Four Australian start-ups and one from Italy have been announced as the third intake for the Adelaide-based ANZ Innovyz Start accelerator program.
The full-time and fully funded 13-week program is coordinated by start-up thought leader Dr Jana Matthews.
This is the smallest intake announced by the program so far with Matthews saying they’ve shifted the focus of the program to companies ready to grow and scale.
“It’s a group that’s a bit farther along on the growth curve than earlier ones who were just working out what their concept was so I’m looking forward to being able to accelerate them quickly,” Matthews says.
Matthews says they focused on teams of three or more that had the capacity to bring their idea to market quickly.
“We looked for interesting ideas that had the potential to break through, that were globally relevant and for teams of people who had worked together who were passionate about the idea and able to execute.”
This year the five new companies will be paired with five previous graduates of the program, who are returning for further development after securing significant investment or sales.
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“We looked around and saw this need in the market. No one is looking at what happens after companies leave accelerator programs, but they’re still starting up and learning how to fly,” Matthews says.
Six start-ups were selected but the second international group was unable to attend due to visa issues.
The start-ups cover a range of sectors, with founders from various states and countries.
Aegle Life is an online and mobile platform that aggregates health data to help spot and manage health issues. Co-founder Gry Sterne is based in Perth.
Broken Arm Games is an Italian team of developers of mobile games.
GoCatalyze is a campaign management tool that is part customer relationship management software and part social media monitoring tool. Chief executive Andrew Barnes is from Brisbane.
Happy Traveller is an app to equip travellers to safely navigate and drive in new countries. Co-founder and chief executive Burney Visser is from Adelaide.
Visser told StartupSmart the idea came from working with new migrants and young people. He noticed after language and literacy, having a license and being able to get around and have identification were the key barriers to social inclusion.
The app is currently in beta version and Visser says their main challenge so far has been connecting with possible partners.
“We’re excited about getting the app to our last lock-up stage and have an alpha product that will be on the market at the end of the three months,” Visser says. “The biggest challenge has been opening doors and meeting corporate partners such as travel agencies and travel insurance companies.”
He says they’re looking forward to working with the mentors.
“To work with someone of Jana’s calibre is really a privilege; she’s what I call a walking talking book. We’re hoping the prestige and the contacts of the program will help us form partnerships moving forward.”
Ben Smith is the chief executive of another newly selected company, Big Big Books, a mobile and online booking system for health professionals. He agreed that access to the mentors was the most exciting aspect of the program.
“The big thing is the learning and the knowledge that we can gain from the mentors. The number of mentors that cover so many industries will stand us in really good stead for the best chance moving forward,” he says.
Smith says they have a basic version of their service already on the market and they’ll be looking to improve it during the program.
“Our biggest challenge is a getting a product that is ready enough to take to professional users at this early stage. We’ve worked really hard to get something up as quick as we can that’s robust and will enable us to move forward into the future. We’ll look to grow very quickly from there,” he says.