Having seen companies like Snapchat and Uber explode onto the world stage, many of us have considered our own potential as startup founders. Potential to be successful in the fast-paced world of startups is drawing in more and more New Zealanders every year. Musicians, artists, businessmen and university students are among those looking to make it big with exciting new business ideas. Helping these New Zealanders take their startups to the world stage is Flux, an accelerator program delivered by the Icehouse and backed by Callaghan Innovation.
From an ever-growing cohort of promising New Zealand startups, Flux has selected 5 exciting and innovative companies to work within 2018.
Flux invests directly in early-stage startups (up to $100k), working with the team and their mentor community for six intensive months. This year’s cohort joined in late February hitting the ground running with practical support already from the likes of Victoria Ransom (Founder of Wildfire), Angie Judge (CEO of Dexibit) and Scott Nolan (Partner of Founders Fund).
“The class of 2018 have a really good shot at creating some great companies”, according to Flux Managing Partner Tom Furlong. Tom (former Managing Director of San Francisco based venture capital fund Granite Ventures) adds “our 2017 class have been so successful, all raising follow-on financing and collectively raising more than $5.5 million after joining Flux. We think the 2018 group is going to be bigger and better.”
The five Flux startups for 2018 are:
- Rocos is founded by David Inggs and Richard Stinear, the ex CTO and Head of Engineering of Plexure, a software platform provider. Rocos is building a command and control platform for autonomous robots and vehicles. The platform is initially focused on the management and operation of autonomous mobile robotics in agriculture, mining and emergency response.
- Thieve is founded by Tim Scullin, and is a community-curated shopping site with the best direct to factory products. The team also develop tools for a growing community of dropshippers (people who buy ‘direct from factory’ for resale).
- ThinkLadder is co-founded by Katie and Mark Gatt. A modern mental health application based on Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, ThinkLadder already has thousands of users around the world. Customers use ThinkLadder for self-awareness, to trace unhelpful beliefs and replace those beliefs with more empowering alternatives.
- Chipi is founded by Carlos Seguin Lozano and Jing Li, who bring senior product management and development experience from Xero. Chipi is building a global search tool for all your cloud-based apps and files. Picture your own Google search or Mac Spotlight for all your personal cloud data.
- Cohired, founded by Andrew Nicol (founder of Agoge) and Vivek Sharma (ex-Fonterra operations manager), takes hundreds of CVs and shortlists the five most relevant candidates for that role and company. The Cohired mantra is “matching people to jobs they love” because people who love their job are more productive and stay longer.
Flux Managing Partner Barnaby Marshall says Flux and The Icehouse are on a mission to back high potential Kiwi startups. “Our approach is empowering, we give a small amount of seed funding, helping find experienced people that are relevant to their industry to share experiences and knowledge and help raise more capital to fund further growth. I am excited by the potential of the tech sector to dominate as NZ’s top export earner in the next 10 years and believe that helping develop these companies and the wider technology ecosystem will make this potential a reality.”
The programme culminates at “Demo Day” in late June attended by 400+ investors which teams historically have used as a platform to raise further capital.
Learn more about Flux here: fluxaccelerator.co.nz