Slingshot Newsletter – February 2018

Caltex looking for the next gen of disruptive ideas for their Spark Accelerator

As an iconic Australian business, Caltex has never been more focused on driving our country’s future. They are passionate about innovation, job creation, increasing productivity and creating opportunities. Caltex has partnered with Slingshot, Australia’s leading Accelerator Program to find and work with some of the most disruptive businesses in our region. Do you know someone with a business or idea that could help Caltex and their customers with:

Mobility | Retail | Convenience | Efficiency… or maybe amaze them with something completely different.

More information can be found @


HCF Catalyst announces the new guard of Australian health technology entrepreneurs

The HCF Catalyst Accelerator, now in its third year, has announced its cohort of ten Australian health technology Startups and Scaleups.

The new assembly of health technology entrepreneurs reflects a growing demand in Australia for remote and online access to healthcare. The cohort also reflects a growing focus on developing solutions that harness innovations such as virtual reality, AI and cloud-based systems to propel Australia’s health care system into the future.


Vantari VR – Builds tools to enable new ways to visualise, interpret and understand medical images by pulling together cutting-edge rendering technology to take medical imaging into Virtual Reality (VR)

Birthbeat – Designs midwifery services delivered via telehealth to prepare families for birth

Pracway – Captures the patient consent process electronically for the first time in Australia, enabling informed consent which is crucial for safe and ethical medical practice ahead of surgery

Soldierly – Provides veteran soldiers with practical tools and structured exercise programs that strengthen physical and mental health, while also reinforcing personal connections within the veteran community

Mindbodyhealing – Disrupts the management of chronic pain and fatigue with ‘mindbody’ e-medicine innovation

MEKSI – Improves a variety of learning, training and assessment scenarios with simulation, to evolve both the teaching of medicine and how trainees and junior doctors develop their essential skills


Dresden Optics – Delivers Australian-made, eco-friendly modular eyewear and high-quality eye health care globally to customers with vision loss

SleepFit – Provides digital sleep health programs for employers, insurance companies and health providers to improve their employee’s sleep outcomes through personalised awareness, education, screen, diagnosis and treatment programs

Boundlss – Connects members with their health and life insurers directly through a conversational, AI health platform that puts the focus of insurance on helping members live a healthy, happy life instead of on claims and illness

Myhealth1st – Connects patients with their health providers directly through a trusted digital platform to find health providers and schedule appointments 24 hours a day, seven days a week

The program will culminate with a ‘Demo Day,’ where participants will showcase their business models and progress in the hope of driving interest from investors and partners. See below to RSVP.


That’s a wrap… Horizons – Global Travel & Tourism Accelerator closes with Demo Day

Slingshot, alongside Advance Queensland, Amadeus and Brisbane Airport Corporation, wrapped up the Horizons Accelerator with the final demo day at the swanky Flight Centre HQ in Brisbane.

The cohort boasted some of the most experienced travel entrepreneurs in the industry, including InnaReviews cofounder Paul Lupson who was formerly a director at Expedia. Horizons also saw Slingshot reaffirm its support of Not-For-Profit businesses, with the inclusion of Indigenous Tour Agency and Reef Restoration Foundation.

A big congratulations to all of our #Horizons QLD tourism accelerator graduates. It’s been a fantastic ride and we wish all the best in the years to come


2018 will see Slingshot launch multiple corporate accelerators looking for the best Startups and Scaleups to work with some the biggest global brands. If you are a founder looking at how an accelerator can help you scale, the best way to keep in touch is by updating your details here.

Do you know other fantastic founders who could benefit from Slingshot’s corporate connections?


Why Corporates are looking for Scaleups

Corporates are definitely looking for Scaleups.

So what exactly is a Scaleup?

Scaleups are simply mature Startups with a team, revenue, customers, a product that has market fit, and have generally experienced growth of 30 percent year on year.

The idea of working with Scaleup is attractive to many corporates as the solution is ready-made to help them fix a problem or allow them to tap into new markets quickly. Often corporates are looking for businesses that may still be in ‘Startup land” but need an incentivized partner like a Caltex or Qantas with a large customer base to help them scale.

