As the teams celebrated another bumper year filled with whirlwind Silicon Valley trip, guidance from top mentors and hands-on time with RAC’s Better Labs’ very own Derek Gerrard the night was a summary of all they had achieved as they pitched for funding support from the crowd.
With the support of Telstra's startup accelerator muru-D and backed by a global network of mentors, investors and partners, as well as the support of West Australian property group Hawaiian, South-West based Vukelic Group, and Seven West Media, the 2019 Plus Eight cohort were able to rapidly develop their companies in a supportive and collaborative environment.
Welcomed to the stage was Absolute VR, a program launched into the residential homes market, replacing having to physically visit display homes with an alternative which provides a multitude of benefits to both builders and buyers of new home, Ari Save, a simply budgeting solution for millennials, Art of Comms, a communications coach that you can carry in your pocket, Stay on Hire, a powerful software that streamlines the rental process, and Cordially, an online rental inspection tool for property managers who need more hours in their day.
Commencing in March, the program has been a whirlwind six months of growth, and overcoming challenges for this year’s cohort. Together with Program Lead Kate Kirwin, Entrepreneur in Residence, Derek Gerrard and Spacecubed founder, Brodie McCulloch, the cohort jumped in with a trip to the US in the first month, and they have not slowed down since.
Co-founders of Cordially, Rob Di Giovanni and Ryan Carson, talk about how the program has helped them to shift gears and change their mindset around business and product development, allowing them to gain new and unexpected traction. While AriSave co-founder, Michael Breckler has learnt to continuously put the customer at the heart of everything they do.
Wednesday night saw a captivated crowd of over 150 people, including Hon. Peter Charles Tinley AM, MLA and Mr Christopher (Chris) John Tallentire MLA, who were more than pleased with the outcome of the evening, as well as past mentors, alumni and investors from across the country.
In addition to hearing from the cohort, we saw guest pitches from Humm Tech, now based in San Francisco, who were part of the 2017 Plus Eight Program, and from Kate Kirwin, founder of She Codes Australia.
The Plus Eight program has seen continuous growth year on year, investing over $1.2 million across 17 startups in the three years since its inception, and is no doubt continuing to grow in worth following the events on Wednesday evening.