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BlueChilli selects Housl.com for start-up incubation

Thursday, 12 April 2012 | By Michelle Hammond

Sydney-based technology venture company BlueChilli has picked Housl.com as its first incubated start-up hosted on Australian cloud provider Ninefold.


Founded by Sebastien Eckersley-Maslin, BlueChilli combines software development, marketing, branding and business development skills with investments in online start-ups.


Eckersley-Maslin, who has dubbed this strategy “venture technology”, wants to launch one new start-up every month this year.


BlueChilli recently joined the Ninefold Cloud Booster Program which is designed to accelerate the growth of Australian start-ups by offering them free cloud computing, storage credit and a technical sales consultation for set up.


The package is worth up to $2,000 per month for up to a year and will be extended to all start-ups and residents within the BlueChilli network.


There will also be opportunities to reach the wider Ninefold community through guest blog posts and involvement in Ninefold’s marketing campaigns.


Ninefold users also gain access to free, local multichannel support via email, live chat, Twitter and phone.


Housl, which launches on May 1, is an online and mobile app, allowing tenants to apply for rental properties without having to fill out application forms.


It can also be used as a management tool for property managers to speed up the application process.


Roland Flanagan, chief executive of Housl, says the assistance from Ninefold will not go unnoticed because “every little [bit] helps when you’re bootstrapping”.


“Housing is, as we all know, a very emotive business,” Flanagan says.


“When your new online business is in this space and you’re reliant on technology that needs to process a vast amount of information quickly, to help people find homes, it’s [vital] you’ve got a fast, scalable and locally-hosted platform.”


Eckersley-Maslin says he heard Ninefold “scored well on speed”, which is the main reason why BlueChilli was eager to get on board.


“Given performance is central to our strategy in picking the best go-to-market ideas, we jumped at the opportunity to become a Ninefold Cloud Booster partner,” he says.


“We’re aiming to launch one new online business per month in 2012, so are grateful for the foundation support Ninefold provides.”


Earlier this year, Eckersley-Maslin told StartupSmart he’s looking for start-up founders with “awesome” ideas.


However, the idea has to operate in a niche market and must be transaction-based.


According to Eckersley-Maslin, BlueChilli is also planning to establish a presence in the United States, namely San Francisco, in addition to setting up an incubator in South East Asia.


“They’ll all be linked via video conferencing,” he said.


“South East Asia is close to our door and has lots of support from the Singapore Government and other governments, and larger corporates. We want to be part of that.”