Fuelling the next generation of innovation, the Plus Eight program is an intense incubator for local startups who are ready to scale, fast. Since launching in 2016, the program has been able to invest over $1.5M in startups, and create an additional $12M in follow-on investment with a $101M portfolio valuation.
But, like many accelerator programs around the world, this six month program isn’t for everyone. It’s for the best of the best, with many of the startups who are accepted tinkering with worlds that don’t exist yet - and that’s not easy.
With the support of local mentors, including alumni from SpacetoCo, uDrew and HeyLady!, as well as individuals from the community, the 2021 cohort pitched, pivoted and hustled their way to Demo Night, which took place on Tuesday as part of West Tech Fest. A big congratulations to the graduating cohort, including Snackr, IDEA, Wolfit Box, Tender Relief, Ready Team One and The Tooth Market.
Our 2021 cohort has come a long way since the pitching bootcamp in May, with Tender Relief coming all the way from Karratha to pitch for their place in the program! After securing winning pitches through both a regional Meshpoints program, and Freo Startup Fest, Tender Relief has seen strength after strength this year. “And we made it! The bootcamp was intense but it was a fantastic day (I think I slept for about 12 hours afterwards though) and the Plus Eight program has been life changing ever since, both for me professionally and for Tender Relief.” Shared Eliza, Founding Director of Tender Relief.
When asked about their time in the Plus Eight program, Grace, cofounder of Snackr, shared that it has been invaluable for direction, growth and access to world-class mentorship. “Over the past few months, we have been lucky enough to be surrounded by an amazing group of mentors, supporters and other founders who have helped us refine our internal processes and accelerate our growth trajectory to sign 6 additional venues this year.”
"Plus Eight has helped us take our business to the next level, connecting us to the best in Perth's startup ecosystem and afforded us invaluable time with experienced mentors that have challenged us to dream big and think globally.” James, cofounder of Ready Team One continued on the same question.
Now, following an incredible Demo Night, these startups are left to their own devices as they continue to grow their businesses, as well as be an amazing example of the innovation, entrepreneurship and success that has come directly from WA.
“What a lot of people don’t realise about WA, is that over sixty percent of the world’s population lives within two hours of Perth’s GMT Plus Eight-time zone, giving startups a major competitive advantage. (And being the inspiration for the brand name!).” Chandra Sundareswaran, Spacecubed General Manager shared. “We believe access to these fast-growing global markets is a competitive advantage for WA startups, even within the global pandemic, which is why we continue to put time, resources and funding behind this program as we aim to help foster collaboration between Australian founders and our neighbours to the north.”
The program wouldn’t be possible without the support of our 2021 partners. In addition to the support from Spacecubed, Plus Eight partnered with Woodside, BetterLabs, Mirvac, Hawaiian, Jackson McDonald and DFK Gooding Partners this year, and assisted us in allowing these startups to grow, receive funding and access unmatched support.
A big thank you to the above partners and startups who made 2021 such an incredible year - and an additional thank you to everyone who joined us for Demo Night. Until next year!
If you’d like to partner with us and support the Plus Eight Accelerator Program in 2021 and be the first to discover and invest in the next wave of West Australian entrepreneurs and startups, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more.