What sort of companies do you accept?
We accept companies with innovations that are globally relevant, and have the capacity to transform their industry. For our Summer 2014 progam, we are accepting applications from companies with a web, mobile or software product. We’re looking for companies that can grow big... and fast! Please note that we don’t accept biotechnology companies, restaurants, consultancies, or other local service oriented companies. You can find out about the companies that have succesfully graduated from our accelerator programs here.
How do you choose which companies to accept into the program and to fund?
We choose companies with a break-through idea and experienced team. The online application form is the first step in the selection process, then, if we would like more information, Google Hangout calls are arranged to further discuss the product, the issue it is solving, the technology, and the team. If you want to strengthen your application, be sure to:
- Round out your team with business, technical, and sales and marketing expertise.
- Make progress on your prototype or product and reference this in the application.
- Show us you’ve really thought about your business, have actually talked with customers, and have something that’s worth the investment we’ll be making if we select you for the ANZ Innovyz START program.
Do you accept companies that are competitive with each other?
Not in the same class or program.
Do you accept companies that have not incorporated?
No. All companies selected to participate in the ANZ Innovyz START accelerator program must be incorporated, or do so before being formally accepted into the program. For information about incorporating a company in Australia check out the ASIC website’s ‘Starting a company’ page. You can download the form 201 - Application for registration as an Australian company online via this website. You may wish to seek legal/accounting advice. International teams will need to have the equivalent structure.
Is my company “too far along” to apply?
We are interested in helping innovative companies grow. We receive a lot of applications from start-up and early stage businesses, but if you can benefit from the program, the mentors, and the connections, and if you have a great innovation and an appetite for growth, then please apply. We add value to companies with developed products by helping them with their business model, culture, team, infrastructure and technology, introductions, financing, and more. And we add value to early stage companies by helping them shape the products, pick the most appropriate markets, build their teams, and develop viable business models.
Do I need to send in a business plan?
No. All we ask is that you complete our online application. At this point we do not want to see your business plan.
What if my company doesn’t ultimately succeed after the program?
Very few companies get accepted into programs like the ANZ Innovyz START Accelerator. The fact that your company did is an important data point. The contacts you make with mentors, other founders and the host of smart, well-connected people throughout our program, can be very useful in the next chapter of your life – whatever that may be.
I’m a single founder. Can I get accepted into ANZ Innovyz START, or do you only look for teams?
Experience suggests that companies with a single founder are less likely to succeed than those with multiple founders. This is simply because there’s much more to growth than a single person can manage. We look for exciting, balanced teams with a full range of complementary skills. If you’re a single founder, we strongly advise you to seek co-founders or employees who balance your skill set before you apply – and definitely before applications close. For example, if you’re a strong developer, you might consider adding someone with business and/or marketing experience. On the other hand, if you’re a great business evangelist with no developer, you’ll need to find a great developer before applications close. Having a solid and committed team, of at least three, is critical!
What will a typical day be like for an ANZ Innovyz START participant?
Since you only have 13 weeks to accelerate your company, you’ll be working hard on your product every day, just like all of the other founders in the program. You’ll be spending most of your time at the ANZ Innovyz START office, working quietly in the shared workspace on your product, doing market research on the web, or talking with the program director, your team, and your mentors in the meeting rooms. During the mentor weeks, we organise informal education and networking sessions. Our world-class mentors work one-on-one with you during weeks 3, 5 and 7, and throughout the rest of the program, they continue to offer counsel alongside our network of expert guest speakers. By the end of the first month, we expect each company to have identified two or three mentors they'd like to have as “lead mentors” to work with for the remainder of the program. Every week you’ll talk with your mentors via Skype, teleconferences and/or e-mail. We won’t tell you what to do, but we will provide some guidance regarding timelines for development, and we work hard to create an environment and find mentors that will help accelerate your growth. Watch these videos to get a sense of what it’s like to be a company in an accelerator.
My team outsources software development. Can we still apply?
We’re happy to consider an application from any company that meets our criteria. Just remember that the quality of the team is a major factor in our selection of companies for the program.
Is my age a factor in your selection process?
The age of founders selected for our accelerator program range from 25-40+ years old, but younger founders and older founders are welcome to apply, as long as the company and the team meet our criteria.
Funding, Perks and Equity
What do ANZ Innovyz START companies receive?
