Startup founders from North to South have been chosen for ecentre’s Sprint Global programme to accelerate their garage-to-global journey, with technologies including software for managing seasonal staff, apps for employee wellbeing and coaching, and solutions for minimising beer wastage and improving safety for lone workers.
“We’re excited to welcome nine founders/co-founders into our new look Sprint Global programme, who have a working prototype and are ready to engage with the market in New Zealand or overseas. We received dozens of high quality applications which shows how vibrant the startup community is,” says Jackie Young, CEO of ecentre, the business incubator hosted at Massey University. “Ultimately, we selected a group of companies that were complementary, with the aim of creating a dynamic peer group.”
Sprint Global is a collaborative effort to help shape new startups in the ecosystem, says Young.
“Over 20 top entrepreneurs and experts have generously signed on to share their experiences with founders. The programme is also fully-funded thanks to the support of foundation partners Massey University and Callaghan Innovation, along with a long list of other partners and supporters including, Auckland Tourism Events and Economic Development (ATEED), EY and Hudson Gavin Martin.”
Sprint Global 2019 round one participants from Auckland, Northland, Taranaki and Tasman include:
Chippur -app-based employee wellbeing programme (Auckland)
Guardian Angel-health and safety hardware/ software solutions for lone workers (Auckland)
iLose- weight loss app for coaches and clients (Northland)
Investify- investment research tools for retail investors (Auckland)
PICMI- cloud-based software for simplifying the employment process for agricultural seasonal staff (Tasman)
Trickle- beer tracking hardware/ software solution to minimise keg wastage in hospitality (Auckland)
Yonder - SAAS solution to help tourism businesses convert website traffic (Taranaki)
Sprint Global’s programme helps startup founders accelerate customer acquisition and global expansion and build their startup networks by giving them access to mentors, sector experts, investors and other resources.
Tasman-based Genevieve Griffin-George, the founder of Picmi, says her next challenge is securing her first paid customers after successfully trialling the software with local growers.
“I was looking to get connected into the startup ecosystem and for mentors to help me secure my first sales and grow. I’m thrilled to have secured a spot on Sprint Global as it’s a perfect fit for me, particularly with the links to Callaghan Innovation and Massey University, who are both heavily invested in agriculture,” says Griffin-George.
Griffin-George started developing Picmi seven months ago after experiencing the pain of hiring and managing seasonal staff first hand, after unexpectedly taking over management of her family orchard. “I could see how a software solution could simplify the employment process, seamlessly connecting growers to the right workers, at the right time – so it’s a win for both growers and seasonal workers.”
Abbie O’Rourke, the founder of app-based wellbeing solution Chippur is also trialling her software with potential customers. “Chippur is at a stage where being included in the Global Sprint programme is incredibly valuable due to the quality network and mentor programme.”
“There are some fantastic tech-enabled products here with global potential. Now the work begins to turn these products into revenue, and there will be lots of iterations. Sprint Global will help them systematically work toward their product-market fit which will be key,” says Max Thompson, who oversees Callaghan Innovation’s startup programmes.
Pam Ford, ATEED General Manager Economic Development, says Auckland’s economic growth agency is delighted to support Sprint Global, as startups are integral to the economy.
“Young, innovative, fast-growing startups make a significant contribution to economic growth, including creating new jobs. With accelerator programmes recognised internationally as positively impacting the survival and growth of startups, ATEED is thrilled to see entrepreneurs it has worked with, including Chippur, Guardian Angel and Investify, chosen for the Sprint Global programme,” says Ford.
Northland-based “accidental entrepreneurs” Trevor and Danielle Beatson also plan to make an impact with iLose, a weight loss app for coaches and their clients that they built from their kitchen table in Ahipara. The idea for the app was kick-started by Trevor’s own weight loss journey, with wife Danielle as his coach. Hundreds of coaches are already using the app to improve the lives of thousands of people.
Trevor Beatson says, “We identified a market gap for smart coaching tools, and were able to quickly build a following. To take our business to the next level we want to accelerate our growth and learn from those who have been there before. We’re excited to have made the cut for ecentre’s accelerator programme.”
Startup founders accepted into the first intake of Sprint Global 2019 also have the option to complete a follow on eight-week programme on global customer acquisition, 13 May to 5 July 2019. Other founders from around New Zealand can also applyto join the second round.
Sprint Global participants are also given the opportunity to take part in an in-market immersion week in Silicon Valley during October 2019, including attending the TechCrunch Disrupt conference and exhibiting in the New Zealand pavilion at Startup Alley hosted by ecentre.
Shine Group (PR for ecentre)
Mobile: +64 21 2262 858