistr; and radiology department efficiency software Zed Technologies.