Kicking termites to the curb and distilling data to improve school outcomes: Meet MAP’s 2021 Cohort.
A termite early warning system that could save properties and hip pockets and a powerful digital platform that distils educational data to improve student outcomes are among the 10 stellar startups selected to join this year’s Melbourne Accelerator Program.
These 10 startups have been selected from hundreds of hopeful businesses to take part in MAP and will make their debut during the 2021 MAP Launch, held digitally on Tuesday 13 July.
The Launch marks the beginning of the five month MAP journey for these teams, all of whom have just joined the MAP team physically in the Melbourne Connect innovation precinct at the University of Melbourne. The teams have been busy settling into their new home and getting their stories pitch perfect for MAP’s biggest event of the year.
Over the next five months the 10 teams will receive mentoring from some of Australia’s most brilliant business minds, as well as access to a global network of advisors, channel partners and investors. To top it off, they’ll all receive $20,000 in funding (with no equity taken) to help accelerate their startup growth.
There have been many people who have helped to shape the program into what it is today, including Professor Colin McLeod, Executive Director of the Melbourne Entrepreneurial Centre, who said that 10 years of MAP is an achievement to be proud of.
“It’s an incredible milestone that MAP has been around for 10 years. The 10 teams that have been selected in 2021 — the 10th MAP cohort — follow in the footsteps of the 74 teams that have preceded them since 2012.
“On behalf of all the MAP participants over the last 10 years, I want to thank the University of Melbourne. It’s a wonderful thing to be able to turn the full resources of the University to help our MAP founders — you can see in the numbers how successful this program has been, and it simply wouldn’t have happened without the University’s support.”
“We’re particularly excited about the 10th MAP Launch. MAP events have certainly evolved a long way since the first Demo Day in 2012 when four teams presented to 34 people, whereas we now get 600–800 people coming along to Launch Nights and Demo Days.
“While the last 18 months have been challenging for everyone, there have been a few highlights for MAP and the Melbourne Entrepreneurial Centre more generally, including moving into our permanent home at Melbourne Connect, the new home for entrepreneurship at the University of Melbourne. I would add that we are not the only people there, it is an absolute talisman for organisations and people interested in innovation and entrepreneurship.
“While the format for the Launch has changed for obvious reasons, hopefully we can go back to the future and have a face-to-face Demo Day later in the year and introduce the MAP community to Melbourne Connect.”
The University of Melbourne backed initiative, now in its 10th year, is renowned as one of the most outstanding accelerator programs in Australia, having supported over 180 companies who have generated over $145 million in revenue, raised over $100 million in funding, and created over 1,400 jobs.
With a snap lockdown shifting the second two stages of the four-stage selection process online, the MAP team worked behind the scenes to pivot, keeping selections on track to culminate in the 2021 MAP Launch. The number of high-quality applications made judging a challenging process, but with the help of an expert panel of industry heavyweights in the final stage, the MAP team settled on the top 10.
Over the four stages, these dedicated founders delivered pitches to some of the brightest minds in the entrepreneurial space, facing a myriad of questions and explaining the ins and outs of their business models to prove their mettle.
Laxmi Pun, MAP’s Program Manager, spoke about the key features that make the MAP Accelerator such a worthwhile undertaking for ambitious startups.
“We did a survey with our alumni recently to find out what some of the valuable aspects of the program were for them and three things stood out: the MAP network, developing focus, clarity and confidence, and funding opportunities.
“Many of the first-time founders credited MAP in helping them navigate the startup ecosystem. Helping them find colleagues, mentors and friends for life.
“Many of the startups also mentioned that the program and the mentors helped them find focus and clarity. Founders by nature have lots of ideas and often choosing what not to do is the hardest part! The program also helped in business growth and developing founder confidence.
“Finally, many found MAP instrumental in finding their first investors during or after the program based on the relationships that they had built during the program. Many of our founders have received grants and prestigious awards such as Accelerating Commercialisation Grants, Forbes 30 Under 30 Awards, and plenty of industry awards.
“The 10th year of MAP is a testament to all the hard work and contributions made by our predecessors, mentors and alumni all along the journey. Indeed, we’re standing on the shoulders of giants.”
