12 Startups accepted into Xcelerate!

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The pitches are done, the judges have deliberated and BlueChilli and Coca-Cola Amatil have announced the 12 lucky startups and their incredible ideas that have been selected into the 6 month accelerator program Xcelerate.

40 startup founders went through the 2 week BlueChilli bootcamp
40 phenomenal startups went through the 2 week bootcamp

For the past two weeks, 40 startups from around Australia and New Zealand have been undergoing a rigorous bootcamp to prove and validate their concepts with our in-house Product, Engineering and Entrepreneur in Residence teams. It’s been a whirlwind!

If you’re impatient and excited to skip straight to the big news, click here.

Out of the thousands of campaign visitors, more than 600 expressions of interest and 300 eligible entries, only 40 were selected into the bootcamp, one of the largest ever held in Australia, with 12 being selected into the program, also setting Australian and New Zealand records.

“These founders are about to embark on an incredible journey with us – learning how to build businesses that will make a real difference in the world, from idea stage to build to launch in just six months.” – Megan Flamer, Program Director

They’ve already come so far in the bootcamp, we can’t wait to see them in action in the accelerator.

Founders at BlueChilli working on their pitch
The founders worked countless hours refining and practising their pitches

With the final two days mostly comprised of pitching for their spot in the accelerator, the vibe throughout the office was positive with a fair dose of nerves and excitement.

“The bootcamp has been wonderfully HECTIC! I have learned so many things, met amazing people and been able to work on my idea full time. It’s been challenging but also so much fun! I can’t believe the amount we’ve all got done in such a short time.” – Genevieve from PicMi 

Each startup will receive a full engineering, creative and technical team who will turn their tech idea into a live product, an initial $38,000 equity investment and mentoring, training and connections to gain customers and pilots and build their team to grow their business.

We’ve been blessed with the choice of too many great ideas

Megan echoes the sentiments of everyone involved with the bootcamp period stating, “I’ve been thrilled with the calibre of founders we’ve had in this bootcamp. Their drive to learn and create has blown us all away – if it were up to me, I’d have all of them in the accelerator!”

We couldn’t hold an accelerator of this size without a partner like Coca-Cola Amatil and their emerging possibilities program Amatil X. Alison Watkins, of Coca-Cola Amatil, echoes our sentiments and excitement:

“We chose BlueChilli because they demonstrate the same passion and drive as the start-up community they work with, and we are aligned around our strategic goals. With BlueChilli, we’re confident we’ll be finding and bringing life to some world-class innovations and ideas.” – Alison Watkins, Group Managing Director of Coca-Cola Amatil

The energy in the room, leading up to the announcement was electric, the anticipation was palpable, it’s rare to see a group of adults get so genuinely excited! So without further ado…

Xcelerate founders from BlueChilli

  • Michael Reznick from Air Tracker – Improving lives by tracking air anytime, anywhere (NSW)
  • Gabrielle Pacholski from GetOutdoors – Using technology to support mental and physical wellbeing by motivating people to get outdoors (NSW)  
  • Gary Scott and Natasha Scott from GlobalWhere – A real-time data sharing platform for worker safety (NSW)
  • Tim Semple from JobWords -JobWords enables companies to display customizable job boards and ads (from their existing HR software) on their own websites and social channels (VIC) 
  • Surjeet Taank and Harman Singh from Kargologic – One platform to seamlessly connect and automate your supply chain (VIC)
  • Sunny Phu and Joanna Chen from LockinFuel – A fuel app that uses advanced artificial intelligence to forecast future fuel prices (NSW)
  • Andrea Watson from Sparrows.io – Track anything, anytime, anywhere (NZ)
  • Rebecca Grainger from Triiyo – Redefining employee engagement and optimising experience during parental leave (NSW)
  • Genevieve Griffin-George from PicMi – Simplifies the employment process, seamlessly connecting growers to the right workers, at the right time. (NZ)
  • Josh DeNutte from Spark -We keep the spark alive in relationships by sending couples on awesome dates each month – all planned, booked and paid for under one easy subscription (NSW) 
  • Trish Hyde, Murray Hyde, and Ben Reay from PlastX – A brand-owner driven plastic trading platform to recover specific types of plastic (ie PET bottles) from the communities where it lands, in exchange for supplementary income (NSW) 
  • Mehdi Spighi and Alex Bray from Trustable – Using pay-wave transactions to verify peer reviews of restaurants, Trustable is the first verified review platform for dining experiences (VIC)

Congratulations to every single founder who entered the bootcamp. We were blown away by the calibre of ideas in the application phase and it was a hard task to select as few as 40 for the bootcamp. Narrowing down the candidates was near impossible.

We asked a number of founders during the bootcamp what they would do if they didn’t get in. Ken, founder of DayTrippa (who narrowly missed out on selection), echoed a sentiment felt by so many of the incredible participants,

“I will definitely continue on this path, I have people that are interested and are rooting for me to be successful. I cannot throw that away. If I am not successful, I will work on my shortcomings re the pitch or problem, and be thankful for what I have learnt in this 2 weeks.” – Ken from DayTrippa

We are thankful to have had the experience to meet so many incredible people with game-changing ideas and can’t wait to see how the 12 selected grow their businesses.

Stay tuned!

*Note: This post has been updated on August 23 2018 to reflect changes to some of the startup names and descriptions as re-branding and value propositions have been refined and updated during the accelerator program.