CBA’s VC accelerator is looking to back net-zero startups

- July 17, 2023 2 MIN READ
x15ventures, Toby Norton-Smith
x15ventures managing director Toby Norton-Smith
The Commonwealth Bank’s venture-scaling  arm, x15ventures, is on the hunt for startups focused on net-zero carbon emissions for its 2023 cohort.

Applications opened today, July 17, for x15’s annual Xccelerate program, which develops early-stage startups develop their ideas for corporate partnership.

This year’s Xccelerate investment thesis is “helping advance Australia’s transition to net  zero” and x15 will look to back at least one startup with a $250,000 SAFE Note after completing the program. 

x15ventures managing director Toby Norton-Smith said the program has several immersion sessions designed to help early-stage  ventures understand and explore different routes to an enterprise partnership, giving  founders direct access to CommBank and x15 decision makers, plus experts and mentors in  fields such as marketing, legal and risk. 

“This year, we’re looking for solutions that could help accelerate Australia’s transition to a  net zero emissions economy,” he said.

As one of Australia’s best-known institutions, CommBank  aims to play a leadership role in supporting that shift. We’re inviting founders from across  the climate tech ecosystem to explore what joining the bank on that journey could look like,  and how partnership could contribute to the growth of their business.” 

x15 portfolio director Laura Faulconer said they’re looking for pre-Series A startups.

We invest with intent at x15, so are looking for  teams who will commit to the process, embrace the learnings, and really explore and  experiment with what scaling through a large corporate could look like,” she said.

“The quality of applications last year was incredibly high, and we hope to see that  benchmark raised again with Xccelerate23.” 

Shortlisted applicants will be invited to a 30-minute virtual meeting with a member of the x15 portfolio team, with 15 to 20 teams selected to attend the Xccelerate Community Day on September 6. 

The five most promising teams will be selected for the program, starting with Partnership Pathway Day. It concludes with a pitch to the the Xccelerate Investment Committee in early October, followed by a public showcase where x15ventures hopes to announce at least one winner for its SAFE note.

It’s the fourth year x15ventures has held the Xccelerate program, having backed givvable and OwnHome in 2020, and Splashup in 2021, along with last year’s winner, financial workflow management company, Paytron, which has since been acquired by ASX-listed OFX.  

Get more details and apply here.

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