First start-up winners announced for Melbourne Accelerator Program

A new accelerator program at the University of Melbourne has announced its first four winners, including an internet venue booking system and a power system for rural and remote areas.


The Melbourne Accelerator Program, an initiative of the Melbourne School of Engineering, supports the development of entrepreneurial ventures for students, staff and alumni.


MAP aims to accelerate the journey from idea to market, providing mentoring and business coaching to foster connections with participating start-up teams and the investment community.


Professor Iven Mareels, dean of the Melbourne School of Engineering says MAP will increase opportunities for staff, students and alumni to develop successful entrepreneurial careers.


“Engineering is all about investing in new ways of doings things, and the MAP program offers a practical way for ideas to develop into potentially commercial ventures,” Mareels says.


From 32 aspiring teams, four have been selected to receive entrepreneurial fellowships, mentoring and coaching support for their start-up ventures.


The four teams consist of 12 participants, including engineering students and alumni, and external participants. The winning teams are as follows:


1. VenueMob


VenueMob is an internet venue booking system that aims to streamline venue bookings.


This tool will enable venue owners to market and fully utilise their function spaces, and allow function organisers to compare venues and make the right venue booking quickly and easily.


2. Remote Area Power System


Remote Area Power System is an innovative power system for rural and remote areas.


Braden Kidd completed an electrical engineering degree with Honours in 2008, and is a student in the Master of Energy Systems program.


His aim is to design a power system that will enable clients in rural and remote areas to get the most effective use from their available energy supply, whether it is off-grid alternative energy sources, single wire earth return or a combination of both.


3. is a next-generation online social platform for university students. It aims to improve students’ experience of going to university by sharing relevant information. aims to transform the student experience by bringing the most important things to students during their university life onto a platform that is easy to organise and personalise.


A beta website of was launched in February.


4. 121cast


121cast is a free, personalised, interactive radio station that reads your emails, calendar, news, weather and social media, as well as playing music, podcasts, etc.


The stream mixes a combination of text content converted to speech, and traditional produced audio content (such as radio, music etc.) customised to your needs.


It can be used on a variety of devices such as mobile apps for phones, tablets, desktop web browsers, and embedded devices such as home entertainment systems.


With this mobile app, you can save time, be kept up-to-date and entertained when getting ready in the morning, driving to work and whenever you cannot and do not want to stare at a screen.


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