News, Insights and Stories from the Australian and New Zealand tech ecosystem.

INCUBATE reveals new cohort of student tech founders and announces partnership with Lenovo

INCUBATE, a University-based accelerator programme founded in 2012, has revealed its latest cohort of startups and its new partnership with Lenovo. As part of the partnership, Lenovo is supplying the technology support for all the startups participating in the programme.

The founders participating in INCUBATE’s latest programme come from a variety of backgrounds, industries and degrees, but have the common goal of building a globally-relevant business that is scalable, uses technology and addresses a big underserved problem. The eight startups participating in INCUBATE’s Class 6 include Abyss Solutions, Fluid Education, Tuckerbox, Hireflow, FirstStep Investing, Uprise, Persollo and Basketball Forever.

James Alexander, Founder and Programme Manager at INCUBATE, says the programme “proves that with more support from universities, industry mentors and experienced seed investors, young entrepreneurs can launch innovative and globally competitive tech companies from local university campuses.”

“We’ve seen great talent come through the program. Basketball Forever, from Class 6, has over 700,000 online fans; Breathewell from Class 4 just raised $400,000 from local investors; and Tzukuri from Class 3 has now raised over $1 million from leading US and Australian Investors,” he adds.

Startups participating in the programme complete go through 14 intensive weeks of mentoring, workshops and development to accelerate their business, test their market and pitch to investors.

“The connections to the broader startup community that INCUBATE provides through first-class mentors has already opened doors we could never have foreseen,” says Alex Sumsky, Co-Founder and CEO of Basketball Forever.

Three years ago, when Sumsky was just 17 years old, he started creating visual basketball-related content with a unique aesthetic style. Today, his team has built up a community that averages 23 million unique impressions per month across all social platforms. Their vision is to be a world leading media sports business, powered by a custom technology platform.

The co-founders of ‘backpack’ app Fluid Education, Giorgio Doueihi and Declan Scott, met and developed their product while they were in high school. The app has been designed for school communities who can benefit from having their timetables, calendars and class resources available in one app. Fluid Education has been embraced by Milson’s Point Catholic school St Aloysius College, with over 1,000 active students. The co-founders are currently in their first year of University and have the chance to build the business side of Fluid Education.

FirstStep’s co-founders Vanaja Sriskandarajah, Shiraj de Silva, and Tarang Patel started investing in the stock market when they were in their early teens and wanted other Australian kids to do the same. The startup’s micro-investments mobile app lets users automatically invest their virtual loose change from everyday transactions into a diversified, low-cost investment portfolio.

Sriskandarajah praised INCUBATE for helping the co-founders “transform our fledgling startup to one with serious potential to disrupt the status quo of traditional wealth management in Australia.”

Matt Codrington, Managing Director, Lenovo Australia and New Zealand, said the company is “delighted” to support INCUBATE, and praised it for being “a fantastic programme that gives Australian startups the opportunity to get in front of some of the country’s leading veteran entrepreneurs.”

“Many startups are struggling to get the support and funding they need and it’s through programmes like this that these innovative businesses and talent can be discovered. We’re delighted to support these bright-minded and determined entrepreneurs by supplying them with their technology needs.”

Class 6 startups will be pitching on October 13th at the University of Sydney.