Announcing Slingshot Jumpstart $30,000 to Jumpstart your company

Jumpstart a program for Startups & later stage Scaleups

  • Announcing Slingshot Jumpstart

    Slingshot Jumpstart is your access to 2.4 million customers

    Slingshot has partnered with the National Roads and Motorists’ Association (The NRMA) to bring you the Slingshot Jumpstart program.The NRMA is Australia’s largest member network with 2.4 million registered members. The NRMA owns a number of iconic brands including Thrifty, Travelodge and NRMA Road Assist.

    Jumpstart is a mentor driven program designed to assist entrepreneurs in the tech space who want to develop a startup or scaleup with the assistance of an innovative partner and most importantly a massive customer base.

    jumpstartlogo 

    A Program for Startups & Scaleups

    The NRMA is always looking for ways to add value to members and has a strong commitment to innovation. As part of its strategic planning and with full Board support, the NRMA has chosen to expand its innovation program to include startups and more mature scaleups who can add value to the NRMA customer base.

    The program will run in both Sydney and Newcastle simultaneously and startups can choose which location they would prefer to participate from.

    A set of specific themes has been developed by the NRMA for the program to guide teams clarity around the true needs of the NRMA’s members and customers.

    The Slingshot Jumpstart program is comprised of two parts; the Jumpstart Accelerator program for startups and the Jumpstart Bridge Program for more mature scaleups

    Slingshot Jumpstart Accelerator Program
    Slingshot Jumpstart Scaleup Bridge Program
    • The Jumpstart Accelerator program is a tailored 6 month accelerator program to help you take your idea and build it into a scalable global company as quickly and effectively as possible.Here’s what it is and what you get:

      • 3 month structured program that provides real learning
      • An extra 3 month incubation program that drives outcomes
      • Potential access to the 2.4 million NRMA customers to both test on and sell your products to
      • $30,000 funding and the opportunity for second round investment from the Slingshot Fund
      • Slingshot takes a 10% stake in companies accepted into the program
      • Free co-working space for up to six months, events, marketing support, legal and financial advice
      • The best mentors matched to you and your startup
      • Access to NRMA brands and senior staff
      • Backed by an awesome set of partners, government and sponsors
      • Access to investors in Australia, the USA and Asia
      • Support, access, infrastructure, belief and critical appraisal

      The Selection Process

      Our selection process is thorough and has the input of experienced professionals and entrepreneurs. To win a place in the Slingshot Jumpstart Program is an achievement in itself. Then the hard work begins. After our selection process is complete we will accept up to ten companies to participate in our program. Our goal is to have all of the participant companies having the necessary minimum viable product, metrics, leadership and corporate structure in place at the end of the program to attract next stage funding either locally or internationally.

      Who Should Apply?

      Early stage startups who require funding, space, mentorship and importantly have a startup idea that operates in one of the four NRMA themes.

      You will need to apply and if successfully shortlisted  you will need to provide us with a 4 minute pitch. The shortlist will be judged on the following criteria

      • Web based, digitally focused
      • A truly unique idea or concept either B2B or B2C that aligns to one of the themes
      • Scalable with large markets, users and revenue as a goal
      • Startups that require little capital to develop a MVP (minimum viable product) and be able to gather key new market metrics such as customer acquisition, activation, referral, retention and forecast revenue models within the period
      • Have two or three founders who are passionate, committed and unwavering in their desire to see their startup succeed.

      Apply Now

    • The Jumpstart Bridge program is targeted to more mature startups we call scaleups. A scaleup already has a functioning product, customers and a stable capable team but would love access to a massive customer base to help them scale. We are looking for scaleups who deliver a product or service to the NRMA and their customers within 3 months of the program starting.

      Here’s what it is and what you get:

      • Potential access to the 2.4 million NRMA customers to both test on and sell your products to
      • A contracted outcome to become a NRMA supplier on commercial terms
      • We provide no funding and take no equity stake
      • Six months of mentorship from Slingshot and the NRMA’s senior management
      • Access to NRMA executives and domain experts to help you deliver your solution
      • Backed by an awesome set of partners, government and sponsors
      • Access to investors including participation at Demo day
      • Inclusion in Slingshot Jumpstart events

      The Selection Process

      Our selection process is judged based on your application which will outline your product,your teams capability and your commercial terms. After our selection process is complete we will accept up to four companies to participate in the Bridge program. Our goal is to have all of the companies deliver a valuable product to the NRMA and its members within 3 months.

