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AngelCube chooses first four start-ups for new incubator

Tuesday, 13 September 2011 | By Oliver Milman

AngelCube, the new incubator for Melbourne-based start-ups, has unveiled the first for ventures to each receive $20,000 in seed capital.

 

As revealed by StartupSmart in July, AngelCube was launched to back early-stage tech businesses from the Melbourne region with funding and mentorship.

 

Based on the YCombinator model in the US, AngelCube was founded by entrepreneurs Adrian Stone, Andrew Birt, Nathan Sampimon and Richie Khoo.

 

From more than 130 applicants, the AngelCube team crafted a 15-strong shortlist before picking the four start-ups to take part in its inaugural six-month program.

 

The four chosen start-ups are:

 

RentWant.com – a peer-to-peer rental platform that allows you to find household items to rent from people near your location, via a mobile application.

 

Lexim.com.au – currently in closed beta mode, this site offers learning materials for universities, colleges and TAFEs to distribute to students.

 

TestPilot.me – a tech venture that offers software developers a simpler, easier way to use continuous integration servers, which prevent bugs appearing in their code.

 

Goodfil.ms – a film rating and review site that collates recommendations from your friends, rather than film critics. Based on the successful GoodReads.com, which has more than three million monthly visitors.

 

The start-ups will now all move to Inspire9, a co-working space in the Melbourne suburb of Richmond, to start their six-month stint under the wing of AngelCube.

 

Along with $20,000 in funding, in return for a 10% equity stake, the start-ups will get office space, marketing support and travel opportunities, as well as mentorship from nearly 30 industry figures, including Leni Mayo from 99 Designs and Guy King from RetailMeNot.

 

Each venture will get one-on-one mentor sessions, to help get them to the stage where further investors will back them.

 

They will then pitch to investors in November at Aurelius Digital, the business angel network, which will hold a special AngelCube night.

 

“In the end we had to take a portfolio approach; selecting a combination of B2B and B2C companies – with a bias to companies that were closest to revenue generation or clear exit paths,” explains CEO and co-founder Adrian Stone.

 

“Our aim is to get these start-ups to a level where they can improve many aspects of their business and talk comfortably to next round investors. They need to be able to show traction, a clear path to revenue, affordable customer acquisition and that there’s a logical acquirer one-day in the future.”

 

“There wasn’t really anything to get early-stage start-ups to the investment level before AngelCube,” says Andrew Birt. “We were blown away by the response – we didn’t think we’d get 130 applications. We’re really rapt.

 

“The 15 finalists were a really good standard, but these four stood out. I think there’s a very good chance of them getting further investment.”