The MAP16 startup accelerator draws to a close

6 months. 10 startups. High-class mentorship and growth opportunities. The 2016 MAP startup accelerator officially concluded on Thursday 27 October with one of the largest events in Melbourne’s entrepreneurship calendar, shared with the city’s finest investors and startup enthusiasts at the grand Melbourne Town Hall.

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Startups are each unique, with different growth trajectories and strategic visions. Pitching with numerous styles and exploring a wide variation of sectors, Demo Day captured the unpredictable and exciting nature of the startup world. The startups that we have all grown familiar with throughout the program exhibited their extraordinary progress, each pitching for 3 minutes before a dynamic Q&A session led by Accelerator Manager Maxine Lee. Allume, Simple, Shacky, Axon, Deliciou, Onolytics, Black AI, Bajaboard, Honee and CNSDose each took to the stage, indicating the range and diversity of talent within the program, with startup target sectors ranging from solar energy to MedTech and big data.

Demo Day proved a fitting culmination to the program, as Maxine explained –

The MAP startups this year have exceeded our expectations. The founders have grown together as a cohort and we were blown away by the level of collaboration and camaraderie across the group. Each of the founders have experienced a unique journey – either through applying their learnings to achieve product-market fit, exceeding their growth targets or accelerating product development and expanding their teams.”

The infectious enthusiasm on display in each pitch, from the laughs conjured by Kjetil Hansen of Deliciou to the passion of Shacky’s Joep Pennartz, captivated the audience and demonstrated the dynamism on display every day at Lab-14.

The pitches were preceded by MAP Director Rohan Workman’s welcome address, which stressed the vision of MAP and a continued commitment to diversity throughout all of MAP’s accelerator and development pipeline. MAP seeks to help entrepreneurs of all kinds, recognising the benefits of diversity across gender, nationality, age, ethnicity and beyond. (Read our blog on the issue and how MAP is tackling it, here.)

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As the year draws to a close and we welcome our 2016 founders into the MAP alumni community, we look forward to the possibilities of 2017. With a bursting calendar of events catering to all stages of the startup journey and as our startup accelerator continues to evolve, we can’t wait to have you on board.

Inspired? Check out our portfolio of 34 startups, sign up for our newsletter, or get in touch with us.

Follow us on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook to see what’s in store for 2017!

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MAP Co-Founder to head Innovation and Science Australia

A special message from our Director…

Dear MAP Family,

Today is a bittersweet day for us as we let you know that Dr Charlie Day, one of the co-founders of MAP and the Director of the Carlton Connect Initiative, has been headhunted to become the CEO of Innovation and Science Australia by none other than the Minister for Industry, Innovation and Science, the Hon. Greg Hunt MP.

Charlie’s contribution to MAP cannot be overstated – there simply would be no MAP without him.

To put Charlie’s contribution into perspective one needs to understand the pedigree of his background. A Rhodes Scholar (in jet engine design), Charlie was formerly a consultant with the Boston Consulting Group, and a member of the Investment Committee of UniSeed before he was recruited by the University of Melbourne to lead Melbourne Ventures for 6 years as its founding Director. Most recently Charlie has been leading the Carlton Connect Initiative, which is transforming the old Royal Women’s Hospital site into Australia’s premier innovation precinct. He also sits on the Board of the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute.

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Dr Charlie Day at the MAP16 Accelerator Launch.

Charlie’s experience is complemented by his diplomacy, wisdom, leadership and eloquence. I can also personally attest to phenomenal amounts of patience… 🙂 When you add this all up it has become increasingly clear to me over the years that there is nobody in Australia who understands the intersection of the complex worlds of Universities and entrepreneurship better than Charlie Day.

It’s pretty easy to see why Minister Hunt would want Charlie for this role – he is the perfect person for it and will do an outstanding job. It is validation of Charlie’s contribution to date and a well-placed trust that Charlie can steward Australia into a more entrepreneurial age just as he has stewarded MAP since its inception.

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Charlie enjoying a tour of Airbnb as part of the MAP Silicon Valley Trade Mission, November 2015.

Charlie – congratulations from everyone at MAP and although you’re leaving the nest just remember that you’re part of the family for life!

Best wishes,

Rohan Workman
Director
Melbourne Accelerator Program