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The Grateful Eight

Picture of Charlie Gunningham
Charlie Gunningham
// // Eight WA tech startups have made it through to the seed-funding stage of Plus Eight, receiving a share in $350K.

// Eight WA tech startups have made it through to the seed-funding stage of Plus Eight, receiving a share in $350K.

As we all know, we live in the GMT +8 time zone, sharing this with China and much of South-East Asia.

As Chinese-speakers would also know, there’s something lucky about the number 8. Saying 8 in Mandarin (‘Ba’) sounds similar to the word for wealth or prosperity (‘Fa’).

And so it came to pass that the Plus Eight tech accelerator has decided to invest in 8 local startups, who will share equally in the $350,000 funding pool ($43.75K each).

Back in March, 70 startups had applied to the program, with 24 invited to the Bootcamp. These 24 became 15 for stage 2, which included mentoring and masterclasses during the COVID-months of April, May & June leading to a pitch day. Almost half of the 15 had female founders.

The 15 are now the ‘grateful eight’ – with apologies to Quentin Tarantino – who will progress through to the end of the program over the next few months, which will include a trip to Margaret River. No trips to Silicon Valley this year of course.

Organisers told Startup News that the choice was made based on likelihood of the businesses to succeed, their pre-seed investment readiness, the coachability of the founders and their general participation during the program to date (such as showing up to sessions, completing required activities, community building etc).

The Final Eight for 2020 are:

Ads on Wheels – Daniel Schoonderwoerd and Michael Palmer launched their adtech company designed and engineered from the ground up, to deliver advertising for any business, turning private vehicles into moving billboards linking digital with outdoor media.
Akora – Barkley Day, Farai Ikeleng, Rachel Leanne Hannah and Nikolaus Wust’s mission is to create Australia’s first full-service property marketplace by first tackling property management operations, removing prominent pain points and long customer life cycles.
DiGii Social – mother and son Claire and Doug Orange’s ‘Social media with training wheels’ – immersive digital-life training platform for 9-13 year old children using AI to moderate and inform behaviour.
Grow Impact – From Telethon Kids, Tobias Schoep, Tara McLaren and Paul Watt are building ‘Momentum’, a Grow Impact product that allows those who invest in research to understand their return on investment as the research happens.
KIXXFIT – Lorena Sumich and Jahney Smith have built the ‘Spotify of health and fitness’ – a digital health and fitness service, providing access to movement, mindset and nutrition content from coaches all over Australia.
Matter – Blake Cassidy & Martin McGinty provide waste data intelligence to smart cities and councils using market leading internet of things (IoT) technology.
Quax – brothers Braden and Ryan Smith’s mission is to create Australia’s largest online wealth management marketplace by digitizing personal tax compliance and wealth for the average person.
Hey Lady (formerly The Ladies’ Project) – Shah Turner and Emma Jacobson are developing a subscription-based social networking platform that makes it easy, enjoyable and affordable for women who are learning English to meet and practise their English speaking skills online.

We wish them well.


MAIN PHOTO: The 8 teams at Flux earlier this week, from left to right, back row: Nikolaus Wust, Braden Smith, Barkley Day, Ryan Smith, Michael Palmer, Martin McGinty, Tobias Schoep, Claire Orange, Blake Cassidy & Lorena Sumich; front row: Shah Turner, Emma Jacobson & Daniel Schoonderwoerd.

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Picture of Charlie Gunningham

Charlie Gunningham

Former co-founder, GM, CEO Business News and Accelerating Commercialisation adviser. Charlie has spent 20+ years in Perth's startup scene, as founder, mentor, adviser, writer and investor. There's nothing he likes more than helping early stage tech startups ... and drinking coffee, shiraz or playing in a blues band. Email Charlie here.

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