News & Analysis

muru-D accelerator unveils sixth Sydney program cohort

- March 5, 2019 3 MIN READ
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Telstra-backed accelerator muru-D has unveiled the 10 startups taking part in SYD6, the sixth run of its Sydney program.

Making the grade out of almost 200 applicants, the startups are working on everything from fintech to artificial intelligence, Internet of Things, and wifi networks.

Julie Trell, head of muru-D, said it was important to find teams who are building out tech solutions where Telstra could both provide support, and benefit from “their journey and business model”.

“Interestingly a large portion of our cohort are working on data-focused ventures, proving there is hunger to create new markets or challenge existing established players,” she said.

“We are looking forward to continuing connecting our cohorts with Telstra to increase collaboration of ideas and projects, potentially work on proof of concepts, and prove to the industry that startups and corporates can work together in a mutually beneficial way.”

The startups will be guided through the six month program by industry veteran Alan Jones as entrepreneur in residence.

Jones, who has worked with the likes of BlueChilli, QUT’s Creative Enterprise Australia accelerator program, and KPMG, said it has long been an ambition of his to work with a muru-D program.

“I’m stoked at the strength of the teams in this year’s SYD6 cohort; I’m looking forward to bringing my 20+ years of tech startup experience as a founder, angel investor and accelerator mentor to the program,” Jones said.

The startups will receive $75,000 in seed funding.

The 10 chosen startups are:

Agrinet – providing easy to install farm-wide wifi networks that enable fast connectivity for voice, video, internet, and IoT backhaul.

Clipboard – helping schools manage extracurricular programs.

GeoSnapShot – providing a global platform enabling photographers to upload and sell photos.

Luboo – a GPS/BLE/Cellular wearable tracking wristband and mobile app which gives peace of mind to parents of wandering young children at large events and venues.

Littlescribe – providing a platform for digitising, sharing and printing children’s writing and illustrations.

Pioneera – SaaS platform that predicts and prevents workplace stress

Personifi – an online marketplace specialising in personal loans

Seer Data & Analytics – a data platform that lets non-technical people easily find, share and use data to solve social problems collaboratively

Staybil – develops and provides B2B workforce geo-optimisation (WGO) software as a service.

WallSync – provides a SaaS platform that allows teams to digitise their workshops.

Meanwhile, two Australian startups have been named in the Booking Booster Program, a global accelerator focused on sustainable tourism run by travel platform Booking.com.

Clean Travel, a platform helping local ethical travel operators manage their businesses and reach global markets, and Okra Solar, a platform providing affordable access to solar energy, will go through a three week program kicking off in Amsterdam in April.

The participants will go through lectures, workshops, and coaching in the lead up to demo day, where they will pitch for a grant of up to €500,000 ($801,000).

Afnan Hanna, cofounder of Okra Solar, said, “We are excited to have support from the Booking Booster program as it enables us to solidify the link between energy access and income generating activities. Building on initial energy access, we foresee eco-tourism playing a big role in kick starting these emerging economies.”

The two Australian businesses are joining a truly global cohort; in the group are startups from the Netherlands, France, India, Colombia, Malaysia, Nepal, and Indonesia.

Gillian Tans, president and CEO of Booking.com, said, “We’re seeing the calibre of innovative entrepreneurship in the sustainable tourism sector continue to evolve and mature.

“The diversity of perspectives that are represented with this year’s Booster finalists and the creative ways they are leveraging technology to grow and maximise their impact is truly inspiring.”

Beyond the three week program, each startup will receive a year of ongoing mentoring and coaching from Booking.com experts, with the opportunity also open to potentially collaborate with the company on various initiatives and experiments.

Image: the SYD6 cohort. Source: Supplied.

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