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Plus Eight accelerator program sees another year of success in 2020

Nov 2, 2020

While historically WA has faced significant challenges relative to support and resources, our small but rapidly-blooming startup and digital innovation ecosystem has been showing exciting signs of growth over the last few years. With the most recent Startup WA report mapping over 500 startups, 130 startup hubs and almost 1,500 investors currently active, it’s been great to see a number of startups with new technologies in Creative, Agriculture, Social and Environmental areas.

These trends can also be seen in our programs. Since our launch in 2017, we have had increasingly stronger applications year on year. Startups with more traction, more customers, more impact. And 2020 was an excellent example of this. 

Even with COVID-19 affecting our regular accelerator timeline, including a trip to Silicon Valley and the chance to discover the US market, our 2020 cohort kept their focus on getting the job done, rolling with the punches, and getting on board with the rapid changes that occurred several times across the program to deal with changing schedules and delivery vehicles. To read more about this, check out this blog on their Whirlwind Trip to the South West.

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The wins for each startup

Founded by Daniel Schoonderwoerd and Michael Palmer, Ads on Wheels is an Ad Tech company designed and engineered from the ground up who turns private vehicles into moving billboards and links digital with outdoor media. Ads on Wheels saw great success throughout the program and have already signed up a community of over 10,000 drivers!

Property management company, Akora is a fully automated and integrated property management solution that has an initial focus on solving the maintenance problem. With a team of four, Barkley Day, Farai Ikeleng, Rachel Hannah and Nikolaus Wust, Akora were able to develop an end-to-end solution for an extremely complex problem during their six months in the program.

Founded by Claire and Doug Orange, DiGii Social is social media with training wheels’. It’s an immersive digital-life training platform for 9-13 year old children using AI to moderate and inform behaviour. And, if you want to know if you can win a People's Choice Award while still in a test phase? DiGii Social proved you can this year!

Founded by Tobias Schoep, Grow Impact is a platform able to show funders and stakeholders how their support is making a difference. By merging the research, corporate and startup world, Grow Impact was a great example of a startup working towards real world impact. 

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Giving health and fitness professionals the chance to grow and monetize their online services, their own way, Kixxfit, founded by Lorena Sumich and Jahney Smith used this year to stand alongside everyday professionals and help them achieve more, Kixxfit puts the power back in the hands of their users.

Matter, a platform providing waste data intelligence to smart cities and councils using market leading internet of things (IoT) technology, closed their first major overseas contract both in the midst of COVID-19 and with no travel. Blake Cassidy and Martin McGinty proved just how you can grow through adversity and challenges. 

And finally, Emma Jakobi and Shah Turner from Hey Lady! Their social networking platform makes it easy, enjoyable and affordable for women to learn English. After doubling their paid users in just six months, there was nothing stopping these two from continued growth throughout the program.

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It takes a village

The program wouldn’t be possible without the support of our 2020 partners. In addition to the support from Spacecubed, Plus Eight partnered with 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 2020 such an incredible year - even with all the external challenges we faced - 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 info@spacecubed.com to learn more.