      If successfully shortlisted  you will need to provide us with a 15 minute pitch. The shortlist will be judged  on the following criteria

      • Web based, digitally focused
      • A truly unique product that aligns to one of the NRMA  themes and will provide value to the NRMA and its members
      • Scalable globally with large markets, users and revenue as a goal
      • Are capable of scaling quickly to demand from the NRMA and its members
      • Startups that can deliver the product within 3 months of the program starting
      • Have a passionate, committed and stable team.

      The  Jumpstart Bridge Program is open to startups that:

      • Are new startups less than 5 years old
      • Have a functional product that aligns to one of the NRMA themes
      • Has an existing customer base and existing revenue
      • Can deliver your solution within 3 months of starting
      • Are looking to break out and scale quickly

      Apply Now

    Sound good? Investigate, prepare thoroughly and apply.


  • Themes

    The NRMA has developed a set of specific themes to guide teams on the core needs of NRMA’s customers. The themes apply to both the Accelerator program and the Bridge program.

    Connected Cars
    Connected Members
    Member Lifestyle
    Smart Services
    • Connected_Cars_passive

      The Challenge:

      The NRMA is one of Australia’s most recognised and respected brands and is the motorists’ advocate. Our challenge is to find creative ways to enhance and improve the motoring digital experience.

      Vision:

      The NRMA wants to be a strong player in the digital motoring space; where motoring and mobile are seamless experiences. We aim to leverage the NRMA’s great heritage to create a unique and market leading digital offerings.

      Outline:

      A motorist requires a broad range of services across the lifecycle of a vehicle. These include for example:

      • acquiring a vehicle
      • renewing a license
      • replacing tyres
      • servicing
      • fueling
      • parking.

      Other considerations include obtaining the best car or petrol deal or managing a speeding ticket.  Cars are becoming connected, big data will be available from these new connections. There are so many “real” situations where technology can help make life easier, save time and create new ways to manage these issues. Car data could be integrated for servicing, repairs and upgrades or to increase car safety. Is this the future of motoring?.  Consider the following possibilities of the Connected Car

      • public transport, timetables, community transport, taxis & car sharing
      • purchase advice, vehicle Inspections
      • fuel, accessories, insurance & registration
      • maintenance service, tyres , batteries and  windscreen repairs
      • managing traffic peaks and incidents
      • registration, regulations and fines
      • safety
      • tourism and touring
      • advocacy

      Other Connected Car ideas may include

      • providing real time information
      • alerts that use data to help members in real time
      • personalise services relevant to personal interests
      • real time warnings for road, storms and critical information
      • location based services engaging when in certain locations
      • leveraging smart phones and tablets adoption
    • Connected_Members_passive

      The Challenge:

      The NRMA’s members express high levels of satisfaction, particularly around the NRMA’s  legendary Roadside Assistance service business. The majority of members engage through this core product. The NRMA wants to find new ways to lift awareness and engage its 2.4 million members through a suite of new relevant touch points and offerings.

      Vision:

      Help and engage members more often to enhance the value of membership.

      Outline:

      The NRMA wants to find, interactive, practical and fun ways to engage its members. It also wants to find helpful triggers that prompt the use of wider services available across all its brands. The NRMA wants to use digital services to get customers to interact with the brand more often in ways that are valuable, exciting and encourage loyalty. The NRMA to member interaction could be extended to member to member. Large collectives of members could draw on their own experiences to  engage people in creating new services . Are there radically new ways to interact for under 30’s or over 50’s?. NRMA to Member and member to member interactions could:

      • utilise the NRMA member crowd
      • leverage adoption of smart phones and tablets
      • embed social conversation in new and existing services
      • engage customers through gamification.
      • use location based services
    • Member_Lifestyle_passive

      The Challenge:

      Members use emergency roadside assistance but have limited awareness of the array of other NRMA lifestyle services. The NRMA wants to leverage existing benefits and offer members a range of lifestyle services. Creating awareness and engagement is challenging.

      Vision:

      Members lifestyles needs are well understood and met

      Outline:

      Members have unique needs based on their age, their location (home, travel) or their need (emergency or general). The NRMA wants to develop further services that enhance a member’s lifestyle. A  particular focus is on the home and over 50’s services. Further, the ability to integrate travel and entertainment services into unique packages, or as part of wider services is of interest. How can members lifestyles be enhanced with existing and new products or services? Are there compelling new services that under 30’s and over 50’s will be keen to use? Possibilities include:

      • providing innovative ways to provide new offers
      • creating new forms or modes of member entertainment
      • relevant accessible online shopping for members
      • wrapping lifestyle services around travel
      • Providing innovative ways to build over 50’s offers
      • Exciting ways to have fun in the lives of younger members
    • Smart_Services_passive

      The Challenge:

      At the moment members find and select their own solutions. The NRMA wants to use data, including location information to find new and smart services to meet members needs.

