The panel featured:
- Johanna Pittman, Stockland Accelerator Advisor and former Director of CityConnect
- Claire Sawyers, Chief Product Officer at BlueChilli
- Chris Ball, Head of Partnerships at BlueChilli
- Pete Lead, Accelerator Manager at BlueChilli
Watch the video here:
If you’ve got another question, the most common questions we get asked are answered on the Stockland Accelerator FAQs page.
Some of the key question and answers were:
What kind of PropTech ideas are you looking for?
The goal of the Stockland Accelerator is to fund, build and launch successful tech startups. There are six theme pillars of the Stockland Accelerator. These themes could guide your thinking, and we’re open to any idea as long as it leverages technology to grow a valuable and scalable company.
Stockland Accelerator six themes:
- the property industry as a whole
Claire: BlueChilli’s expertise is working with early-stage (or idea-stage) startups – but if you have a first prototype or an early version of a first product (an MVP – a minimum viable product) we still encourage you to apply. BlueChilli has product managers, designers, experts in front-end and back-end developement and unicorns who are experts in things that haven’t been done before – so there’s lots of value to get out of our programs whatever early stage you’re at.
Chris: We’re kind of limited to tell you about the kinds of ideas that we’re looking for, as we’re looking for new ideas for things that don’t exist yet. Stockland are thinking beyond the traditional realm of real estate. They’re thinking ‘what could this industry look like with technology’.
Johanna: PropTech has broad and different definitions, and what Stockland is focused on includes an incredible range which is broader than just the real estate market. It could be anything related to a building – including what’s in the building like tenant or customer experiences or heating and cooling, and what’s outside the building including public spaces.
Claire: The overarching mission of: ‘creating connected communities’ is so broad so I say, just pop your application in! Don’t shy away from an opportunity because you think you might not fit.
Is there scope within the accelerator for community building ideas?
Johanna: Those who apply, make sure you think about how people prosper, what makes places more livable, and people more productive. Like Neighbourlytics from the SheStarts program, they have that broader purpose of understanding how communities are created.
Chris: There’s no better partner than Stockland – their whole mission is to build communities. If I was applying, I’d research as much as I could into how my idea could work with Stockland.
Do you have any tips for the application process?
- Why do you really want to solve this problem or make this change in the world?
- Is this a really big problem, and how are people solving it now?
- Why are you the right person or team to address this problem?
- Really articulate your vision, and the problem you’re trying to solve – your solution will evolve.
- Show the work you’ve already done on this.
After I’ve applied, what happens next?
BlueChilli reviews the applications, we schedule phone interviews for any follow-up questions we might have and then we invite 40 startups to join us during the Bootcamp starting on the 12th of November.
In the meantime, if you want to keep working on your startup idea, here’s some more tips:
- Prepare as if you would get into bootcamp
- Use StartupU.io – which is our framework of how we build startups, being a part of the accelerator is a much more engaging experience but we also want to improve the experience for others
- Read The Lean Startup by Eric Ries and/or Running Lean by Ash Maurya
Claire: During the bootcamp, we’ll be challenging you to speak to your market and test your assumptions. The most common thing we see is founders assume things about their customers, so we encourage you to get out of the building (GOOB) and go and talk to people about the problem and potential solution.
Are all the dates and events compulsory to attend in Sydney?
Pete: We have founders based around Australia and New Zealand and yes, we know that people who are committed to the full accelerator program will get the best results. Weekly classes and pitch practices are done online and once a month we hold Immersion Days which are done in person and those locations might change.
You’re not just committing to a 6 month accelerator, you’re starting a business. If you really want to see a change in the world, you make sure you utilise more than just the curriculum we offer (which is available for free on StartupU). If you get into the program, you can utilise the reputation of BlueChilli, our alumni and Stockland, the connections and relationships you’ll make with the other staff and people in the program which are invaluable.
Chris: In a perfect world we would like all people to be present physically, but we know that’s not possible. We’ve had young mums and other people with other responsibilities in our programs that have attended virtually. You shouldn’t discount yourself based on being remote.
How will BlueChilli be involved in the business after the 6 month accelerator program?
Jo: There’s a real benefit from the the advisors that you will meet over the course of the accelerator, typically industry experts brought in to give feedback. It’s often those early responses that provide the valuable feedback which can be so critical. The advisors can add to your resilience throughout the process.
Chris: BlueChilli play the long game. We have a small equity state (15%) in your business and our commitment doesn’t stop after 6 months.
Claire: In the 6 month program, we’re kind of loading you up with all the things you need to know, we try to factor in that it might not be the best time for that particular piece of knowledge so we have the masterclasses on file so you can come back to them perhaps a year down the track when they’re more relevant for you. That’s something that makes us very different about other accelerator programs – your learning with us doesn’t stop when the program ends.
Applications for the Stockland Accelerator are open until the Monday the 22nd of October. Answers were edited for ease of reading.