First intake in new accelerator programme attracts $500k seed funding

Six early stage technology companies have been selected for Flux Accelerator 2017, a new intensive accelerator programme run by The Icehouse and Callaghan Innovation. $500k of seed funding has already been committed by investors, attracted by the high growth potential of startups who represent a variety of industries including financial services, social media and education.

The six-month business pathway programme, housed at The Icehouse, provides guidance from accomplished business leaders and technology companies, including Amazon Web Services who will provide startups access to their AWS Activate program.

Over 80 mentors have signed up to support the first intake, including Paul Cameron, CEO of Booktrack, Claudia Batten, founder of Massive and Victors and Spoils, Tim Williams, founder of ValueClick and Chairman of 90 Seconds and Jason Kerr, Founder of Findly and Spoke.

The startups are:

Osnova – Private math tutoring using artificial intelligence

The Social Club – Online platform that connects brands with social media influencers for campaigns and ongoing collaborations

Genoapay – Provides retailers with payment plans for their consumers at the point of sale

1Centre –Streamlines the setup and on-going management of trade accounts

Vidapp – Enables any video producer to connect and sell to the world through their own customised video apps

Jude – Redesigning the banking experience and allow anyone to have the services of a private banker

Flux mentor, Tim Williams, says, “Kiwi entrepreneurs are competing against others from around the world for customers, funding and mindshare. Flux will provide an edge, giving the six startups a leg up as they look to build a global company. By spending time with founders that have built and exited successful companies, the Flux founders will be able to tap into networks and expertise to help them on their journey.”

Towards the end of the accelerator, the startups have the opportunity to raise further capital at “Demo Day” where each startup pitches to over 200 investors.

Ben Lynch is the founder of Jude which is looking to completely redesign the banking experience and allow anyone to have the services of a private banker. “Flux attracted us because it offers support to help us build a product that customers will love as well as a pathway to further capital raising. I believe that our six months inside Flux will give us greater certainty about our business model and help get to market faster.”

“With the support of Callaghan Innovation and Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development, Flux enables the sharing of knowledge and expertise between startups, mentors and partners. This contributes to lifting the collective digital capability across industries, critical for futureproofing New Zealand’s economy,” says Mark MacLeod-Smith, Director of Flux Accelerator. “Each of these six start-ups has identified a way to harness technology to create solutions with global potential. Through Amazon Web Services’ Activate program, the six startups will have access to advice from AWS architects and engineers and a grant of credits to start building on the AWS Cloud – which has already helped many of the world’s top technology companies rapidly scale to meet their potential including Canva, Slack and Airbnb and of course Xero.”

The Flux model aligns founders with The Icehouse’s existing investor networks, like ICE Angels who have collectively invested $56M and the recently created Tuhua Ventures, an $11M micro-VC Fund. The accelerator is supported by Amazon Web Services, Simpson Grierson and Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development.

For more information/interviews please contact:

Mark MacLeod-Smith
Flux Accelerator
M.MacLeod-Smith@theicehouse.co.nz
027 279 0649
www.fluxaccelerator.co.nz

Iain Butler
Callaghan Innovation
Iain.Butler@callaghaninnovation.govt.nz
029 261 0086
www.callaghaninnovation.govt.nz

Peter Witts
Amazon Web Services
Mob +61 477 274 412
Email: peterwit@amazon.com
https://aws.amazon.com/