Vocus Upstart Opens 2016 Intake

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Vocus Upstart (previously Amcom Upstart), one of Australia’s most generous startup accelerators, has today launched its 2016 program.

Offering a total of up to $320,000 in seed capital and three months extensive mentoring to eight successful applicants, the program will commence on 1 August 2016.

Launched last year by eGroup WA and Spacecubed and sponsored by Vocus’ subsidiary Amcom Pty Ltd, the program is designed to help local startups transform their innovative ideas into a business.

The first successful startups graduated from the program in August 2015 and have developed a range of innovative products in the transport, resources, gaming, modelling, retail and hospitality markets.

Vocus Non Executive Director, Tony Grist, said:

“With the mining boom receding, programs like Vocus Upstart support a culture of innovation and intelligent risk-taking that are essential to the expansion of the startup ecosystem in Australia.”

Throughout the intensive thirteen week program, mentors will help innovative startups transform their ideas into businesses, win their first customers and make their first sales.

Program Director, Robert Nathan, said

“Accelerator programs like Upstart provide essential encouragement to Australians with innovative business ideas to take risks and to give it a go. We give them mentorship, funding, resources, knowledge and access to business networks that they need to be successful.“

The program will be hosted at co-working, collaboration and innovation hub Spacecubed, with all startups receiving work space at the 1050sqm St Georges Terrace space. With over 500 active members, Spacecubed has fast established itself as the key hub for tech entrepreneurs in Perth.

Program mentors will be drawn from the extensive networks of Spacecubed, eGroup and will include senior business leaders from Vocus. eGroup is a not for profit association founded in 2009 by a group of well-known online entrepreneurs. eGroup provides a monthly forum for online entrepreneurs, innovators, tech experts and investors. eGroup forums and master classes will form part of the three month accelerator program.

In addition to sponsorship from Vocus, the Accelerator Program has the financial backing and support of Tony Grist, local venture capitalist Matt Macfarlane and a number of high net worth investors.

The format remains mostly the same as last time: a $40K investment in return for 8% equity, giving a post-money valuation of $500K. A maximum of $10K per founder, and $20K overall, can be spent on founder compensation. 10% of the company’s shares must be reserved for an employee option pool. The big change is that the company must have a technical founder or co-founder. The full term sheet is here.

2016 Key Dates for Vocus Upstart:

1 March – Applications open

15 March – Information session at Spacecubed

29 April – Applications close

31 May – Winners announced

1 August – Program commences