Slingshot

Where tenacious entrepreneurs turn killer ideas into remarkable companies

Announcing

Slingshot and the University of Newcastle Accelerator Program.

Slingshot provides seed funding with a 12-week mentoring program, 5 minutes from the beach

  • Slingshot. Where tenacious entrepreneurs turn killer ideas into remarkable companies.

    Slingshot is a high tech accelerator that provides seed funding, a dynamic co-working space, and a 12-week mentoring program that nurtures skills and relationships to enable entrepreneurs to build a remarkable company. More about the accelerator.

    Slingshot

    Slingshot’s credentials are strong. It is backed by a dedicated investment fund, has recognised corporate partners and tertiary insitutions supporting the program and is driven by a hands-on philosophy that really does support you beyond the program.

    Tenacious entrepreneurs

    Ideas are nothing without the genuine passion and drive that founders bring to the table. We only want to work with inspirational, motivated, clever and committed entrepreneurs. Is that you?

    Killer ideas

    An idea isn’t a killer idea unless it solves a problem. Is your idea scalable and global with mass-market appeal? Will it change the way people behave, communicate or purchase?

     

  • Trent Bagnall

    trent bagnallTrent has 10 years experience as Managing Director of QML, an ASX-listed software company. Trent grew the company from 3 to 150 staff in 5 countries and won NSW Regional Exporter of the Year in 2011.

    Trent is the science behind the team, smart and extremely knowledgeable around the digital economy its key players and the strategies behind their success. Trent is all about getting the right outcomes for the business and is extremely well regarded by all those who come into contact with him.

    He has done everything in the corporate space, from his own pizza restaurant to running a global enterprise software company.

    Craig Lambert

    craigCraig is an experienced high tech investor. As National Sales Director of Yahoo Australia Craig helped build Yahoo Australia to become a $50 million business. He most recently established $8 million in sponsorship revenue for Newcastle Knights and Newcastle Jets far beyond industry benchmarks.

    Craig’s venture into sports management followed a diverse a career that has gone from owning his own advertising agency through to management consultancy for large corporates. It has taken Craig 20 years to acknowledge what the rest of the world has told him, “you can’t work for someone else, you need to work for yourself”.

    Craig has great contacts, gets brand, is the best pitch doctor around and loves hard music, hard projects and hard living. He just needs a hard body now to go with it all.

  • Applications are OPEN NOW until 29 of November 2013. Submit your application here.

  • Frequently Asked Questions

    What is Slingshot?

    Slingshot is a high tech accelerator that provides seed funding, a dynamic co-working space, and a mentoring program that nurtures skills and relationships to enable entrepreneurs to build a remarkable company. It’s where tenacious founders turn killer ideas into remarkable companies.

    What is Slingshot looking for?

    Great team

    2-3 committed founders with some technical and design talent and business acumen. If you are a solo founder we recommend you find others who are as passionate as you are. We do have relationships with great people seeking founder roles but ideally its your team from the start.

    Killer product

    We are looking for great products that involve the following themes:

    • Education
    • Financial Services
    • Health
    • Online distribution and marketing
    • Social
    • HR and recruitment
    • Mining and industrial software
    • B2B enterprise level software
    • Communications
    • Combined hardware and software offerings
    • Apps (it would want to be very very good).

     

    The above list is what we know and are interested in. Does it mean that we are not interested in your startup applying for the program? The answer is “no”. Your job is to make it hard for us to say we are not interested.

    Your product needs to solve a real problem

    We are looking for products that solve real headaches for people. Ideally these are migraine sized headaches. The best products evolve from a solution to a problem you have lived with and have had enough of. The product needs to be something that real people want, not just uncle Fred and Steve from work. You must have a scalable online distribution method and simple revenue model and if you had a small number of customers and some metrics that would be handy.

    We need to be able to influence outcomes

    We make investments in companies who can be efficient with capital. Our investment is not going a long way if you have a $1M monthly payroll or need $5M to build a factory.

    Monster sized market

    Sure, you need a big market to make lots of revenue. More importantly a big market gives you the ability to test your product quickly, gain ridiculous numbers of users and scale exponentially. A niche in a big market is fine as long as its not focused on the 110 year old plus demographic.

    Is the program open to applicants outside the Hunter?

    Yes we welcome entrepreneurs to from everywhere to apply. You will need to be available to attend the program in Newcastle

     

    My company has good traction already can I apply?

    Yes. We are interested in what we call Upstarts companies that already have an product and revenue or other good traction metrics

     

    If I am shortlisted what should I prepare in advance?

    You will need to Pitch to the selection committee. Your pitch should be 10-15 mins long. There are plenty of examples of good pitch decks and expectations on the web. If you have a demo of your product make sure you show it. You should expect the same time for questions. Basically you’ll be in and out of the process in an hour.

    Can I continue to work on my startup while in the program?

    The obvious answer is yes, we want you out of the building engaged in customer development and refining your business model and building your network. You can budget about two days a week of content and the rest focused on building your company outside of the building.

    Can I do the program part time?

    While we can be flexible. Building your company is the priority and a full time gig. So a part time approach is destined to failure.

    Does it cost money to participate in the accelerator program?

    Nope, nothing.

    How do I apply for the accelerator program?

    Click on apply on the main home page

    Where is Slingshot located?

