A new virtual accelerator program focusing on health tech startups is offering $40,000 in broadcast time and services in exchange for 7% equity, with the possibility of a further $40,000 cash in exchange for another 7% in equity.
The Rumpus Oz Innovation Challenge is a six-month accelerator program coordinated out of Little Tokyo Two in Brisbane, Fishburners in Sydney and either i9 or York Butter Factory in Melbourne.
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Co-founder Leigh Angus told StartupSmart along with gaining access to experienced mentors, senior advisors and investors, participants will also be featured in a six-part observational documentary.
“It’s a documentary around the accelerator that focuses more on the characters in the startups than the people running the program,” Angus says.
“During the six-part series, there will be stories around topics such as co-working and angel investing. While we all speak startup, most of the general public aren’t familiar with these terms, and so the aim is to raise awareness of startup terms in the general community.”
The program will be shown on YouTube, with the organisers saying they’re also in talks with various broadcasters, and each episode will be an opportunity for the startups to showcase their products and services before they raise money directly from viewers through Kickstarter.
“We will also offer up to $40,000 – more for some and less for others – as we take the cohort through. We’ll isolate those that need the capital during the program,” Angus says.
Angus points out that along with some of the leading co-working spaces on the east coast, the program is backed by the main health tech meetup groups in Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne.
The program also boasts an impressive list of advisors. They include Fishburners founder Peter Davison, iAsset president Scott Frew, muru-D/AWI/Pollenizer mentor Nick Gonios, RedEye founder Wayne Gerard, Health Tech Innovation Queensland founder Greg Beaver, NICTA UX design manager Hilary Cinis and St. Vincent’s Hospital’s Dr Pamela Blaikie.
However, some in the startup community have questioned the value of $40,000 worth of broadcast time, publicity and services in comparison to other accelerators that offer either $40,000 in cash, or services an early-stage startup would typically need, such as service development.
“The difference between this program and other accelerators is that most will get startups investment ready, then send them out to angel investors. But Australia has a fairly young angel investment community, and many startups end up spending a lot of time knocking on door,” Angus says.
“We’re trying to bypass the angel round altogether by getting products to consumers, and allowing them to fund the startups they like directly.
“Most smart entrepreneurs don’t just go to accelerators for money, go to accelerators for money, they also go for exposure and mentoring. So we’re offering them a more national network that’s more comprehensive in the advice they receive.
“We take our cohort from bootcamp to broadcast.”
The health tech focus of the first program follows in the footsteps of Innovyz in Adelaide and STC in Melbourne, which recently closed applications for their health tech accelerator programs. There is also an equity crowdfunding platform, called Healthfundr Australia, which is set to focus on the health tech sector.
Applications for the program close on May 3, with the bootcamp and initial filming on May 16 (Brisbane), May 23 (Sydney) and May 30 (Melbourne). The program commences on June 30, with an elimination round at the end of July, broadcasting scheduled for the end of September and program completion at the end of October.