Griffin Accelerator announces 2015 intake as Canberra startup scene blooms

Andrew Sadauskas /

Canberra’s Griffin Accelerator has named the seven teams in its 2015 program, with each startup in this year’s intake receiving $25,000 in funding in exchange for 10% equity.


Griffin Accelerator chief executive Craig Davis told StartupSmart the 2015 intake comes at a time of dramatic growth for the Canberra startup scene.


“Canberra’s startup scene is well established. A lot of people don’t know that Capital Angels is the oldest angel fund in Australia, and it celebrates its 10th anniversary in a couple of months. You have the Canberra Innovation Network,” Davis says.


“And there’s [community co-working space] Entry 29, which has experienced very substantial growth, with around 115 active members. They’re all entrepreneurs and a very startup focused space running out of a nice, new premises.


A key differentiator for the accelerator is that all the mentors are also equity contributing investors, with the participants chosen by consensus. According to Davis, there were 84 applications for the 2015 program, with around 40 from within the ACT.


This year’s program follows the success of the program last year. It was launched at an event by ACT Chief Minister Andrew Barr in February, and applications opened in early May.


The 2015 program participants are as follows:


Hact: Magic moments in tech. Inspiring young people to use technology by empowering them to make real things through both local events and online.


Solution Solution: Advanced laundry products researched and developed in partnership with CSIRO.


OzGuild: With integrated computer vision technology, OzGuild is fusing the physical and digital realms of Magic: the Gathering.


Dilkara: Dilkara Essence of Australia is a Canberra- based, Indigenous owned and inspired Australian made company who specialises in boutique, naturally-derived hair and skin care products using Australian Indigenous cultural heritage ingredients to achieve the best for your hair and skin.


myBUZZ App: myBUZZ smart paging system is a mobile app that saves businesses time and money by instantly notifying their customers, via their phone, that their order or table is ready.


SignOnSite: Helps organisations safeguard their employees, contractors and visitors by leveraging the technology already in their pockets.


Solar Bare: A new label that creates beautiful sun protection apparel. Solar Bare’s range makes covering up a fashion statement.


“The teams will work here at a space in Entry 29, and they’ll work hard, talk to customers to validate their products. The mentors will give advice through workshops targeted at the needs of startups. Some of those will be in the typical areas, such as sales, validation and digital marketing. But the program is not education-heavy, and any education focuses on the needs of the teams,” Davis says.


“In the second half of the program, the teams will work on their pitches. But really, that’s about working on their strategy, because you can’t deliver a clear pitch if you don’t have a clear strategy. And then our demo day will be sometime in August.


“We’re really ambitious about the goal we’ve set, which is finding great businesses in Canberra and attracting more from interstate and overseas. And that’s off the back of the mentors that we have, who have genuine records as startup entrepreneurs.


“I’m excited!”


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Andrew Sadauskas

Andrew Sadauskas is a former journalist at SmartCompany and a former editor of TechCompany.

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