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Melbourne-based accelerator AngelCube has announced the six startups that are currently taking part in its program. The program, which the six startups began in June, involves a $40,000 investment in exchange for 8% equity, as well as mentoring, six months free co-working space at Inspire9 and multiple chances to pitch in front of prominent investors.
AngelCube program manager Amir Nissen says they’re already seeing growth in the participating startups. “It’s been pretty intense,” Nissen says. “The pleasing thing is that the teams have come a long way since they walked in the door.”
The startups currently involved with the accelerator include project management product Coincraft, PR automation CurveUp, smart standing desk Jack.io, second-hand clothing platform Refound, website calling service SweetHawk and professional development startup Peer Academy.
AngelCube was focused on selecting founders with an all-round knowledge of the operations of their startup, Nissen says. “We’re mostly looking for them having a very, very in-depth knowledge about their business,” he says. “They needed to know what the obstacles were and be able to fire back answers quickly.”
Peer Academy co-founder Onur Ekinci says the startup’s traction played an important role in being selected. “It wasn’t just an idea, we had already turned out an MVP, had revenue coming through and repeat users,” Ekinci says.
The program allows them to do in three months what they would’ve done in one or two years without assistance, Ekinci says. “It’s been a real whirlwind journey,” he says. “It started off with really stripping it back to the core underlying assumptions and beliefs about what we’re doing, then going to the market and testing them.”
Peer Academy offers a novel take on professional development, providing peer-driven learning classes to small groups of corporate clients. Ekinci and fellow co-founder Kylie Long ran a pilot program in October last year, and now have over 600 users. The accelerator program will conclude in September 2015 with a series of demo days in Melbourne and Sydney, where the startups will pitch to a range of potential investors.
“The ultimate goal of the demo day is to get people interested, for them to do a follow-up that hopefully turns into an investment.”
“Now we’ll be doing a lot more dinners and drinks with handfuls of investors. We’re pulling in the same network but on a far more personal level.”
AngelCube was founded in 2011, and has invested in 23 startups through the program. The accelerator’s alumni includes LIFX, a company offering Wi-Fi enabled light bulbs that recently raised $13 million in seed funding, and Brosa Designs, which closed a $2 million funding round last month.