A travel experience company, a babysitting platform, a space hire company and an instant building approvals platform all walk into a bar…
The Plus Eight program is no joke, the bar is FLUX, and these four companies have all ordered the same thing – a shot of acceleration (and some Jager bombs to go).
Now in its second year in Perth, the Plus Eight Accelerator is a program that many local startups hope to one day be a part of. The highly competitive program is a partnership between Spacecubed and Telstra’s accelerator, muru-D, bringing a global network of mentors, investors and partners together to support high growth startups.
Leveraging The Network
With the 2018 program nearing its end, Startup News asked four of this year’s cohort what they thought has been most valuable to their business growth and almost unanimously each team spoke about the access to expert mentors and network connections as priceless.
Paul Rowsthorn, co-founder of Airguides (formerly known as Hopolla), a platform that provides local experience for backpackers, was introduced to major players in the travel space, including contacts at AirBnB.
“The access to expert mentors is by far the best things about the program. You ask for something and you get delivered a contact, just like that,” he said.
An MBA on Steroids
“I’ve learnt more from muru-D in the last 3 months than I did from getting halfway through my MBA,” Nick commented.
Stop with the Niceties, Already
A more surprising revelation from the group was the ‘too nice’ attitude that Australians have, compared to the seemingly more brutal but certainly more direct approach they experienced in America.
“Going to the US was a real eye opener,” said Tom Young from udrew. “In Australia, investors want worst case, in America, investors want best case – and they’ll tell you straight away if they’re interested or not.”
Bringing in the Experts
Tim Brewer, Entrepreneur in Residence for the program, was quick to mention the camaraderie between the vastly different teams.
“No one has mentioned it but these guys spend a lot of time actually helping each other out,” said Tim. “You can either see everyone as a competitor or you can figure out how to add value to other people around you, no matter who they are.”
An End in Sight
With the demo night now less than a month away the pressure certainly isn’t off. “My job is to have them all be successful the year after they finish the program,” said Tim.
The other teams on the program are Carly Hardy’s Kooda, and Flora Boogert’s Mureus.
Stay tuned, as Startup News intends to follow up with each of the intrepid teams six months post program – we’ll be interested to see where the Plus Eight experience will have taken them once they’re out the other side.
Plus Eight Demo Night 2018, where each team gets to showcase what they’ve achieved, will be held at FLUX basement, Weds 19 September, from 5.30pm. Book tickets here.