Day 2: International reach & social impact

After a fantastic welcome bringing together the founders and the rest of our delegation, we prepared for a huge day at the NASDAQ Entrepreneurial Center in the heart of San Francisco.

A Straight-Talking Zuckerberg

The morning began with a conversation between MAP Director Rohan Workman and Kleiner Perkins Caufield Byers Partner, Arielle Zuckerberg. Opting for a more dynamic and

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Arielle Zuckerberg handles Q&A with ease.

conversational format, Rohan began by fielding questions from the delegation. After listening intently, Arielle framed a rich discussion on the fly. Satisfying the delegation’s burning questions, she candidly shared what it takes to gain the attention of a VC firm in a crowded market.

 

Arielle stressed the importance for KPCB to find mission driven entrepreneurs, who are working on meaningful problems; the solutions created should incorporate cutting edge technology such as machine learning and artificial intelligence; and the importance of a founding team to remain diverse and have the systems in place to attract and keep the best talent.

 

Building International Linkages from Melbourne to San Francisco

Two important presentations followed that stressed the importance of deepening the relationship between Melbourne and San Francisco. From Melbourne’s point of view, the CEO of Innovation and Science Australia Charlie Day introduced Vice Principal of Enterprise at the University of Melbourne, Doron Ben-Meir. Doron outlined the University of Melbourne’s exceptional asset base which has driven its growing interest in innovation and entrepreneurship at the intersection of research and industry. He shared the growing initiatives around campus, including the well-established MAP (us, woo!) and the university’s partnership with the NASDAQ Entrepreneurial Center, just one example of exceptional partners that will support the endeavours of MAP and our founders into the future.

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Doron Ben-Meir discusses the University of Melbourne’s approach to innovation.

Doron transitioned the discussion to San Francisco’s point of view, introducing Vice Chairman of NASDAQ and President of the NASDAQ Entrepreneurial Center Mr Bruce Aust.

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Bruce Aust shares his experiences taking some of the worlds most famous startups public.

Bruce outlined the colourful history of the NASDAQ and the inspiration for the Entrepreneurial Centre which serves as an important linkage to Silicon Valley and the world’s startup community. Questions flowed quickly after the overview, as the delegation was curious to hear more about Bruce’s background, factors for his incredible professional success, and stories of interactions with some of the world’s most enigmatic startup founders.

 

 

 

Searching for Social Impact in the Bay Area

The entire delegation was particularly taken by Tumml Director, May Samali. Tumml is a San Francisco-based accelerator for startups that focus on the social issues cities face. May gave us a detailed overview of the types of social enterprises capturing market share in the Bay Area – which incidentally are various transport innovations or ride share solutions like their startup Chariot.

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May Samali, Director of Tumml, provides a comprehensive introduction to the social ecosystem in SF.

May took time to go over unique experiences impact entrepreneurs encounter as they scale, detailing the active investment landscape available to them from either side of the spectrum: from foundations and family offices through to venture capital funds. She finished with some words of advice for the MAP founders; to remain creative, seek out partnerships and focus, focus, focus on execution! Stellar advice from an inspiring agent of change.

 

An Afternoon of Alternative Marketing, Atlassian Style

MAP’s Entrepreneur in Residence, Jeremy Kraybill was excited to introduce his college buddy and high flyer Spencer Frasher who heads up Marketing at Atlassian.

Spencer retold the legend that now surrounds founders (and college buddies) Mike

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Spencer Frasher, Head of Marketing, emphasises the importance of culture in Atlassian’s success.

Cannon-Brookes and Scott Farquhar – how they radically rethought entry of their enterprise software into international markets from Australia. Spencer also shared how Atlassian’s viral-like, word of mouth marketing techniques generated organic uptake of their product and in-built feedback mechanisms helped them focus on quality. He also briefly touched on Atlassian’s unique culture, and the fact that it’s quirkiness has only just been captured into companywide values explains the visionary approach Cannon-Brookes and Farquhar have taken to their startup.

 

The session captured the imagination of the MAP founders and generated an animated discussion that included invaluable practical advice, especially for founders building Business-to-Business companies.

Mixing Things Up with Mentors

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Mark Chakin advises Allume Energy.