Your company will receive $20,000* (minimum of 3 full time team members). You also get great perks such as free hosting and services, a nice place to work, access to mentors and a lot more. The cost of the program is almost $1 Million for 10 companies, and the value of the perks is about $500K per program. So that’s $1.5 Million, PLUS the mentoring, advice, connections, and PR you’ll receive when your company is selected for our ANZ Innovyz START program. Add to that the opportunity to pitch to angel investors, venture capitalists and other investors during Demo Day at the end of the program, and you can see the value of this program.
*Subject to being formally accepted into the ANZ Innovyz START program and agreeing to the applicable terms & conditions.
Why are you asking for stock in my company?
We, like you, are entrepreneurs. We believe the mentoring, learning, networking, and coaching provided by the program is of tremendous value. The ANZ Innovyz START program will provide you with knowledge, insights and connections that will significantly improve your chances for success and sustained growth. As an investor, we are very motivated to help you succeed. We’ll introduce you to people who can help, assist you with strategy, find more investors, and generally help you any way we can. That’s a good deal for both of us.
What sort of control am I giving up by granting equity to ANZ Innovyz START?
ANZ Innovyz START wants to be viewed as a co-founder. We expect to have all the same rights as any other founder, relative to our minority ownership position. In a nutshell, we don’t want any special or controlling interests in your company. We won’t ask for a board seat or for any uncommon investor rights. You are still in charge and responsible for the success of the company. We’re there to provide knowledge, advice and support; you’ll need to “make it happen”.
How can we get funded after the ANZ Innovyz START program ends?
We provide a great environment and a lot of resources to help you get started and grow, but you’ll likely need more funding to keep growing. On the last day of the program, we have our Demo Day where angel investors, venture capitalists, and sophisticated investors attend, listen to your pitch, talk with you and check out your product and your technology. At our previous Demo Day's, we have hosted over 200 investors. We’ll coach you ahead of time and help you develop an effective presentation, and we’ll do everything we can to help you get follow on funding. But there are no guarantees. Some companies have secured millions, and others have not gotten any additional funding. It all depends on your ability to pitch, the quality of your team, and the speed at which you can grow your markets and customer base.
Do I have to be in Adelaide or Sydney for the entire 13 week period?
Yes, we expect you to be working on your company in the ANZ Innovyz START office, on site, during the program. This will enable you to take advantage of the learning opportunities, networking, mentoring and coaching that occurs each day. You will have 24 hour access to our accelerator office, so you can work as long as you want each day, night and even on week-ends. 13 weeks is not a long time, and this is a unique opportunity for you to be able to focus, full-time, on your company and work with great mentors. ANZ Innovyz START is making a major commitment to you and your company, and we expect you to do the same.
Where is the ANZ Innovyz START workspace located and what’s it like?
We’re located in the central business district of Adelaide, Australia and in Darling Harbour, Sydney. Our Adelaide office has a large open space where all the companies co-locate, a small kitchen, lounge, and private meeting rooms for conversations with mentors, customers, and each other. Our Sydney office has two shared co-working spaces and large multi-purpose meeting room. Other facilities are shared with other companies located in Regus' Darling Park Centre.
Can I apply if I’m not from the Australia?
Yes, as long as you and your team can be in Australia, legally, for the 13 weeks of the program. While we expect a high proportion of applications to be from Australian companies, we’ve designed this program to be regionally and globally relevant, with mentors from several countries. In fact, our first applicant was from Italy!
Can I stop by your offices to say hello?
The ANZ Innovyz START offices are very busy with mentors, guest speakers, sponsors and of course the ten companies in and out of the workspace. If you would like to visit our office, please write us a message via our contact us page. If you explain who you are and what you would like to discuss, we can arrange a time for the right personto chat with you. With so much happening in our office, we do not want to waste your time.
Do I have to stay in Adelaide or Sydney when the program ends after 13 weeks?
No. It’s your company, and you can live where you want. But experience suggests that many founders choose to stay, after the program ends. They often rent space with other companies that were in the program. The friendships formed among founders, mentors and program staff are deep and last a lifetime.
Can I apply if our company or founders are not from the Australia? Can you help with Visa/immigration issues?
Yes. Anyone from any country can apply, as long as he/she is fluent in English. You don’t need a visa to apply, but you will need one if you are accepted into the program. After you are accepted into the ANZ Innovyz START program, we will provide the information you need and help with any legal/immigration issues you might have.
