Cloud provider Ninefold has accepted nine budding entrepreneurs into its accelerator program, after they became the inaugural graduates of The Founder Institute Sydney.
The Founder Institute, an early stage start-up accelerator and global launch network, was founded in Silicon Valley.
Over the last three years, the institute has gone global, launching a Sydney chapter earlier this year. The Sydney chapter is co-directed by Benjamin Ranck and Benjamin Chong.
Ninefold, Australia’s largest public cloud provider, has welcomed inaugural graduates of the institute to its Cloud Booster Program, designed to promote technology innovation and talent.
More than 100 candidates applied for the 15-week program, held in Sydney and hosted at Ninefold, Sydney’s University of Technology, and technology incubator Blue Chilli.
However, only 34 were accepted into the program, with nine individuals from seven companies graduating from The Founder Institute’s Sydney chapter in June.
They are SmartSource, SmokinThreads, TrainingDeals, Task Orbit, bizzyMee, Babeenotes and ProcessGo!
The Cloud Booster Program offers Founder Institute graduates free cloud computing and storage credit, from $300 a month, for up to a year.
They also receive a technical sales consultation for set-up, involvement in Ninefold’s marketing campaigns, and opportunities to reach Ninefold’s developer, start-up and partner community.
Peter James, co-founder and chairman of Ninefold, says Ninefold’s support for start-ups is “partly altruistic”.
“We’re Australian and they’re Australian… It’s critical for Australia’s economic future and role within [the] Asia-Pacific that we retain and encourage our own innovative identity,” James says.
“[We need] to preserve the local start-up culture… and prevent this so-called ‘brain drain’. Aussie companies and entrepreneurs still have a lot to gain and a lot to give at home.”
James says the biggest challenge for Ninefold is time because there are “so many people with good ideas”.
“There is this one particular [graduate] who has a pretty good idea… His idea is that we all go to courses, and courses are available at a particular time and you pay a fixed fee.”
“It’s a bit like a hotel room or an airline seat – that seat in that training course is only there for the duration of the course.”
“So he’s setting up a wholesale broking business, a bit like Wotif for training deals.”
James believes there are three key “levels” among start-ups, the first of which is technology-based start-ups.
“The next level is ecommerce and then when you go to the next level it’s what I’d call a disruptor or a disintermediator,” James says.
“This is something that changes the paradigm of how people currently do business. This training deals business is exactly that.”
“The other thing I’m seeing is people with simple ideas that are often clones of the US, which is fine. What they’re trying to do is grow market share here.”
James says the key to being a successful start-up is having the ability to think differently.
“Different mindsets is what I say to people, particularly if they’ve had any experience in traditional business,” he says.