The MAP program has accelerated the growth of many significant startups across Australia. Nura undertook the program in 2015 — within three years the business had raised $21 million in Series A funding and is now one of the biggest competitors in the Australian headphone market.
One of the most impressive aspects of MAP is the network of mentors and Entrepreneurs-in-Residence, coaching teams through their startup experience and continually giving back to the MAP community. Many are MAP alumni that continue their involvement often years after they’ve completed the program.
Guiding this year’s startups through the intensive five-month journey as Chief Entrepreneur-in-Residence, Simon Murphy. Simon is the Founder and CEO of RefLIVE, a SaaS startup that simplifies sports referee management, and was part of the MAP cohort in 2017. Simon has taken the reins from Jeremy Kraybill, MAP’s first and only Chief EIR until this year.
“I’m incredibly excited to be working with this year’s talented founders in one of Australia’s best accelerator programs. MAP has enabled a generation of founders to build influential companies on a global scale, and I hope to be able to assist this year’s founders to be the best version of themselves.”
MAP has enjoyed a successful 10-year lifespan. In 2016, the program was ranked the 8th best university accelerator program in the world by Swedish research firm UBI Global and has become renowned as one of the strongest accelerator programs in Australia.
We’re excited for the next 10 years to burn even brighter!
Meet the 2021 MAP cohort
AI-NC has developed an automation platform that makes programming machine tools faster, cheaper, and more accessible. They aim to improve the quality of this machining process as well as reducing costs for the businesses that use the machines.
Almost 1 billion people around the world are estimated to suffer from Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA). Cari Medical is developing a digital mask selection tool that helps sleep apnea patients choose the CPAP mask best suited to their personal medical condition, sleep habits and facial anatomy.
charityBay is an easy and accessible online marketplace which converts items and services into charity donations; helping the environmentally conscious to prevent their previously loved belongings ending up in landfill. This innovative application has been designed to reduce waste whilst committing 95% of proceeds to charity.
Far More is a digital hub for trade, communications and education for all things coffee! The team has built an online marketplace assisting coffee farmers who are currently selling at a loss and have connected them directly to overseas buyers.
Our current health system is not set up to support informal carers taking care of chronically ill patients, under long term conditions. Carers are vulnerable to burnout and suffering with their mental health.
The Gather Group Co. is creating the world’s first bespoke technology to support informal carers, which will be customised to the needs of individual care networks.
When Australia entered lockdown in 2020 there was a significant increase in online shopping orders, and businesses were struggling to fulfill these without a quick delivery service to their customers.
Get It Fast offers a same day delivery experience to all customers, a service that has been dominated by larger corporations and has been difficult for smaller businesses to fulfill. Get It Fast aims to bring affordable same day delivery to everyone.
Infestation Tracking Systems has created an early warning system that alerts home owners and pest controllers to potential termite damage. Termites cause over $780 million in damage to buildings in Australia every year and unfortunately many property owners do not know they have a termite problem until their property is significantly damaged.
Intellischool aims to assist teachers to identify at-risk students before they fail and assist students in self-diagnosis. The Intellischool Data Platform uses data from the EdTech services that schools use, by personalising support for students in need.
Dementia is a cruel, isolating experience for both those living with the disease and for the carers supporting them through the process.
The My Dementia Companion tool is the world’s first smart dementia assistant that guides family, friends and carers through this difficult journey. The tool offers them bite-sized, practical and personalised support information whenever it is needed.
Speckles has created adjustable, difficult-to-damage glasses that are designed to grow with a child’s face. Their online platform raises awareness of the importance of early intervention in child vision impairment as well as providing information and support to parents and their children with vision needs.
Register for the MAP Launch
From the Plaza Ballroom, to Melbourne Meat Market, to startup enthusiasts’ loungerooms across Australia, the MAP Launch has been MAP’s headline event since 2012. This year, the MAP Launch is digital experience, which means everyone is invited! Founders, startup supporters and investors from all over the country.
We’ve partnered with New Mac Video Agency to bring you a launch like no other, with filming taking place in the beautiful XO Studios in Melbourne’s Brunswick East. We’ll be joined by special guest speakers from the University of Melbourne as well as MAP alumni and Entrepreneurs-in-Residence.
Hear the winning pitches, from the 10 outstanding startup teams who have worked tirelessly to gain a spot on this year’s program.