Hindsight is 20/20: My reflections on MAP and the 2019 Accelerator launch

Lisa Jane
Melbourne Accelerator Program (MAP)
3 min readMay 29, 2019


The journey to the big stage at MAP is one that is quietly acknowledged but never fully understood by founders as your start up faces the ‘hunger games’ elimination rounds of the MAP application process.

Despite being pitch perfect by launch night, nothing really prepares you for the moment when you’re standing quietly in the darkness on the edge of a stage and realise that your hard work has finally paid off.

For me, the journey to becoming a founder at the 2019 MAP Launch was over two years in the making. In late 2016 my mindset switched from ‘do nothing to do something’ and when looking into ‘how’ this was possible I discovered MAP.

At the time I had been working in supporting actor roles to the nurses and midwives who are the main characters in healthcare and I became motivated to do something that would make a positive difference in their everyday lives.

Whilst the idea we created — Codello — was simple (to take the current paper-based shift swapping process amongst nurses online so that shift swapping could be a customised experience rather than (often) remaining a fruitless exercise) the journey however, wasn’t so easy.

My first brush with MAP pitching my idea as a bright eyed, bushy tailed novice in 2017 was cringe worthy. I went to a MAP office hour and I was late, underprepared and in sum unimpressive.

Whilst this first encounter is one I’d rather prefer never happened, it did became the catalysis and starting point of my MAP journey. I went from being a naive novice to a founder in the exact program I’d been followed with “paparazzi like” enthusiasm for over two years.

The process of getting into the MAP accelerator is daunting; four elimination rounds over six weeks. Sometimes it felt like we were rough diamonds being polished in each round… other times it felt a bit like being an onion with your layers being striped back.

Our start-up’s vulnerabilities were broached and we took away valuable lessons from the judge’s insights. After going through the MAP process you’ll better understand why it’s this way; MAP is designed to build you up to be ready for launch night and beyond.

The MAP launch night itself is about so much more than just the stage and my favourite memory was in the moments before the stage came to life; the waves of excitement and supportive energy that came from the fellow founders within the cohort itself.

Whilst 10 founders took the stage, another 8 played even more powerful roles either standing alongside nervous pitchers in the wings or strategically placed themselves amongst the crowd as support.

In my experience, taking the stage on behalf of two other founders who make up the Codello team to present to a captive audience on our team’s achievements was mesmerising. I remember nothing of what I said and everything of how I felt. On cue, in control and over prepared; everything I wasn’t in my first encounter with MAP in 2017!

Sometimes the unknown is exciting and whilst I can honestly say I have no idea what Codello will look like at the end of this MAP journey, it’s thrilling to join 17 other founders and call Exhibition Street home for the next five months.