      Vision:

      Members have a suite of services that are proactively recommended

      Outline:

      Society needs help aggregating the vast amount of information available today. The digital motoring space is huge and untapped. Is there a storm approaching or an accident ahead? Might you want to interact with others nearby? What might children want when travelling? And with the “internet of things”, the home now has many devices and many ways that services can be proactive and helpful. Perhaps you need IT support at home? What smart services might you find invaluable. Some ideas include:

      • providing real time information to customers
      • alerts that use data to help members in real time
      • personalise services relevant to personal interests
      • real time warnings for road, storms and critical information
      • using location based services to engage when in certain locations
      • leveraging the uptake of  smart phones and tablets
  • Applications are OPEN NOW until the 14th of November 2014.

     

    Startups submit your Accelerator application here

     

    Scaleups submit your Bridge application here.

  • Frequently Asked Questions

    Note the FAQ’s relate to the Jumpstart Accelerator Program.
    The Jumpstart Bridge Program FAQ’s can be found here

     

    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. The current intake is in partnership with the NRMA and is called Slingshot Jumpstart.

    What is so special about Jumpstart?

    Most accelerators supply seed capital and a mentor driven program but few give startups the ability to work with the one thing that all startups need; a large motivated customer like the NRMA.

    Tell me about the NRMA and its customers

    As one of Australia’s largest member organisations, the NRMA provides a range of services for 2.4 million Members and the community, including its legendary roadside assistance as well as a diverse range of motoring, travel and lifestyle benefits, products and services.

    The NRMA has a strong track record of innovation over its 90 years of operations. It’s focus on innovation  has seen NRMA expand its services into many new areas.

    In more recent years, NRMA has won the ABA award for business innovation for the last five years, and in 2014 was in the BRW’s list of the Top 50 Most Innovative Companies in Australia.

    The Slingshot Jumpstart program was developed to secure the best and most innovative new services for the NRMA’s members. The partnership reflects the NRMA’s ongoing commitment to innovation its members and Slingshot’s expertise in the startup community.

    Note:

    The National Roads and Motorists’ Association (The NRMA) is a separate and independent from IAG which trades as NRMA Insurance.

    Why is the NRMA doing this?

    The NRMA is a large organisation that has great people and great products.  The NRMA recognises that small lean startups have great innovation but find it difficult to scale. NRMA sees the Bridge Program as a way to innovate externally and at the same time engage the startup ecosystem for mutual benefit.

    Will the NRMA control my business

    Absolutely not, the NRMA have just provided some themes and the ability for you to use them to test product and business model. You run your business. The NRMA recognises that the startups are the innovators and are best placed to run your business, NRMA is simply there to support you through the journey.

    Will the NRMA own equity in my business

    No, the funds are supplied by the Slingshot Venture Fund which is managed by Artesian Capital Management. The NRMA may wish to be an investor after the program is completed and has an option to invest in the next round at a 25% discount, but on valuations that the market sets. Typically the NRMA would participate in a co-investment round together with the Slingshot Venture Fund.

    Where is the program located

    We have two locations for this intake, one being Fishburners in Ultimo, Sydney and the other at Sparke Helmore’s Honeysuckle offices overlooking Newcastle harbour. Both are great spaces depending where you call home.

    Can I continue to work on my startup during 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.

    How do I apply?

    Note there are two application processes one for the Accelerator program and one for the Bridge program

    Apply here for the Accelerator program

    What is the program timeline

    Applications close on the 14th of November however we will be notifying successful applicants who have made the shortlist throughout the process. If you make the next round you will receive a kit, which includes all the documentation necessary to be completed before the program begins, so get your application in quickly and don’t leave it until the end. If you are shortlisted you will be required to give a pitch on the 18th of November and suffer an interview following.

    What is the Accelerator program start and finish dates

    The program begins on December 1 and is formally complete on the 13th of March. Companies who successfully complete the program will be invited to incubate for a further three months

    What is Slingshot Jumpstart 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:

    • Connected Cars
    • Loyal members
    • Lifestyle
    • Smart services

     

    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 a very tiny demographic.

    My company has good traction already can I apply?

    Yes. We are always interested in 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 4-5 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 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.

    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, 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 at the end of the program. We won’t kick you out at the end of the program; if you successfully complete the initial 3 month program you will have access to a further 3 months incubation and office space.

    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 is a good example of the sort of PR you can expect from being part of the Slingshot program.

     

    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 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 adviser mentors with a niche set of skills and contacts that can help our companies breakthrough road blocks because they have been there and done that.

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