    We are located in Newcastle NSW. Why? Watch this. ‘Nuff said.

    Where is Slingshot's space?

    We are at 28 Honeysuckle Drive, Newcastle. 5 minutes from the beach.

    The University Intake is at City Campus on King St Newcastle

    What is the timeline for the application process?

    • Once applications close you will be notified within 5 days if you are shortlisted
    • If you are shortlisted you will be required to give a pitch and suffer an interview the week of the second of December.
    • Day 1 of the program is scheduled for 16th of December this will bevan Orientation week to sign contracts etc.

    When does the Accelerator program start and finish?

    The program is scheduled to run from 16 December to 7 March 2014.

    My idea is in stealth mode, will somebody steal it if I apply?

    Ideas are everywhere, there’s probably 100 people working on your idea right now with better teams and more funding. Its all about execution – that’s where we can help. The bigger problem is nobody caring about your idea at all.

    Can I meet with Slingshot and enhance the chances of being accepted?

    Generally the answer is “no” unless you apply via the application process. We do sometimes make investments outside the Accelerator program. See next question.

    Does Slingshot make investments outside the program?

    Occasionally we do. We will probably push you to apply for the program.

    Does Slingshot make follow on investments in the accelerator program graduates?

    Yes. We aim to make follow on investments in Slingshot Alumni in further rounds generally as a co-investor.

    I’m not too sure I’m right for an accelerator program?

    Maybe so. Accelerators are not for everyone. Maybe you are happy to bootstrap your idea for the next few years and see how it goes. We aim to make you a success or failure quickly so you don’t waste the rest of your life stewing over your great new idea. If in doubt, apply.

    What’s the accelerator program like?

    Intense, 12 weeks is not a long time. You be housed together with up to 10 startups in our offices in Newcastle. You will be immersed in the 12 week program and be exposed to the best mentors to help and guide you. Critical appraisal is a big part of the process, we are not a cheer squad. You will be exposed to our investors, partners, sponsors and media. We have set piece events during the program and demo days in Australia and the USA at the end of the program. We won’t kick you out at the end of the program; if you we feel you need more time to get your product and pitch right you will have access to 6 months of office space. At the end of the program we aim to co-invest in all of our Alumni’s next funding rounds.

    Why should I apply to the Slingshot Accelerator Program?

    Mentors

    Our program is driven by our mentors. These are people who have been there and made the mistakes you are about to make. They have the one little idea that can help you get to product/market fit and know the right person to talk at that large customer you are after. We have a set of hands-on mentors that will provide the learning components of the program and a network of mentors that are specialists in your niche.

    Investment

    Money is important. It generally determines the length of the runway to get your company off the ground and sustainable. Sure, we will invest upfront to get you started but our aim is to do follow on investment in later rounds to really turn your company in to a global one. Our network of investors both here and internationally are ready to invest in great companies.

    Sponsors and Partners

    Something often overlooked is acquiring great business relationships in your startup early. Often legal and financial services are out of the reach of most startups. If your company is not structured to succeed from the start you are up against it. Our sponsors and partners are supportive and interested in you succeeding.

    Branding and Media

    While social media is a key part of your strategy, building a strong brand and significant PR is critical. Branding is what we know, we have strong relationships with traditional media and PR firms. Our relationship with Fairfax and our Valley to Valley project is a good example of the sort of PR you can expect from being part of the Slingshot program.

    What is Slingshot looking for?

    Great team

    2-3 committed founders with some technical and design talent and business acumen. If you are a solo founder we recommend you find others who are as passionate as you are. We do have relationships with great people seeking founder roles but ideally its your team from the start.

    Killer product

    We are looking for great products that involve the following themes:

    • Education
    • Financial Services
    • Health
    • Online distribution and marketing
    • Social
    • HR and recruitment
    • Mining and industrial software
    • B2B enterprise level software
    • Communications
    • Combined hardware and software offerings
    • Apps (it would want to be very very good).

     

    The above list is what we know and are interested in. Does it mean that we are not interested in your startup applying for the program? The answer is “no”. Your job is to make it hard for us to say we are not interested.

    Your product needs to solve a real problem

    We are looking for products that solve real headaches for people. Ideally these are migraine sized headaches. The best products evolve from a solution to a problem you have lived with and have had enough of. The product needs to be something that real people want, not just uncle Fred and Steve from work. You must have a scalable online distribution method and simple revenue model and if you had a small number of customers and some metrics that would be handy.

    We need to be able to influence outcomes

    We make investments in companies who can be efficient with capital. Our investment is not going a long way if you have a $1M monthly payroll or need $5M to build a factory.

    Monster sized market

    Sure, you need a big market to make lots of revenue. More importantly a big market gives you the ability to test your product quickly, gain ridiculous numbers of users and scale exponentially. A niche in a big market is fine as long as its not focused on the 110 year old plus demographic.

    Will you make me star in a zany video or slide down a slippery slide, will there be lots of flash mobs?

    No, we are here to work and when we play we prefer to play hard.

    How can I become a mentor?

    We recognise we don’t know everyone, if you think you have valuable skills that will benefit our startups go to our mentor application page and apply. We have two groups of mentors. The first are a hand picked team that that delivers face to face content and works with our companies on an intimate basis. The second group are a global pool of mentors with a niche set of skills and contacts that can help our company’s breakthrough road blocks because they have been there and done that.

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