After these 5 incredible sessions, things were just getting started for the MAP16 founders!
They were treated to a mentoring session with a stellar selection of mentors from our wider networks in Silicon Valley and our incredibly talented delegation.

 

Over the next hour each of the mentors provided specialised knowledge to each founder and generously opened up their networks to help our founders on their journeys. The mentoring session allowed each of our founders to walk away with a more nuanced understanding of where to take their businesses after the Silicon Valley experience.

Demo Day Silicon Valley

As night fell, the founders practiced their pitches while the NASDAQ Entrepreneurial Center opened its doors to the wider Silicon Valley community: our delegation; speakers who returned to watch the startups in action; local founders; friends of MAP and the University of Melbourne joined to support the MAP startups as they pitched for the final time as part of the MAP16 startup accelerator.

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MAP16 founders pitched at the Nasdaq Entrepreneurial Center.

Perhaps it was the adrenalin and atmosphere of the night, the words of wisdom or the knowledge shared that afternoon, but as each of the founders confidently took to the stage and delivered their pitches with everything they had, we couldn’t have been prouder!

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Day 1: What does it take to build a startup in Silicon Valley?

The first day of the delegation provided a series of briefings for the MAP founders. We met with a number of successful entrepreneurs, investors and mentors who revealed the lay of the land in the Valley. The common themes throughout the presentations included startup successes, the importance of scale, capital raising and entrepreneurial traits.

“Product-market fit is important, but no longer sufficient” – with Mark Johnson

Mark Johnson has a wealth of startup experience in the Valley. Having worked in the venture capital community with many successful founders (as well as Fortune 500 companies), he brings unique insights from both sides of the table.

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Mark B. Johnson provides frank advice to the MAP16 founders.

Mark discussed the importance of global ambition within a startup and the process of optimising systems for scale. The saturated U.S market offers a population size of 322 million, exponentially larger than the 23.5 million inhabitant back on Australian shores. Whilst the size of the U.S market is enticing, a highly competitive landscape means that the speed of execution matters and founders must develop creative ways to capture the market.

 

We were cautioned not to focus on products or technology in isolation, a common and dangerous position to which founders often fall prey. Products don’t exist without markets; founders who overlook market sentiment and feedback are working on invalidated assumptions. In order to progress, external feedback needs to be incorporated to build something of value.

When asked about entrepreneurial traits, Mark spoke of the importance of persistence, highlighting a story about a Norwegian founder who pitched his startup to at least 72 venture capitalists before reaching an agreement! 

“Resources to scale” – with Brian Carnahan

As Trade Director to the Victorian Government of Australia in San Francisco, Brian Carnahan delivers business opportunities in the US, Canada and Latin America for Victorian companies.

Brian has seen hundreds of Australian entrepreneurs who are looking to expand into the U.S. Detailing the various types of government support and resources available to Australian entrepreneurs seeking to make the jump to the U.S, Brian urged us to remember that ultimately, the best founders will recognise early on that success ultimately rests on their own shoulders.

With years of experience dealing with both Australian and American entrepreneurs, Brian spoke about notable cultural

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Brian Carnahan listens intently to practice pitches.

differences in personality and work ethic. While founders in the U.S are thought to be more confident in pitching and their general approach to business, many Australian founders seem to undersell or underestimate various aspects of their venture. In order to break through this perceived tall-poppy syndrome, Australian entrepreneurs must capitalise on their ability to quickly build rapport and strategic relationships where it counts.

 

Manners matter in the Valley. Due to the perceived shared Western culture, many founders make the mistake of assuming that things in the U.S work the same way they do back home. Take for example the simple act of post-meeting follow up. When an entrepreneur has taken a meeting (say, with an investor), a follow up email on the same day signals that they are on top of things. It also shows that they have respected the investor’s time. The chances of someone wanting to be involved with your startup (and support you) beyond the first meeting are significantly higher once you’ve closed that loop. Remember: Silicon Valley is concentrated and word gets around very quickly. The same goes for the Melbourne startup scene for that matter – good manners and a professional business demeanour are essential!

