Published on the 03/04/2017 | Written by Newsdesk
First intake in new programme attracts $500,000 in seed funding…
Six early stage technology companies have been selected for yet another startup incubator, this one named Flux Accelerator 2017 and which is billed as ‘intensive’ by The Icehouse and Callaghan Innovation. In a statement, the organisations said a half million dollars of seed funding has been committed by investors attracted by startups across a range of industries, including financial services, social media and education.
The six-month business pathway programme will be housed at The Icehouse in Parnell, and will provide guidance from business leaders and the likes of Amazon Web Services, which is providing access to its low-cost AWS Activate program. With legal firm Simpson Grierson also involved, there is every chance that protecting IP will be a part of the deal, too.
Among the 80-odd mentors signed up for the first intake are Paul Cameron, CEO of Booktrack, Claudia Batten, founder of Massive and Victors and Spoils, Tim Williams, founder of ValueClick and chairman of 90 Seconds and Jason Kerr, Founder of Findly and Spoke.
The startups are
- Osnova – Private math tutoring using artificial intelligence
- The Social Club – Online platform that connects brands with social media influencers for campaigns and ongoing collaborations
- Genoapay – Provides retailers with payment plans for their consumers at the point of sale
- 1Centre – Streamlines the setup and on-going management of trade accounts
- Vidapp – Enables any video producer to connect and sell to the world through their own customised video apps
- Jude – Redesigning the banking experience and allow anyone to have the services of a private banker
Williams pointed out that Kiwi entrepreneurs are competing against others from around the world for customers, funding and mindshare. “Flux will provide an edge, giving the six startups a leg up as they look to build a global company. By spending time with founders that have built and exited successful companies, the Flux founders will be able to tap into networks and expertise to help them on their journey.”
Towards the end of the accelerator, the startups can raise further capital at a “Demo Day” where each startup pitches to over 200 investors.
Jude founder iStart Ben Lynch (who has previously featured) explained why Flux attracted him: “It offers support to help us build a product that customers will love as well as a pathway to further capital raising. Our six months inside Flux will give us greater certainty about our business model and help get to market faster.”
Flux has attracted the support of corporate welfare dispensers Callaghan Innovation and Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development (ATEED), which effectively take cash from tax- and ratepayers to prop up private business. With that money, said Flux, the sharing of knowledge and expertise between startups, mentors and partners is enabled. “This contributes to lifting the collective digital capability across industries, critical for futureproofing New Zealand’s economy,” said Mark MacLeod-Smith, Flux director of Accelerator. “Each of these six start-ups has identified a way to harness technology to create solutions with global potential.”
The Flux model, said the Icehouse, aligns with The Icehouse’s existing investor networks, like ICE Angels which has invested $56M and the recently created Tuhua Ventures, an $11M micro-VC Fund.