Brisbane startup hub River City Labs has announced the additions of Shoes of Prey cofounder Mike Knapp and business development veteran Llew Jury to its muru-D backed “BNE3” accelerator program as Entrepreneurs-in-Residence (EIR).
The second accelerator to run since River City entered a three year partnership with Telstra’s muru-D last August, BNE3 will offer startups a six month long program, where they will be eligible to receive up to $60,000 in funding in exchange for six percent equity.
Last year’s cohort saw startups from a range of industries, from drones to healthtech, come together to participate, after the program received applications from across Australia and countries including Canada, India, Denmark, and Singapore.
Leveraging his entrepreneurial knowledge, Knapp will assist startups participating in this year’s upcoming program with developing their user interface design, technical knowledge, system architecture, and product outcomes.
Jumping from law to tech, Knapp previously moved from a position as an Judge’s associate to becoming the senior associate for Google’s Adwords department, before transitioning into a software engineering role within the company.
Knapp later joined Jodie and Michael Fox to launch Shoes of Prey, a Sydney-based platform selling “custom-made” women’s shoes. Earlier this year saw Knapp step down from his position to launch Mottle, a pseudo social networking and dating app.
Harnessing user information from Facebook, Mottle connects like-minded users together to have a phone conversation. Once the call is over, both participants are able to rate each other based on their experience.
Speaking about his appointment, Knapp said he was looking forward to returning to Brisbane and working beside the local startup community which has evolved “tremendously” over the years.
“Being part of the River City Labs Accelerator Program is an amazing opportunity to give back to the ecosystem and help Queensland develop the next wave of startups. I’m really energised by what I’m seeing on the ground as far as the startup community goes,” said Knapp.
Also joining the program as EIR is founder of Brisbane-based digital services agency Reload Business Group, Llew Jury. With a long background in the business development space, Jury recently founded tech business advisory firm Llew Jury & Co.
As EIR, Jury will work with the BNE3 cohort as a business development expert, providing the selected teams with guidance on how to expand their businesses.
Jury said he was excited to join the program, which would serve as a way from him to “give back” to the Brisbane startup community.
“There’s some really great entrepreneurial spirit and talent here in Brisbane and it’s an opportune time for disruptive ideas to develop into fully fledged businesses. I’m looking forward to helping with all the business scaling activities including international growth opportunities as well as closely partnering with the cohort of BNE3,” he said.
To help startups achieve their growth goals, Jury will offer advice on market research, commercial agreements, go-to market strategies, capital raising, and business models.
Muru-D head Julie Trell welcomed both of the EIRs to the program, saying, “We are thrilled to work with Llew and Mike to continue to grow the startup ecosystem in Queensland and beyond. The muru-D team members across our five locations are eager to learn from and collaborate with River City Labs’ new EIRs.”
BNE3 applications open early August, with the accelerator program set to kick mid October.
You can find more about the program here.
Image: Mike Knapp & Llew Jury. Source: Supplied.
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