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LA opens up the rolodex for Aussie muru-D accelerator startups

Tuesday, 20 May 2014 | By Kye White

Nine startups from the muru-D accelerator have returned from a trip to the United States where they were pursued heavily by a number of groups in Los Angeles to use the city as their gateway to the US market, according to muru-D startup head coach Mick Liubinskas.


The startups, which include ChattyKidz, FarmBot, Lime Rocket, Momentum Cloud, Open Learning, Pixc, Safesite, Vistr and Zed Technologies spent two days in San Francisco and three in Los Angeles.


“In LA there was a really clear indication that Los Angeles wanted to be the gateway for the US market in terms of sales,’’ Liubinskas says.


“The big push for muru-D is to get global sales.


“There’s no denying Silicon Valley is vastly ahead in terms of capital, but Los Angeles really opened up the rolodex for the companies.


“We met with the Silicon Beach crew there and local economic development groups.”


Liubinskas says a couple of startups chose to stay on in the US for a little longer.


One of the companies staying on is FarmBot, which has developed a monitoring system for farms, remote infrastructure and environments that provides significant cost savings and risk minimisation.


Representatives from the startup are travelling to Nebraska to meet with ranchers who are interested in their system.


“The aim of the trip was to get a bit of inspiration about some of the bigger, more active markets,’’ Liubinskas says.


“To also get a bit of fear in the boots about how competitive, how many players were in the market and how fast it was moving.


“In San Francisco we had some excellent sessions and got some great feedback about how the companies would be received in the US, as well as some investor interest.


“It was really positive, companies spending time together, pitching and getting a lot of very constructive feedback.”


Liubinskas says while there was interest, none of the companies received any offers of investment during the trip.


“We’re halfway through the program now, so the companies have another three months to go before they’re in need,’’ he says.


“We said we weren’t raising money at the moment, but it’s easier raising money when you don’t need to.


“So they got a lot of interest, but it was only a week.”


Meanwhile, the deadline for Melbourne-based accelerator AngelCube’s AC14 program is fast approaching.


Applications close in a little under two weeks’ time on Friday, May 30.


For more information, head over to AngelCube’s website.