Corona won’t stop these startups

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// Despite the pandemic’s best efforts, 15 startups will participate in Spacecubed’s Plus Eight Accelerator Program.

What is the Plus Eight Accelerator Program?

The Plus Eight Accelerator Program is an initiative created by technology hub Spacecubed, with the intention of helping local startups in WA go global, providing education, experience, and funding for these startups.

The program looks for startups that have a feasible business model, potential to expand on a global scale and have product solutions that are massively superior to how the relevant problem is currently solved.

“We are looking for ambitious founders, working as part of a balanced team to solve global problems they are passionate about, with high potential to scale”, says Isabelle Goldfarb, Spacecubed’s Program Impact Manager.

When asked about her reaction to being selected, Claire Orange from DiGii responded:

“Thrilled! Firstly, it’s a great endorsement for our solution and team.” she said

“Secondly, being accepted into the Plus Eight Accelerator Program is a massive opportunity for our business to have access to the generous support of program and industry mentors as well as a cohort of similar stage startups all looking to grow their businesses”.

Claire Orange, DiGii

What about Coronavirus?

Coronavirus has had major effects on business throughout the world. Will it stop the selected startups from reaching their potential?

The original plan was to hold workshops and masterclasses for the selected startups, as well as business trips to Asia and Silicon Valley to gain global prominence. These will still go ahead, just using slightly different methods.

What a workshop would have looked like if it wasn’t for something beginning with C…
(Source: Spacecubed)

“We have shifted everything to an online delivery. The cohort is still getting the full value of their mentoring, networking, masterclasses and amazing speakers, just via Zoom,” Isabelle says in regards to the effects of Covid-19.

“Also the trips will become workshops and virtual experiences to keep the connection with Asia and Silicon Valley.”

In fact, some startups welcome the change to an online platform.

“The revised format has been welcome and there are actually many benefits to it being online. We’re really enjoying the new weekly lunchtime zoom call that provides an opportunity to connect ideas and build a quality cohort culture remotely.” says Blake Cassidy, Co-founder of Matter.

Which startups were selected?

Here’s the full list of the 15 selected startups:

Ads on Wheels – ad tech that delivers new ways to help businesses advertise on cars.

Akora – Australia’s first full-service property marketplace.

BuyerUp – pre-approved buyers are matched with real estate agents and sellers.

DiGii Social – digital-life training platform for 9-13 year old children using AI to moderate and inform behaviour.

Grow Impact (Momentum) – allows those who invest in research to understand their return on investment as the research happens.

Hipflask – driving sales for small business by leveraging their desire to connect with the experience economy.

KIXXFIT – digital health and fitness service, providing access to movement, mindset, and nutrition content from coaches all over Australia.

Markr Systems – display AR virtual signage providing interactive navigational, event and cultural information based on GPS locations.

Matter – waste data intelligence to councils using IoT.

My Visual Brief – simplifies project scope development process for graphic designers and businesses into a visual and guided process.

Quax – online wealth management marketplace by digitizing personal tax compliance and wealth.

Remedium – online dispute resolution platform.

The Difference – mobile app that rounds up every transaction to the nearest dollar and gives the ‘difference’ to a cause you choose.

The Ladies’ Project – social network where women who are learning English can meet and practice their English speaking skills online.

Unleashed (Facilitate) – training platform that empowers organisations to create and manage their own VR training content.

In a new twist for Plus 8 in 2020, these 15 will pitch for investment in a few months’ time. Eight will win between $20K and $100K of funding and will then complete the rest of the program.

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Main image: Last year’s cohort graduating from the 2019 Plus Eight program, photo courtesy of Spacecubed. You can learn more about the program here.

Note – Spacecubed is a sponsor of Startup News.