Pollenizer pledges improved start-up hit rate after striking Mi9 incubation deal

Sydney-based start-up incubator Pollenizer has forecast an improved success rate with the ventures it partners with after striking a new partnership with digital media company backed by Microsoft and Nine Entertainment.

 

The partnership between the Pollenizer and Mi9 will launch and foster start-ups, led by the latter’s product innovation team, which is headedby Rebecca Haagsma. Mi9 is a joint venture between Microsoft and Nine Entertainment.

 

The first venture to come out of the partnership is FlikGift, a social gifting platform described as a “fun and easy way” to send gift cards from retailers via the web and mobile devices.

 

“We offer retailers a great opportunity to leverage Facebook and other social platforms to target customer segments, and drive new customers into bricks-and-mortar and online stores,” co-founder Shaun Johnson says.

 

Mi9 will provide marketing support and access to audiences across its network of more than 80 premium content sites. This is designed to rapidly accelerate FlikGift’s online following, and expose the venture to a more diverse customer base.

 

Pollenizer, which partners with entrepreneurs with the aim of creating global web businesses, was founded by Mick Liubinskas and Phil Morle.

 

It recently introduced the Pollenizer “pod structure”, whereby set teams work over four-month semesters, this bringing consistency to the incubation process.

 

Each business has 16 weeks to find a focus, build a minimum viable product, deal with customers, iterate several items and raise funds.

 

According to Pollenizer partnership director Mark Grieg, the partnership will enable Pollenizer’s most promising new companies to access a substantially larger online audience in Australia.

 

“Over the past five years, Pollenizer has developed a very lean and disciplined methodology to venture creation,” Grieg says.

 

“The opportunity to introduce our innovative web offerings to a larger platform of consumers will significantly improve the rate of success.”

 

Mi9’s product innovation team is charged with the task of identifying, developing and executing new digital business opportunities.

 

As part of the deal, Mi9 will also be given the option to invest in these new digital start-ups.

 

The start-ups will receive early access to trial, grow and accelerate new products on Pollenizer’s roadmap, offering support through mentoring, commercial know-how and marketing exposure.

 

Mi9 chief executive Mark Britt said in a statement the company was impressed with Pollenizer’s business model, and is “serious” about supporting start-ups.

 

“[Mi9 is] excited to be contributing our set of digital assets to drive large audiences and valuable customers to these new businesses,” Britt said.

 

“Together, we’ll quickly test these ideas, build out a focused product, find a scalable business model, and provide access to large audiences, and valuable data and insights.”

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