Friday, 10 February 2017 12:35

Start-ups accepted into latest muru-D cohort


Telstra’s start-up accelerator programme muru-D has accepted new start-ups into its fourth Sydney cohort, including Nano satellites that monitor crop health, cameras that map the underground world and medical sensors that help patients spend less time in hospital.

The latest cohort kicked off at the beginning of this month and eight successful start-ups have been offered up to $60,000 (during, and post-programme) in seed capital investment which muru-D says gives them the benefits of a highly developed network of mentors and industry professionals.

The eight successful star-tups — and what they offer — selected for muru-D are:

•    AgriWebb – is using technology to transform livestock production. AgriWebb’s team hails from Harvard, Stanford and Oxford and includes founders who have lived on the land. They have more than 800 farmers using the product already and have raised more than $4 million.

•    Alta – is building the most valuable type of game for Virtual Reality. Multiplayer games with a long playtime are the most valuable category of games on PC and consoles, but no such title exists for VR. Alta is well positioned to do this with experience on the team from Rockstar, who have built some of world’s most successful games. Alta will build the first long play, multiplayer game for VR.

• – is the first blockchain product that is easy to use and valuable for everyday people. Blockchain has promised a powerful way to manage identities, share money and even vote for government. claims to be making blockchain as easy to use as a coupon at the grocery store. The team includes some of the most experienced blockchain developers in Australia.

•    Flobox – lets small businesses fight back against huge marketing teams. Using social media marketing is hard to get right. Flobox has taken the strongest ad strategies for social media and made them easier to use than a spreadsheet.

•    Flurosat – can see problems with crops before a farmer on the ground can, and can recommend precision fixes. Flurosat uses hyperspectral cameras mounted on drones and nano satellites to look at crop health.

•    GeoInteractive – lets you see underground, whether you own a mine, a sewer or want to discover ancient ruins. GeoInteractive has built a hardware product similar to GoPro that delivers an underground map like Google Street View.

•    Patch’d – allows patients to leave hospital earlier, be diagnosed sooner and prevents unnecessary admissions. Patch’d imagines a world where every patient lives a normal life and does not die due to inadequate monitoring. To make this a reality, a medical sensor has been developed that allows real-time patient monitoring from anywhere in the world. The team includes former Cochlear engineers.

•    Snooper – is a way for brands to measure the customer experience, through the eyes of the customer. Snooper is a crowdsourcing app that pays shoppers to collect in-store data and share their own experience with brands in real time. Multiple large retail brands have already signed up, including Heineken and Caltex.

muru-D Entrepreneur-in-Residence, Ben Sand, said that recent updates to the programme helped attract more ambitious and more developed companies to #SYD4.

“We updated our funding model in November to an uncapped SAFE note, made it popular in the US, which means we no longer take a fixed amount of any company, and instead follow the market value,” Ben said.

“We also actively hunted for more mature companies, who traditionally would be less likely to consider an accelerator. We travelled around Australia to visit universities and co-working spaces, and also met with venture funds and leading startups to help source these companies.

“We had 150 applications and we were really impressed by the calibre of the start-ups, many of whom are working on world-changing technology. Whittling down the list to eight was a difficult task, but we’re confident that these start-ups are best positioned to benefit from muru-D’s experienced team of entrepreneurs, start-up and technology professionals, and our mentor and investor network. We’re also very proud that three of the eight #SYD4 teams have a female founder or co-founder.

“This cohort demonstrates a depth of experience, innovation and global ambition that is a level above anything we have seen before – in line with muru-D’s vision to keep evolving the programme and attract the best talent.”


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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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