Ten creative tech companies spanning verticals including robotics, fashion tech, AR, VR and music tech have been selected by Queensland University of Technology’s startup hub Creative Enterprise Australia (CEA) to participate in its 2018 Collider Accelerator.
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The three-month program, which kicked off this week, affords participants $30,000 in pre-seed investment, coaching from international mentors and deep domain experts. In addition, there are opportunities for participants to meet potential investors and attend creative programs, events and competitions through CEA’s partners, including TechSauce Summit in Thailand. This year, Collider is being spearheaded by CEA’s new Entrepreneur in Residence (EiR) Alan Jones, a founding investor in Pollenizer, Startmate and Blackbird Ventures.
CEA’s Acting CEO Mark Gustowski described this year’s cohort as “the next wave of entrepreneurs driving the creative economy”. He added, “In additional to Alan, the 2018 Collider Accelerator will host over a dozen world class entrepreneurs to support and facilitate components of the program,” he said. “We have attracted international talent spanning Australia, South Africa, Asia, the United Kingdom and the United States and this is all just the beginning. From here, we’ll take the cohort and offer them unprecedented opportunities in overseas markets. [A] crucial element to the accelerator is in ensuring we scope further pathways to support our startups across the lifecycle of their businesses.”
One of the participants in Collider Accelerator, this year, is BOP Industries – a Brisbane-based holographic entertainment company founded by teen entrepreneur Scott Millar.
“After graduating high school in 2017, I made the difficult decision to defer university,” Millar told Dynamic Business. “I decided I had to keep learning elsewhere and this desire led me to accelerator programs like Collider. The program will give me the unique opportunity to learn about business through a less traditional lens. Instead of sitting in a classroom reading textbooks, I’ll be working with world-class mentors and developing my own business as I go.
“A concentrated, 12-week course delivers the quick results needed in the startup space, whilst also developing a solid foundation of learnings that will accompany me well into the future. I’m looking forward to building a solid foundation for us to scale at BOP. We started scaling really naturally at the end of 2017 with no processes in place, and it was scary. We’re looking forward to learning exactly what goes into building a successful business and what’s needed to grow.”
Another participant in the 2018 Collider Accelerator is Tixel (formerly Vibewire), a ticket resale marketplace founded by Jason Webb. Asked what drew him to Collider, the Melburnian explained, “We had investigated numerous accelerators; however, Collider’s focus on creative industries was particularly attractive. We were also excited to work with the high calibre mentors assembled by the program. Having already helped music fans transact safely across Australia and New Zealand, we plan to use the program to get ourselves in shape to scale our customer base and help music fans everywhere.”
Brian McCarthy, the winner of this year’s Pitch X competition, saw Collider as an opportunity to scale his startup Brandollo, a platform uses machine learning to provide small businesses with intelligent marketing advice.
“Nine out of ten companies say marketing is critical for their growth; however, 80 percent struggle due to limited marketing budgets and in-house expertise,” McCarthy said.
“We’re developing a platform that will help solve this problem. When we saw that Collider specialises in creative tech, and has some of the greatest experts in the Australian Startup community, we knew it was the right fit for us.
“Collider provides funding, a fantastic place to work with a truly dedicated team, and most importantly it gives us the opportunity to be mentored by some of the most successful entrepreneurs and investors in Australia. People like Alan Jones, Ben Sharp and Shelli Trung to name only a few.”
The remaining Collider participants include robotic automation solutions startup Exaptec; facial recognition software company Birdee; sleep music app developer Can’t Sleep; clothing rental marketplace Lána; virtual wedding app Neon, music industry management system Prysim and custom, on-demand sports jersey startup Tribefire.