Tuesday, 09 December 2014 20:29

BlueChilli, Entsquared join forces to finance new start-ups Featured

BlueChilli CEO Sebastien Eckersley-Maslin BlueChilli CEO Sebastien Eckersley-Maslin

Australian technology startup BlueChilli Group and startup accelerator Entsquared have today launched a corporate innovation program, [email protected], which they say is designed to rapidly bring four new startups to scale in conjunction with one of Australia’s largest financial institutions.

According to BlueChilli CEO Sebastien Eckersley-Maslin, the [email protected] program is the company’s reimagined corporate innovation program that bridges the gap between large-scale corporate interest in, and support for, startups in Australia.

Eckersley-Maslin did not reveal the name of the financial institution, but said the [email protected]  – Human Connections intake is looking for startups focused on the themes of human connections, ideally for marketplaces and mobile workplaces, that will see four startups take an equal share in the $300K investment on offer ($75K per startup).

Combined with the investment is six months residency and training in the BlueChilli accelerator program.

Eckersley-Martin said the [email protected] theme of human connections is designed to focus on the challenge of maintaining a human aspect in how people transact and interact with each other.

“We see two areas where this theme will be particularly applicable for our corporate partner and the broader market, and these are the areas that we’re interested in supporting new startups in marketplaces and mobile workplace solutions.

“By partnering with VCs and large corporates, we are not only able to provide the cash required to get these startups scaled rapidly and effectively, but we can also bring together the disruptive style of thinking and work into traditionally heavily structured workplaces.

“In this case, following the incubation period, our corporate partner will provide the startup with internal resources and assistance to leverage their infrastructure and further scale the product.”

BlueChilli is partnering with Entsquared and Innovation Bay to deliver the program.

Eckersley-Maslin said Entsquared, a startup accelerator focussed on delivering innovation directly to the enterprise, originally approached BlueChilli to help create [email protected] following frustrations expressed by both startups and corporations at the gap between the two sectors.

“There are certainly big opportunities for Australian startups to solve real challenges being faced by large corporates and in the process, leverage partnerships with those corporates as a key part of the startup’s growth plans,” Entsquared director Bob McKinnon said.

 “Innovation in Australia will be significantly accelerated by bridging this gap.”

Online applications for the [email protected] program are open from 8 December through to January 16, 2015, with the top 10 announced on 23 January.

Eckersley-Maslin said that from 27 January, the top 10 will receive pitch and strategy training with BlueChilli, and will meet the judges of the pitching panel on 9 February, followed the next day with the opportunity to pitch in person to the company’s corporate partner.

Four winners will be selected on 10 February on the day they pitch their cases.

For more information on the program click here.


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Peter Dinham

Peter Dinham is a co-founder of iTWire and a 35-year veteran journalist and corporate communications consultant. He has worked as a journalist in all forms of media – newspapers/magazines, radio, television, press agency and now, online – including with the Canberra Times, The Examiner (Tasmania), the ABC and AAP-Reuters. As a freelance journalist he also had articles published in Australian and overseas magazines. He worked in the corporate communications/public relations sector, in-house with an airline, and as a senior executive in Australia of the world’s largest communications consultancy, Burson-Marsteller. He also ran his own communications consultancy and was a co-founder in Australia of the global photographic agency, the Image Bank (now Getty Images).



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