Startmate outs its shortlist

Startmate outs its shortlist

Summary: Start-up investment fund Startmate has selected five businesses to participate in a three-month program that includes $25,000 seed funding and mentoring from successful Aussie entrepreneurs.

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Start-up investment fund Startmate has selected five businesses to participate in a three-month program that includes $25,000 seed funding and mentoring from successful Aussie entrepreneurs.

IRLgaming, Chorus, Bugherd, Noosbox and another unnamed company trumped the field of 86 applicants to participate in the first-round of the Startmate program, which was founded earlier this year by a collection of Aussies who have successfully commercialised businesses in Australia and the United States.

The businesses target a range of markets including email, customer feedback and bug reporting, according to Startmate co-founder Niki Scevak.

He said Chorus aims to help prioritise email feedback from customers; Noosbox aims to break down silos across corporate email systems to allow better information- and resource-sharing; IRLgaming turns the real world into a game board, using social networking features such as "check-in"; and Bugherd manages the process for filing software bugs.

The program, which starts in January, will see Startmate founders taking a stake in the business in an effot to help overcome the common pitfalls start-ups face, including time management and customer and business development.

Applicants were selected based on the people involved, the scale of the idea, and the business' maturity, as opposed to the potential financial return.

"At this stage it's way too hard to forecast financial metrics with any precision," Scevak said.

"The decisions were based on the pilots and managers more than anything else just because so much will change ... and it means nothing unless you can adapt to that pace."

The two biggest categories of applications focused on the charity and education sectors, and Scevak said it was unfortunate that these didn't feature in the final result.

"They were two huge areas, helping people learn in a better way and helping charity succeed."

Unlucky applicants still have an opportunity to participate in the Startmate program, he said, as there are plans to release the seed funding documents that have been used by the mentors to invest in the businesses.

Next month there will be a series of roadshows, featuring the partner of legal firm and Startmate sponsor DLA PhillipsFox, Richard Horton.

"If you're raising $100k and it costs $15,000 to $20,000 in legal fees to draft the documents, it's a gross waste of money.

"This is helping drive down those costs."

Topics: Social Enterprise, Start-Ups

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