2017 is the year BlueChilli “grew up”. After working with government agencies on developing policy for Ideas Boom, partnering with some of Australia’s largest and best corporates we needed to put aside our cherished scrappyness and evolve into the thought leaders and experts we had become. But we did this despite keeping our t-shirts, electric skateboards and entrepreneurial DNA.

We refocused our company to the value of what we do – which is to empower amazing entrepreneurs and we wanted to ensure they were the centre of everything we do. As a result of our hard work SheStarts was named Australia’s best accelerator program for founders and BlueChilli was the first formally recognised by the ATO as an eligible accelerator for ESIC tax effective investments.

We’ve evolved into a values driven organisation with an infinite mindset, focused on growing the entrepreneurship ecosystem and with a drive to become the world’s most inclusive program.  We opensourced our technology stack, put our award winning training program online and we were heavily involved in influencing government policy to support entrepreneurship.

This year saw us reach gender parity across our startups, with 50% of the founders we backed in 2017 identifying as women. However, our work on inclusivity has and will continue, and we became recognised internationally by the OECD as leaders in developing inclusive programs.

23 fantastic new companies have all come out of the BlueChill stable in 2017. Ambient, CoWorkally, Inndox, SciGround, SmartLINC, ReCrew, BronTech, Airloom, Banjo Maps, FarmPay, Longevity, Neighbourlytics, Otlet, Refni, Vetchat, CallSweeper, GoDrve, Tripple, Develo, Styylr, Huntr, MyMaria, OnBoardHealth and Alixir.

These startups were selected from over 3,000 pitches!

More than $110M has been raised by our startups in 2017 with market capitalisation growing to over $800M. We are so proud of the inroads each and every one of our founders have made towards success. Some notable achievements include BenchOn landing a 12 month contract with Westpac delivering $1M/mo with $110k/GP/mo. BronTech closing $1M round from listed $OOK within 12 months of starting with us, GrassRootz increasing the money raised for the Sydney Running festival by over 30% YOY, Comwriter and WithWine launching their version two products, WhenHub opening an ICO, Folktale winning a good design award and so many more!

Rather than slowing down, we’ve sprinted towards the end of the year with our SheStarts documentary winning a silver Mumbrella award for best branded content and we kicked off our 2018 cohort on Dec 7, with thanks to our backers ANZ, MYOB, LinkedIn and Microsoft who all share our values in promoting inclusivity in tech.

SheStarts Program Director Nicola Hazel (centre) with Cohort 2

We logged 21,117.60 hours of technical development for our startups, the bulk of which is now invested into each startup for free after we completely changed our business model to invest the technology to remove the barriers for entrepreneurship. This new approach has meant that anyone with an idea from any background, provided they show charisma, courage, coach-ability and confidence can start a technology company.  This investment is in addition to the countless hours provided to our startups by our product leads, marketing and PR team, partnerships team, full time entrepreneurs in residence and venture capital experts.

Our team sent over 8900 tweets – one for every hour of 2017 (and Alan Jones made up about half of these!)

Our office turretbot was fired over 318 times.

The BlueChilli Turret Bot

In 2018 we’re doubling down on our efforts to create inclusive programs and we’re taking these globally. We have some ambitious plans to drive innovation through entrepreneurship and will continue to remove barriers for entrepreneurs across the ecosystem.

Anyone with an idea, no matter their background, deserves to build their future, and our future is to help them achieve their success.  2018 is going to be massive.

Filed under:   2017   awesome   bluechilli   mission   review   startups   vision   year