Most of the Slingshot corporate accelerators offer a ‘Scaleup Program’. It’s not a traditional accelerator where you are required to work on your business for 12 weeks but rather a fast-tracked process to reach a commercial deal with the corporate.

Like the early stage Startups, you will still need to apply and be selected via a pitching process but once you are in the program, it’s all about reaching an outcome during the 12 weeks. As we all know, trying to deal with a large corporate can be time wasting and messy – it can be lots of maybes and cups of coffee!

So at Slingshot we call it the ‘Scaleup Program’ – a ‘Quick to No’ outcome with the goal to help the corporate and Scaleup reach an MoU in five meetings or less.

It’s never been better time to think about a Scaleup Program, so if you are a later stage Startup, we have corporates wanting to work with you.


Nick Austin, Founder and Director of DIVVY Parking.

DIVVY Parking is Australia’s leading smart city technology company focused on leveraging mobile technology to improve connectivity to parking in CBDs.


Tell us what gets you firing every morning?

The excitement of a business landscape that is fundamentally changing, seeing technology evolve in a way that continually creates opportunities, and meeting passionate people who are keen to leverage technology to drive innovation. It’s refreshing to see so many people in the Australian property sector who see innovation as an essential tool in future success.

Who inspires you when you look around the Australian business community?

There are many to be honest, from CEOs who are breaking the mould and trying different things, the founders of the many Australian Startups who have gone from strength to strength and are now influencing international markets, to the young rising stars who seem to get more ambitious and dedicated every year. I’m inspired by the much needed Startup momentum this country is now starting to build. If we can build on this our future looks bright. Anyone supporting this is inspiring in my eyes.

What excites you about HCF Catalyst and working with founders?

Caltex Spark is a fantastic initiative that offers a much needed framework to support Australian Startups to go on to achieve real success. I have always loved meeting other founders and hearing their pitches, there ambitions, and seeing their determination to make their dreams a reality. There are so many smart, innovative ideas that have the potential to become amazing companies we can all be proud of, and in turn inspire the next generation. Caltex Spark is an important catalyst in making this a reality.

What’s the biggest lesson you have learnt in building a business or your career?

Get product to market as quickly and commercially competitively as possible – until this happens it is impossible to know if you’re onto a winner. Too much time is spent over-researching ideas, and over-thinking and over-developing tech. The market will quickly give you the honest answer that will provide a clear path forward.

Tell us something people don’t know about you?

I find some of my best thinking is done at 4am….. even better with a strong coffee in hand.


Azim Barodawala, CEO of Volantio.

Volantio, a post-booking revenue and capacity optimization platform for airlines. Volantio participated in the Qantas AVRO program (accelerated by Slingshot), and recently announced at $2.6M USD funding round backed by Qantas Ventures, JetBlue Technology Investors, IAG, and Ingleside Investors.


Tell us what gets you firing every morning?

I love the chance to work with the great people on the Volantio team, and work on a product that has the ability to transform the way that travel is bought and sold, making both travellers and airlines better off. It is a wonderful feeling to be building something new and exciting on a daily basis.

Who inspires you when you look around the Australian business community?

Having worked with the Qantas Group from 2011 to 2013 (as Head of Strategy with Jetstar), through some of the darker days in Qantas history, I’m obviously inspired by the work that Alan Joyce and his team have done to drive such strong financial success at Qantas. It’s wonderful to see the turnaround in action.

Who have been the greatest influencers in your career?

I’ve had many positive influencers, but the “biggest ones” were probably my colleagues at the Boston Consulting Group. I learned so much during my time at BCG about client service, critical thinking, problem solving, communication, and creativity, and the coaching/mentoring that I received really has shaped who I am today.

What’s the biggest lesson you have learnt in building or managing a business?

Empathy is critical to success. You must get to know your clients / customers, and walk a mile in their shoes to really be able to develop successful and positive relationships, which are critical to success.

Tell us something people don’t know about you?

While my family is originally from India, and I grew up in the United States, I absolutely love Latin America and salsa music. I was also a salsa and merengue radio DJ during high school!


Caltex Spark Roadshows:

5 March 6:00pm
6 March 6:00pm
7 March 5:30pm
8 March 5:30pm

Caltex Spark 
Live Facebook Chat
13 March

HCF Catalyst 
Demo Day – Sydney
17 May