Record crowds pack the Plaza for the largest MAP Launch to date.

Heath Evans
Jun 13, 2018 · 5 min read
Image for post
Image for post

More than 1000 guests packed the Plaza Ballroom to witness the MAP18 Accelerator cohort presenting their successful pitches in front of a ‘who’s who’ of Melbourne’s startup ecosystem.

The Accelerator Launch has become one of the largest startup networking events in Australia, attracting investors, venture capitalists, entrepreneurs, and industry leaders, all eager to discover the latest emerging entrepreneurial talent — with some of Australia’s most recognised startups including Honee, Carbar, CNSDose and Brosa having all taken the stage in recent years.

Watch this video to checkout all the highlights from the night.

Among this year’s talented cohort are Jason Ball and James Lolicato, founders of the Pride Cup — a startup focused on harnessing the power of sport to send a message of inclusion and acceptance to LGBTIQ+ athletes, officials and supporters. They are the first not-for-profit to be part of the MAP Startup Accelerator, and are one of a number of startups with a social impact focus who will be part of this year’s cohort.

Image for post
Image for post
Pride Cup co-founder Jason Ball preparing to take the stage.

“The entire experience was absolutely incredible,” said Ball.

“The support we received on the night was overwhelming. We met so many people who are eager to help, and lots of them came to us with new ideas and questions and it really got us thinking about how we can do things differently.

“We’re already seeing how wonderful it is to be part of the program and it’s hasn’t even started yet.”

Image for post
Image for post
Founder of Nudie Glow Ruby Wang owning the stage.

Building this supportive community around the founders at the beginning of their journey has been a strategic decision by MAP, a placement that is distinctly different from other programs explains Accelerator Manager Maxine Lee.

“Most accelerators only have an event of this scale at the conclusion of their program, but we believe it’s important for these teams to make these connections right at the very beginning of their journey,” said Lee.

“Many of the connections they will make tonight will become relationships they will maintain for years to come. Whether it be related to the startups they are creating today, or as part of their own journey as emerging entrepreneurs, having people they can test their thinking with is vitally important.”

It’s a sentiment echoed by Chief Entrepreneur in Residence Jeremy Kraybill who says the practice of presenting their ideas and gaining immediate feedback is a cycle they will become very accustomed to in the coming months as they work closely with a variety of world-class mentors as part of the Startup Accelerator.

“It’s exciting to witness this year’s group of startups begin the next stage of their journey together,” said Kraybill.

“The process of bringing together founders, mentors, and supporters from different industries and levels of experience makes everyone more likely to succeed. We can’t wait to see what this group will achieve and help them get there faster.”

Image for post
Image for post
Mingle founder Jordyn Evans’ has shared her story about overcoming the imposter syndrome to take the stage and deliver this presentation. Read it here.

It’s an opportunity that Mingle founder Jordyn Evans says is even more special given the highly diverse cohort that are part of MAP this year.

“The entrepreneurial journey can be particularly lonely, and I think one of the biggest attractions of an accelerator program is getting a chance to be around people who understand what you are going through,” said Evans.

“It’s such a diverse cohort this year, and we’ve all come from really different backgrounds and bring different strengths to the table, but already I’ve been blown away by the willingness to really help each other — and even at Launch walking off stage and getting a fist-pump from the teams just gave me such a boost, it’s been really special already.”

Image for post
Image for post
After applying unsuccessfully on three occasions, Jimmy Zhong can’t hide his smile as he presents as part of the MAP18 Accelerator cohort. He’s shared his reflections here in a wonderful story of perseverance. Click here.

Over the next five months these 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, and $20,000 in funding (with no equity taken) to help them accelerate their startup growth.

At the conclusion of the program in late-October, the teams will again take the stage in a much more intimate and private event where they will share their progress with prospective investors, partners and customers.

Sign up to our newsletter to continue following their journey, and checkout the photos below that captured the night through the eyes of the founders.

Image for post
Image for post
Atticus co-founder Saul Wakerman preparing his thoughts during rehearsals.
Image for post
Image for post
Tremolo’s Jake Johnson takes it all in, as Looplearn’s Zoe and Mingle’s Jordyn enjoy a laugh.
Image for post
Image for post
Looplearn’s Zoe Milne faces the lights.
Image for post
Image for post
Mingle’s Jordyn Evans finds a quite space near the kitchen to practice her lines.
Image for post
Image for post
Tremolo’s Jake Johnston testing the mic and mastering the slides.
Image for post
Image for post
Sleigh Group’s Ivy Novacco and OwlTail’s Mel Liu looking relaxed as the clock ticks down to Launch.
Image for post
Image for post
Pride Cup’s Jason Ball having a final check , practising his lines as the clock ticks.
Image for post
Image for post
The crowd waits patiently, over 1000 through the door eagerly awaiting the first presentation.
Image for post
Image for post
Nudie Glow’s Ruby Wang is in the zone.
Image for post
Image for post
Nudie Glow’s Ruby Wang ready to rock it
Image for post
Image for post
No surprise, she owns the stage!
Image for post
Image for post
And we’re rolling. Ivy delivers a sensational pitch, even adding in a few jokes. The crowd loves it!
Image for post
Image for post
Jake delivers the speech that he and co-founder Pav know so well.
Image for post
Image for post
Mel from OwlTail knows his audience. Nails it!
Image for post
Image for post
Smiles all round. Jason Ball with Atticus co-founders Misha Wakerman and Mitchell Brunton.
Image for post
Image for post
Acusensus co-founder Alexander Jannick knows more than most about cameras.
Image for post
Image for post
Ivy Novacco walking media street and sharing the excitement having just stepped off the stage.
Image for post
Image for post
The master of voices, so many people wanted to learn more about Ivy and Sleigh Group.
Image for post
Image for post
The Nudie Glow team always have time for a selfie.
Image for post
Image for post
After three attempts, he’s finally part of the MAP Startup Accelerator. Hats off to you Jimmy, you’re a star!
Image for post
Image for post
Ta-dah! That’s a wrap!

Melbourne Accelerator Program (MAP)

The official medium publication of the Melbourne…

Heath Evans

Written by

Marketing & Communications Manager at Melbourne Accelerator Program (MAP) | Director at Future Talent | Seth Godin's altMBA Coach. www.heathevans.com.au

Melbourne Accelerator Program (MAP)

The official medium publication of the Melbourne Accelerator Program (MAP), a homegrown startup accelerator based at the University of Melbourne

Heath Evans

Written by

Marketing & Communications Manager at Melbourne Accelerator Program (MAP) | Director at Future Talent | Seth Godin's altMBA Coach. www.heathevans.com.au

Melbourne Accelerator Program (MAP)

The official medium publication of the Melbourne Accelerator Program (MAP), a homegrown startup accelerator based at the University of Melbourne

Medium is an open platform where 170 million readers come to find insightful and dynamic thinking. Here, expert and undiscovered voices alike dive into the heart of any topic and bring new ideas to the surface. Learn more

Follow the writers, publications, and topics that matter to you, and you’ll see them on your homepage and in your inbox. Explore

If you have a story to tell, knowledge to share, or a perspective to offer — welcome home. It’s easy and free to post your thinking on any topic. Write on Medium

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store