Icehouse names six lucky startups for Flux mentoring programme

Auckland based company, The Icehouse — which offers a range of services and facilities designed to help business grow — has named the first six startups to receive funding under its Flux Accelerator program.

The program, supported by Callaghan Innovation, was launched in October 2016 with Icehouse saying it would see between $20,000-$100,000 invested into each of six to eight early-stage technology companies.

The director of Flux Accelerator, Mark MacLeod-Smith, said each of the six startups had identified a way to harness technology to create solutions with global potential. ‘“With the support of Callaghan Innovation and Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development, Flux enables the sharing of knowledge and expertise between startups, mentors and partners. This contributes to lifting the collective digital capability across industries, critical for futureproofing New Zealand’s economy.”

The six winners are:

- Osnova, which provides private math tutoring using artificial intelligence;

- The Social Club, an online platform that connects brands with social media influencers for campaigns and ongoing collaborations;

- Genoapay, which provides retailers with payment plans for their consumers at the point of sale;

- 1Centre, which streamlines the setup and on-going management of trade accounts;

- Vidapp, which claims to enable any video producer to connect and sell to the world through their own customised video apps;

- Jude, claims to be redesigning the banking experience to allow anyone to have the services of a private banker.

The recipients will receive a six-month program that includes guidance from accomplished business leaders and technology companies. Amazon Web Services will provide access to its AWS Activate program that includes advice from AWS architects and engineers and a grant of credits to start building on the AWS Cloud.

Towards the end of the program the startups have the opportunity to raise further capital during a Demo Day where each will pitch to more than 200 investors.

The Icehouse says more than 80 mentors have signed up to support the first intake. They include: Paul Cameron, CEO of Booktrack; Claudia Batten, founder of Massive and Victors and Spoils; Tim Williams, founder of ValueClick and chairman of 90 Seconds; and Jason Kerr, founder of Findly and Spoke.

Williams said Flux would give the participants a leg up as they look to build a global company. “By spending time with founders that have built and exited successful companies, they will be able to tap into networks and expertise to help them on their journey.”

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