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Startmate reveals its 2012 start-ups

Startmate has selected eight companies for its mentor and accelerator program, including three start-ups with female founders.
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Written by Mahesh Sharma, Correspondent on

Startmate has selected eight companies for its mentor and accelerator program, including three start-ups with female founders.

The intake is an increase on the five companies that were selected for the inaugural program last year. The number of applications had also doubled to 164 this year.

The program sees Startmate invest $25,000 for a 7.5 per cent stake in the start-ups. In exchange, it provides an intense three-month mentoring program, culminating in a demo day in Silicon Valley.

Co-founder Niki Scevak said the start-ups were more developed this year, which was driven by greater awareness of the program, courtesy of the success of alumni Grabble (acquired by Walmart), BugHerd and Chorus (which attracted investment from 500Startups).

"A lot have launched, have customers, have users," he said. "Last year some of them were still doing product development work, so they were still launching the product."

"It's hard to say how different they are because they're very similar, Aussie hackers who have the ambition to be the best in the world.

"The biggest thing is we have these extremely talented people, who have the ambition to create the next Atlassian, create a business that's the best in the world at what they do, rather than just be a successful Australian adaptation of something that works in the US."

The eight companies are Clique (@Clique_Tweets), Flightfox (@flightfox), Happy Inspector (@happyinspector), Invc.me (@semblancesys), Ninja Blocks (@ninjablocks), ScriptRock (@scriptrockapp), Setkick (@Setkick) and Young Republic (@young_republic).

He said there was no single theme that defined the group, which ranged from developer operations automation to deploy mobile applications (ScriptRock), home electricity hardware devices (Ninja Blocks), event organisation (Clique) and expert flight fare search (Flightfox).

He estimated that less than 5 per cent of the applicants had female founders, but those with female founders achieved an impressive hit rate considering that these made up three of eight start-ups.

"It's awesome to see girls involved in start-ups in Australia," Scevak said.

"There's such a small percentage at the top of the funnel [when graduates enter university], it's not surprising that at the bottom of the funnel the inequality is so great."

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