Coca-Cola Amatil and Australian tech startup accelerator BlueChilli have named two New Zealand startups amongst a cohort of twelve to take part in the 6-month, intensive tech accelerator program Xcelerate.

The twelve successful founders earned their place from a group of 40, in the inaugural Xcelerate program. The intensive 6-month program, gives early-stage entrepreneurs the opportunity of a lifetime to quit their day job and have their innovative idea become a global reality.

Following its launch in April, the Xcelerate program received thousands of visits, with more than 600 expressions of interest, 300 of which submitted eligible entries. Of these only 40 were selected into the bootcamp, with 41% being female founders.

For the past two weeks, these 40 startup founders, from New Zealand and Australia, engaged in a full-time bootcamp with BlueChilli’s Product, Engineering and Entrepreneur in Residence teams. The objective of the bootcamp was to provide these founders with an opportunity to assess the viability and strength of their ideas.

For the twelve chosen to go through, the accelerator will provide them with an initial $38,000 equity investment, mentoring, training, and a complete technical team to help build their ideas into real businesses and accelerate their growth.

The successful New Zealand startups are:

Andrea Watson from NightRider – AirBnB for trucks. “Optimising under-utilised trucks and drivers.”

Genevieve Francis and Griffin-George from PicMi – Lets the work find the workers, in real time. “Post or find a job anywhere and anytime you need it.”

The six-month program includes a co-working space, weekly workshops, talks and office hours with Entrepreneurs-in-Residence, regular mentor contact, and a structured program for each entrepreneur, designed to give their idea the best chance of business success. Also included is a technology team and dedicated Product Manager to help build the business offering.

BlueChilli CEO Sebastien Eckersley-Maslin said, “BlueChilli is Australia’s only platform to empower those with industry specific expertise and great ideas to connect with a team of technical talent and venture capital.

“Today, along with our great partners at Coca-Cola Amatil, we’re investing in and enabling the next generation of game changing founders to build technical startups.”

Following the six-month program, the most successful startups, will be eligible for up to a further $500,000 investment from BlueChilli and its venture partners and up to a further $200,000 investment from Coca-Cola Amatil.

Chris Sullivan, Group Director Partners and Growth at Coca-Cola Amatil, said, “We launched the Xcelerate program as part of our Amatil X platform because we want to find the best and brightest business ideas in the start-up communities across Australia and New Zealand and empower them to build scalable and investible businesses. We also believe that the agility and speed of the start-up approach can offer large corporates like Coca-Cola Amatil a real competitive advantage, and we are keen to bring this way of working to our own ideas.”

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