Seed funding initiative Startmate has selected five start-ups to support in its inaugural program, including an iPhone app developer, a software firm and a service that alerts businesses to unhappy customers.
The winning start-ups have been named as IRL Gaming, an app games developer, Chorus, which provides a warning to companies of disgruntled customer emails, Angry Monkeys, a web developer, and Noosbox, which is an app that allows organisations to share emails in a more intelligent way.
A fifth business chosen by the Startmate team declined to be named publicly. The winners were chosen from a total of 86 entries.
Each winner will get an initial $25,000 in seed funding in return for a 7.5% stake in their businesses. The start-ups will also receive free legal advice, a two-week trip to Silicon Valley and help in raising further money from venture capitalists.
Startmate will spend three months helping set up each business and aiding the winners secure clients.
Ongoing mentorship will be provided to the winners from a large pool of industry experts and entrepreneurs, including Classified Adventures founder Simon Baker, Mike Cannon-Brookes, co-founder of Atlassian, Pollenizer co-founders Phil Morle and Mick Liubinskas and Damian Tampling, partner at Deloitte.
The Startmate scheme started in August and was aimed at seeking out the next generation of tech start-ups in Australia. Niki Scevak, another mentor for the scheme, told StartupSmart in December that the program will run annually and be broadened out beyond its Sydney base.
Kim Chen, co-founder of coupon site Tjoos and a Startmate mentor, says: “The businesses were chosen for a variety of reasons – based on the founders’ backgrounds, commitment (whether or not they were already dedicating time and resources to working on them), how far along they had got on their own, the idea’s merit and the size of the market. (Also) for how the Startmate team felt they could contribute to the businesses.”
“There were some great ideas that did not fit our niche of transactional web businesses.”
“There were more great applications than we could accept. Applicants overall were enthusiastic and savvy and I think different mentors got excited about different ideas – some of which didn’t even make it to the top 10.”
“It’s always encouraging to see [that] entrepreneurship is alive and well in Australia.”