Telstra reveals muru-D startup graduates

Telstra provided $40,000 in return for 6 per cent stake in each company

Nine of the 10 startups that entered the Telstra muru-D accelerator program have graduated, with eight already securing investors for the next stage.

The startups trained for six months at the accelerator, which is based in the Sydney suburb of Paddington. Telstra had committed $40,000 to each of the ten startups, as well as access to a co-working space, business support, mentoring and coaching. Telstra announced the program in October.

In return, Telstra has received a 6 per cent stake in each company. Telstra is one of a growing number of enterprises that have turned to startups to spur innovation.

“Success is many things – customer numbers, revenue, number of employees, international growth – I’m delighted to say that every team can point towards these growth metrics,” said Ann Parker, co-founder of muru-D.

“Our key measure for muru-D is growing the digital startup scene in Australia and I believe we have made a great start with every team in the first class graduating.”

One of the graduating startups is Farmbot, a tech company specialising in wireless agricultural monitoring.

“FarmBot is an idea which I have been working on for more than 10 years,” said FarmBot director, Craig Hendricks. “Looking at how far we’ve come and what we’ve achieved in the past six months is quite astonishing.”

“As a mature startup, we have learnt so much from all of our fellow muru-D comrades, who are all at different stages in their own journey but most importantly we have taken away a renewed level of confidence. Not only in our technology but in ourselves and our ability to sell our vision and the solution to the right audiences – audiences we would have never have had access to, without the program.”

Telstra is now taking applications for the next round of muru-D. Submissions close in four weeks.

One of the original ten startups did not graduate. Class Cover, which automates casual teaching cover, opted out before the program began.

Telstra said eight of the remaining nine “have a clear path for funding,” but a Telstra spokeswoman could not provide more details.

“We can’t disclose specifics on teams’ individual investment to-date, but we’re confident it’s only a matter of time until all funding is secured which is a tremendous result for the first round of the program,” she said.

The complete list of graduates:

  • Chatty Kidz – a video chat platform for global families using educational content to engage kids
  • Farmbot – a monitoring system for farms
  • Limerocket – a social games network, connecting Smartphones to digital screens to enable multi-screen games
  • Momentum Cloud – a provider of cloud-based performance and reporting software for schools and child care centres
  • Open Learning – a social platform to facilitate e-learning practices
  • Pixc – a high volume image editing service for e-commerce stores
  • Safesite – a safety management system for building sites
  • Vistr – financial management software as a service for small businesses
  • Zed Technologies – e-health software for Radiology Departments

Adam Bender covers startup and business tech issues for Techworld and is the author of dystopian sci-fi novels We, The Watched and Divided We Fall. Follow him on Twitter: @WatchAdam

Follow Techworld Australia on Twitter: @Techworld_AU

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