ClubsNSW, the peak industry body for registered clubs in New South Wales, has partnered with Slingshot Accelerator to launch ClubsTHRIVE.
The program, open to Startups, Scaleups, and community projects, is an integral part of the organisation’s broader digital strategy, which aims to drive greater engagement, growth, and diversification for its 1,200 member Clubs.
Anthony Ball, CEO of ClubsNSW, said the accelerator program has the potential to transform how Clubs do business and support the communities they serve, particularly in regional and rural areas.
“ClubsNSW has a proud, rich history of giving, which we’re incredibly proud of and will continue to invest in. By partnering with Slingshot, we hope to work closely with the best and brightest of Australia’s Startup community to uncover the next big ideas for our industry,” he said.
“We’re already looking at things like digital literacy for over-65s and eSports in our clubs, but we know there are plenty more fresh ideas and creative thinking out there. We’re excited to hear from the community on how we can use technology to lead our clubs into a stronger and more impactful future.”
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The program is looking for Startups and Scaleups working across five key themes:
- Member engagement: new ways to personalise and engage with members; new technologies to leverage member network; better utilisation of facilities to create more memorable experiences; increasing visitation and access to facilities
- New experiences: utilising technology to stay relevant; new forms of entertainment; attracting diverse range of new members
- Social impact: supporting the diversity and social needs of members and wider community through technology; connecting different generations and minority groups; improving the health and wellbeing of members and their families
- Smarter operations: improving the operational facets of member clubs; advancing internal operations for future-proofing; capturing and utilising data to drive growth and better decision-making; minimising environmental footprint with new technologies
- No limits: any innovative ideas to retain and attract new members, and enhance the connection clubs have with the wider community
With ClubsNSW boasting a strong membership base across regional NSW, it is particularly keen to work with regional-based Startups and Scaleups.
There are more than 700 Clubs across regional NSW, serving 2.8 million members and supporting over 23,000 jobs. According to data from KPMG, these Clubs contributed $1.2 billion to the NSW economy in 2015, and made a social contribution of almost $470 million.
The Startup program will help participants validate their business model, build a minimum viable product, and demonstrate progress to advisors and investors.
Startups will receive $50,000 in seed funding through the 12 week accelerator, as well as access to up to $500,000 worth of additional services, such as hosting credits and subscriptions to accounting software.
The Scaleup program, meanwhile, aims to help participants achieve a commercial agreement with ClubsNSW, which can provide access to its three million members.
Beyond Startups and Scaleups, THRIVE is also looking to provide funding of up to $10,000 for community-based projects and not-for-profits working on initiatives aligned to the themes.
Craig Lambert, founder of Slingshot, said, “The THRIVE Accelerator not only represents a deep commitment to transforming the Club industry, but a consolidated strategy to engage local Startups and Club patrons in shaping what the future of Clubs looks like now and tomorrow.
“THRIVE will absolutely provide access to new ideas and technology that Clubs, both metro and regionally based will benefit from.”
Applications for the ClubsTHRIVE accelerator close on 7 April.
Shortlisted Startups will go through a two-week validation process on 13 May, with the successful cohort to be announced on 27 May.