“Silicon Valley should inspire you, not sway you” – with John Papandriopoulos (aka. JPap)

JPap founded SnappyCam, the world’s fastest smart-phone (burst-mode) camera app that reached #1 in paid app rankings across 16 countries. He shared with us his entrepreneurial journey which started at University in Melbourne and eventually led to an acquisition by a multinational company. His entrepreneurial pathway wasn’t without barriers, which he shared frankly with the group.

After completing a PhD in Electrical Engineering at the University of Melbourne, JPap won

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JPap shares his journey from Melbourne PhD student to Silicon Valley success story.

the green card lottery (literally), packed up his belongings and moved to the U.S. For two years he worked as a solo founder while bootstrapping SnappyCam. While the experience was very challenging (especially from a morale perspective), he persisted in developing a product that he knew was superior in the market.

 

JPap has a unique sensitivity to design and a level of attention to detail that is only seen rarely and in a handful of founders. He is hyper-aware of the value he was creating, passionate about his users and worked extremely hard to get things moving.

Two years working full-time on the startup would seem like a long time – especially when the opportunity costs for alternative pathways become even more substantial. When asked about whether he had set specific milestones to reflect and make a decision about whether the venture was still worth pursuing, JPap mentioned that there were no hard-set rules or timelines. Without a doubt in his mind, the only way he was able to reach an outcome was to take on the uncertain risk and invest 100% of his energy into SnappyCam over that time period. Blown away by his journey to success (and down-to-earth demeanour), it was made clear to us very early on that JPap had made full use of every opportunity available to him.

While pursuing a venture as a solo founder can be daunting, the lesson we took away here was to stop looking for certainty – startups are incredibly tumultuous and you’re better off committing fully and embracing the unknown.

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!

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

 

A place for all founders to flourish

 

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Director of MAP, Rohan Workman, welcomes the audience to MAP16 Demo Day at Melbourne Town Hall on October 27.

Removing Restrictions and Upping Diversity

Since removing the restriction of our startup founder’s affiliation to the University of Melbourne from students, staff and alumni of 5 years to students, staff and alumni of any year, we have welcomed a record number of applications and selected one of the most diverse MAP cohorts yet.

The MAP16 founders tick a lot of boxes – they are global citizens (from Mexico, Norway, Holland, Italy, New Zealand and Australia), are different ages (from students to seasoned professionals), have different specialisations (from law and science to engineering and design) and, true to MAP style, these founders are building businesses in emerging sectors (from artificial intelligence and socially accessible solar energy to medical health and diagnostics).

The transfer of knowledge across this diverse group has been rapid, but we know it could be faster and that we could support future startups to have an even greater chance of success by ensuring one more element of diversity is present in the mix – gender.

Why True Diversity Matters

We are proud to have built a MAP team that ticks all the boxes – we have an international outlook (from Malaysia, Ghana, UK, China, US, Australia and New Zealand), are at different life stages, have a range of educational experiences and expertise, and are cultivating a great set of female leaders.

We believe true diversity in a startup’s founding team should encompass age, gender, education, and specialisation. We also believe that once a team with this competitive edge is set up, mentored and given the right support, they will produce a better, more sustainable business. It is our vision that these businesses will in turn help us to achieve our vision for a more prosperous Australia for all.

Evidence consistently shows companies that are led by women and embrace diversity of all kinds demonstrate improved levels of innovation, creativity, and quite simply, better bottom lines (by as much as 30% on average). Once companies like these attract investment, an incredible 63% of those with female founders perform better than those with all male teams.

Turning up the Heat on Gender Diversity

As our Director Rohan Workman highlighted at our Demo Day this year, having no women pitch that evening was upsetting. We know there’s a lot of work to do; we are up to the challenge.

We want MAP to be the place for female founders to flourish; founders of Melbourne, make yourselves known and prepare to apply for 2017.

MAP startups gain access to $20,000 in funding, office space and mentorship for 5 months, and have the opportunity to pitch to investors here in Melbourne and in Silicon Valley. MAP has a public benefit mandate that extends to the accelerator program. As such, we do not take equity in the startups in our program and we support startups of all kinds.

 

To date, we have supported 34 startups with 8 female founders who have gone on to employ another 29 women. These statistics can be improved, and have in the past few years – for example, the number of women in our applicant pool this year more than doubled, which is an important first step. We do not want and cannot allow any more female founders to miss out on this opportunity as your success is ours. We are excited to be in the position to build and shape the future of startups where doors are kept open and an even wider group can participate. 

