Welcome to the MAP17 Startup Accelerator teams!

MAP is pleased to announce that we have selected the following 10 teams for the MAP17 Startup Accelerator:

  • Carbar Autos – a virtual dealership revolutionising the used car sales industry.
  • Cabaro – creators of refined and elegant mechanical and quartz watches at affordable prices.
  • FirstStep – a FinTech solution to help users save and invest their money. 
  • George Robotics – manufacturers of hardware and software that makes sophisticated electronics devices more productive and accessible.
  • MimicTec – improving poultry farming productivity through a world-first agricultural infrastructure product that mimics maternal care on commercial farms. 
  • Rebotify – an Artificial Intelligence (A.I.) chatbot or ‘Virtual Customer Service Agent’ that offers users a simple and coding-free communications solution.
  • RefLive – a software and smartwatch app that allows sports officials to track time and record match information digitally.
  • Reqfire – a purpose-built platform that facilitates software, website and app design through improved communication between developers and clients.
  • Smileyscope – harnessing Virtual Reality for paediatric care, Smileyscope’s VR visualisation helps children to remain calm and still for injections, allowing doctors to administer care successfully.
  • UmpsHealth – a machine learning platform helping older people to live in their homes for longer through clinical insights and predictive risk analysis.

Each team selected into the MAP Startup Accelerator will receive $20,000 in early stage funding to support the founders in accelerating their businesses, in addition to office space and a comprehensive 5 month program involving structured mentoring, development workshops and pitching opportunities.

Founders from the 10 startups will present their pitches on-stage to a live audience at the MAP17 Accelerator Launch at the Plaza Ballroom at the Regent Theatre on May 31. Register now to support these startups and connect with our vibrant community of experts, entrepreneurs and enthusiasts!

Please direct any questions or media enquiries to sarah.gundlach@unimelb.edu.au.


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.


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.)


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!

The Melbourne Startups Making Their Moves – Only at MAP 2016 Demo Day

You’re invited to
MAP 2016 Demo Day
Thursday 27th October 2016, 6pm
Melbourne Town Hall  

What do some of the hottest sectors in innovation have in common? How are medtech, clean energy, extreme sports and big data linked? Answer: they’re all found at the Melbourne Accelerator Program!

On Thursday 27 October, mingle with the founders driving Melbourne’s entrepreneurial scene, as you witness pitches from Allume, Honee, Axon, Deliciou, Shacky, Black AI, Bajaboard, CNSDose, Onolytics and Simple. Marking the official conclusion of the 2016 MAP program, this is your unique opportunity to delve into the world of MAP and see what this extraordinary group of founders have been working on this year.


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.” – Maxine Lee, MAP Accelerator Manager.

With investors, founders, corporates, and champions of Melbourne’s wider entrepreneurial community present, the MAP 2016 Demo Day is your chance to be connected with the best and brightest minds from across Australia. Meet and support the people making Melbourne a world-class startup hub.

Be a part of something big.

Register online today. General admission and limited investor tickets available.

MAP startup Black AI wins leadership award in Tech23 competition

MAP16 startup Black AI were this week awarded the Enterprise Mobility Leadership Award at Tech23’s startup competition in Sydney.

Black AI CEO and co-founder Keaton Okkonen pitches at Tech23.

Black AI have created Ani, an artificial intelligence system that can watch and understand human behaviour. Ani automates the direct observation of people movement and flow through environments, detecting interactions and notable events, reporting on them in real time. The technology focuses on context driven insights, which in essence, provides an efficient system to capture and simplify big data. Ani is already in preliminary market tests, with Black AI securing a partnership with the University of Sydney in a study for early detection of Alzheimers and Dementia.

“This is a hugely scalable program that can be plugged in to any living space to collect the data that you actually need. It shifts our relationship with data from being reactive to proactive”, said Black AI CEO and co-founder Keaton Okkonen, who opened up the 2016 Tech 23 program with his presentation on Smarter Data.

The Black AI team in Seattle at the Imagine Cup World Final 2016.

In July this year Black AI were amongst the 35 teams selected worldwide to compete at the Microsoft Imagine Cup World Finals. Competing in the Innovation category in Seattle, to compete on the world level. From tens of thousands of competitors around the globe, representing Australia as a finalist at the world cup demonstrates the impact of this young team and the potential of Ani to make a positive impact across industries such as healthcare, retail, urban planning and entertainment.

Celebrating Australian innovation, the Tech23 competition attracted over 400 delegates in 2016, its eighth year of operation. Black AI were amongst 23 high-growth potential and technically competitive startups selected to pitch their innovative solutions. Keaton will once again pitch Black AI’s Ani at the Melbourne Town Hall on October 27, as part of the upcoming Melbourne Demo Day featuring the 2016 cohort of MAP’s startup accelerator.

As part of his prize, Keaton will travel to Boston, Massachusetts to learn more about the startup scene on the US East Coast. He will also receive mentorship from Tech23 alumni BigtinCan – the sponsor of the award – and will attend a special Boston Product Management Association event. In addition to the leadership prize, Black AI were also awarded the MYOB award and will receive a personalised session with a MYOB Executive Leader.

Congratulations Keaton and the Black AI team!

Three reasons to apply for MAP


Hypetap co-founders Detch Singh (L) Nik Madhok (R)

Our company, Hypetap went through the Melbourne Accelerator Program in 2015. I couldn’t be more appreciative of the experience, both for myself as a founder and for our company. In the true MAP spirit of helping other start-ups succeed, I wanted to provide some insight into why you should apply to MAP with your start-up.

  1. Mentors and advisers

I always thought that everything about succeeding with a business is based around hard work and smart execution. I now realise that those two things are just half the battle. Who you know can make all the difference.

We came to realise that even the shortest conversations with the right people can really accelerate the course of your start-up. MAP has amazing access to mentors who have been there and done that. The right conversations with them will stop you from spending 3 weeks down an avoidable rabbit hole of despair – trust me! Their advice is invaluable, and if your background is purely technical, some of them can also help with all those other business functions like legal advice and accounting.

  1. The other start-ups

Although the selection process is competitive, it means that you’re in a cohort of a very select few businesses who are probably on a strong trajectory with smart founders. We learned so much from the other start-ups on a weekly basis. Everyone went out of their way to make introductions for each other and solve problems together. It is a great environment both socially and professionally. You will make lifelong friends.

  1. The program and demo days

Throughout the program the MAP team will hold you accountable, but they are also there to help. There are weekly touch bases, great mentor dinners and an incredible new workspace in LAB14. You will have every opportunity to succeed, but it will also be up to you to take advantage of the opportunities put in front of you.

All of this culminates in demo days across Melbourne, Sydney and Silicon Valley which will give you great access to potential customers, press and investors.

So in closing, if you were in two minds about applying to MAP I hope this has firmly put you in the “I’m applying” camp. You will definitely increase your company’s chances of success. Even if you don’t get in, going through the application process will still force you to ask yourself the hard questions about your start-up. There is still every benefit in applying.

Good luck!


Co-Founder of Hypetap