Where will we live while we’re there?
That’s up to you – we don’t provide a place to live. If you’re accepted into the ANZ Innovyz START program, one of our program staff will send you information about housing options. We’ll be happy to help, as needed, but you need to find your own housing.
Companies in Sydney extension of ANZ Innovyz START
- Will fly to Adelaide to participate with the companies in the Adelaide accelerator for weeks 1, 8 & 13 of the program. ANZ Innovyz START will pay for airfares and provide a travel stipend for teams of three.
- Will pitch at Demo Day on Thursday 8th May at the Adelaide Town Hall, along with the teams based in Adelaide.
- Will be expected to work on their companies, full-time, every day at the ANZ Innovyz START accelerator extension in Sydney.
- ANZ Innovyz START personnel will be at the Sydney extension every day. Our Program Director, Dr Jana Matthews, will fly to Sydney to teach and mentor the teams every other week.
- Teams in the Sydney extension will join teams in the Adelaide accelerator for some of the teaching/learning sessions via Google Hangout or Skype and will have access to sessions they missed, via archived video-tape, the same as Adelaide teams.
- Teams in Sydney receive the same mentoring as companies in Adelaide. As with Adelaide, some mentoring will be done via telecomm.
- Teams in Sydney, as well as the broader entrepreneurial community, will be invited to attend three programs that will be offered with our partners at Regus: a seminar taught by Dr. Jana Matthews on Company Growth; a panel discussion with mentors about the biggest mistakes they made growing their companies and how they recovered, and coaching on pitching.
Who’s behind the program and why are you doing this?
We are serial entrepreneurs who truly enjoy helping start ups grow fast. We think that in this new century, Australia will be the place to be! More About Us
ANZ is supporting this program because it wants to encourage and foster more entrepreneurship and innovation in Australia. ANZ is committed to the Australian small business sector and is a strong supporter of the start-up segment. The bank believes this program will accelerate the growth and development of start-up companies by giving the founders support, mentoring, expertise and funding to grow and commercialise their business.
The ANZ Innovyz START program almost sounds too good to be true. What’s the catch?
There’s no catch. We are members of the Global Accelerator Network, and are modelled after TechStars, who created the Network. We have successfully graduated twenty companies in one year, have another class close to graduation (Demo Day is November 4!) and are looking for the next ten! You can check out the videos from our programs here.
I’m thinking of emailing some of the mentors and telling them about what we’re doing.
The mentors are not involved in the selection process, they work with the companies WE select. Please do not try to get in contact with them, you will not be advancing your application.
What else does Innovyz START provide? Office space, internet, legal, hosting, etc.?
We provide the office space, tables, chairs, working and meeting spaces, as well as a nice lounge, super-fast and reliable wireless Internet access, all right in the middle of the Adelaide and Sydney CBDs. Here’s a list of perks that ANZ Innovyz START companies are entitled to. We want you to be able to focus on creating a great product while you’re here, and not have to worry about anything else.
Can you tell me more about the networking and educational opportunities?
During the mentor weeks, we organise informal networking and panel sessions, where mentors discuss their personal successes and failures and other topics that are relevant to growth companies. Our sponsors host external networking and pitch events and invite their clients and networks to meet with the companies and provide valuable feedback. During these events, companies have the chance to meet with highly successful entrepreneurs, angel investors, legal experts, venture capitalists, bankers, and so forth. ANZ Innovyz START is also engaged in building and joing the Adelaide & Sydney Entrepreneurial eco-systems respectively, and hosts webinars on "Growing Your Company" and countless panel and networking events with external guest speakers. Most of the sessions that are run throughout the accelerator involve Q&A time, to provide opportunity to interact with the mentors and presenters, personally.
When is the deadline to apply and what’s the overall timeline?
Applications close on December 9th. Check out the key dates here. Once you have submitted your application you won’t be able to go in and edit the fields, so make sure that you have completed all fields and answered all questions in the videos thoroughly to provide your company with the best chance of being selected.
Do you ever offer internships to people interested in ANZ Innovyz START?
Yes, fill out our contact form if you are interested in being an Intern. Tell us why you are interested in being an intern and what value you could add to the program. We will contact you if we want more information or would like to interview you.