Opportunities for Female Founders at MAP

How are we actively working to create this shift? We have focused our efforts on developing and preparing exceptional talent to enter the accelerator program and have been excited to see that we are quickly approaching gender parity in our development programs (56% men to 44% women).

There are many ways in which we welcome aspiring entrepreneurs and female founders into the MAP family and you’ll notice we’ve taken things up a notch this year. Take a note of the following initiatives we have developed over the past 5 years and share them with your networks:

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Female Founders Meetup: The importance of founder wellbeing, October 7.

Female Founders Meetup est. 2013

Our renowned Female Founders meetup, founded with Google, is one of the largest in the world. The events are for women and men at all stages of their startup journey and are designed to inspire and inform you or introduce you to amazing female founders who are blazing the trail. Sign up here.

The Velocity Series est. 2013

The Velocity Series programs are tailored to support aspiring entrepreneurs to become well-rounded founders of early-stage startups. The Velocity Series includes three streams: Startup Velocity – for the frameworks and practical skills to get the ball rolling; Escape Velocity – to help founders with customer validation and building traction; and Social Velocity – merging the worlds of startup and social enterprise. Startup Velocity is offered multiple times per year across two consecutive evenings, whilst Escape Velocity and Social Velocity are both 6-month programs that use the lean startup methodology and mentorship to push teams past ideation to validation and traction.

Escape Velocity est. 2013

In former iterations, Escape Velocity was a light touch, 3-day program. The program has since been redesigned to support high-potential teams with a clear methodology and mentorship as they search for product market fit. Express your interest or refer a friend.

Social Velocity est. 2016

This competitive-entry program is designed for mission focused founders building startups with social or environmental impact. The experience pushes teams to better understand their social issue, sets them up with experienced mentors, connects teams with Escape Velocity, and introduces them to the social entrepreneurship ecosystem.
Express your interest or refer a friend.

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Social Velocity team ‘Climates’ discuss their impact gaps canvas, September 20.

The Franklins est. 2016

This program is especially for women entrepreneurs at all stages. The skills-based program is co-designed with participants to sharpen their entrepreneurial acumen, and to connect them with supportive peers and mentors. (The Franklins are inspired by the story of Rosalind Franklin, whose pioneering scientific work went largely unrecognised in her lifetime. We want to support and celebrate our female entrepreneurs and innovators!) Express your interest or refer a friend.

Open Mic Night est. 2016

This has been a successful new addition to our talent development repertoire – branders and marketers, wheelers and dealers, coders and programmers, and everyone in between are welcome to pitch their skills and expertise to startups. Startups also have the opportunity to find their next team member at this event. Express your interest or refer a friend.

Open Office Hours est. 2016

For those of you who have a startup that is past the proof of concept stage, we are more than happy to take a meeting with you to learn more about your idea and to provide advice for applying to MAP at our Open Office Hours. Feel free to book a session here – http://map.youcanbook.me

(If you’re not yet past proof of concept, check out the opportunities above and let us help you get there!) 

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MAP x Notable Media Workshop with Amanda Gome, Building your personal brand, April 29.

Starting up and Leaning in

We are lucky to have an incredibly committed network of high-profile and up-and-coming women – and men – who are working with us to bring about real change on this front. We want to recognise them and thank them for their faith and their energy. Without them, the additional initiatives we have designed and run, would not be possible.

With 1-in-4 startups being founded by women in Australia, MAP’s activities alone will not provide the silver bullet in changing the status quo. We encourage all of you who are participating in Australia’s flourishing entrepreneurship ecosystem as founders, funders or mentors to lean in and help us achieve our vision. Tap female founders in your network on the shoulder and encourage them to join the MAP family.

If you are interested in mentoring the next generation of founders with truly diverse backgrounds, we cannot wait to work with you, please get in touch. We are working towards showcasing startups that represent a broad cross section of society and who have developed the skill-sets necessary to grow successful businesses into the future.

Sign up for our newsletter, follow us on Instagram, Twitter or Facebook or get in touch with us 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.

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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.

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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.

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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!