Which Start-up Accelerators Are Most Successful in Australia?

Here is some empirical evidence as to the success rate, ie measured as an outcome of a start-up receiving at least another round of investment, of accelerators in the USA.


A couple of points seem relevant:
1) Success begets success – There is a marked difference of results between TechStars, 500Startups, and Y-combinator, and the rest of the pack. No doubt this comes from both the inputs (start-up selection, calibre of mentors, robustness of program) and the outputs (growth of start-up, exits, and affiliated investor ROI).
2) There is a clustering of investors, at least VC investors around accelerators.

In Australia we have a number of incubator and accelerator programs. Corporate led, like Muru-D, Innov-8 etc.; Collaborative like Fishburners, Pollenizer, Blue Chilli; and research led, like NICTA and ATP Innovations.

Would you be interested to see this sort of empirical data about the start-up industry here in Australia?


Thinking of Starting a Business in 2013? The Year of the Hungry Market

Project 2012: Day 362

Where will the hungry market be in 2013? Here’s my take –

1. Integrating Systems of Record with Systems of Engagement

It’s not just about automating paper based processes (like Shoeboxed) any longer, nor just about mediating engagement (like Instagram). There’s a huge market, mainly in enterprise, where integrating these two systems will accelerate in 2013. E.g. Bring up a record of a contact, and have the tools to communicate with them. Accept a call from a customer, see all of their records in the same view.

2. Trust engine

I first heard of this need back in 2011 from Rachel Botsman in one of her talks on Collaborative Consumption. But this is no less true today, if not more so.

In short there are an increasing number of applications that vet the trust factor of users. Think eBay. Buyers and Sellers are rated by Sellers and Buyers of their products. These ratings then influence your decision criteria as to whether to transact with them. Over time, trusted sellers can set higher prices, and trusted buyers can negotiate cheaper ones.

Except that you have another trust factor on LinkedIn for jobs. Yet another one at your bank. Plus a credit rating. And we haven’t even broached AirBnB, Couchsurfing, or Uber.

There is a huge opportunity for someone to solve this problem. To create a multi-faceted trust engine that works across all of the communities you work in.

This is probably something that is best incubated in a bank, a telco, or perhaps a government organisation – or perhaps in a coalition with such organisations.

3. Augmented Reality & Physical Driven Virtuality

From “Light by MooresCloud” & Philips Hue to Zappar & Aurasma the combination of smartphones, cheap cloud computing, and tagging technologies has created a massive opportunity for innovative ideas.

Start deconstructing platforms, e.g. put an Internet connected camera on your clothing, and image recognition can drive all sorts of applications. Like say, facial recognition that matches your Facebook friends, and tells you their name and latest status via a Bluetooth headset. Brilliant for conferences.

Also look not only at augmenting reality by putting a virtual item in your field of view, but look at physical driven virtuality, where the placement or telemetry of a physical object drives your online experience. Like say, where you are determining what music to play automatically: In the gym, play your gym play list, on the road in the morning, and play latest news podcasts.

4. Machine to Machine (M2M) – Automate Everything

This is still a burgeoning technology, and still very much in the enterprise domain. But there is a huge opportunity with affordable technologies for start-up businesses. Look at RFID, NFC, and IP controlled technologies here.

Note, very few of the ideas will be new. E.g. home automation is hardly new, but ubiquitous broadband, smartphone adoption, and integration of communications technologies into appliances will provide significant opportunities that were only in the domain of the geek until recently.

Systems to automatically order consumables or commodities. Systems to power down devices based on electricity consumption. Systems to water the garden depending on the weather.

5. Scaled Multimedia

The Khan Academy, and Udemy have proven the model. But there is still massive opportunities in online training and education. Think about everything you do each day, there are millions of opportunities to create training, or review, videos.

The opportunity here is to use the Cloud to scale this in untapped markets. From developing nations to organisations.

Hybrid models are available here too, think virtual training in a simulated environment, assessments, tours.

What Are You Waiting For?

This year will bring even more innovative technology (for my predictions, read tomorrow’s CTO post), more current technologies will become mainstream. This combined with the fall out of the GFC, pushing everyone on the planet to find ways to do more with less, provides the perfect storm of opportunity

"Do not seek to understand, just do. In the doing comes the understanding.”

What Are You?

Project 2012: Day 355

In his seminal work, the E-Myth, Michael Gerber presents an Entrepreneur as someone with 3 roles:

  • Leader
  • Manager
  • Technician (producer)

I have a different take on that – an entrepreneur has to:

  • Sell
  • Market
  • Raise capital
  • Produce a product
  • Partner

As well as lead and manage a team.

Whilst we all believe we can do many things well, the truth is we’re better at some things that others. In real terms that means you’ll partner, recruit, or outsource for your areas of weakness. Which is right. But my question is,

What is your primary role as an entrepreneur?”

Or put another way:

“What wouldn’t you outsource?”

I reckon it’s “Sell”

If you’re not selling, if you’re not a salesman, you’re on a hiding to nothing. Get a day job, earn more, stress less.

What do you think?