Slingshot Newsletter – April 2018

Now boarding Startups & Scaleups for Qantas Innovation Program

The Qantas Group is inviting the world’s most innovative Startups, Scaleups and digital disruptors to apply for its second AVRO Accelerator program.

The AVRO Accelerator gives entrepreneurs the chance to work with the Qantas Group to develop, incubate and scale their businesses.

The program, launched in 2017, helped participants build products to trial with Qantas customers, people and operations, as well as commercial and investment deals to grow their businesses. WHERE ARE THEY NOW?

This year, Qantas is looking to continue that momentum and invest in emerging businesses that can help them continue to diversify and grow, while offering their customers new and improved experiences, and its people smart solutions to transform how they work.

If you are considering applying, we encourage you to come and meet the AVRO team at the SYDNEY ROADSHOW or listen in to the Live Facebook Chat. Applications close on Monday 30 April – APPLY

Sydney Roadshow

5.30pm Thursday
19 April

Live Facebook Chat with AVRO team

6pm Thursday
26 April


HCF Catalyst Accelerator Program Update

Now in its third year, we are drawing close to end of the 12-week HCF Catalyst Accelerator. This year’s cohort reflects a growing demand in Australia for remote and online access to healthcare and developing solutions that harness innovations such as virtual reality, AI and cloud-based systems to propel Australia’s health care system into the future.

Investors and innovators, if you would like to attend the HCF Catalyst DEMO DAY on Thursday 17 May in Sydney – RSVP here. It will showcase the very best of healthtech in this country.


Caltex Spark Accelerator Pitch Day

Thank you to all the Startups who applied for the Caltex Spark Accelerator. We had over 300 applications so it was a difficult decision selecting those to pitch. Last week, the panel heard from an array of founders working in areas such as retail, AI, mobility and convenience. There were also pitches from a huge number of Scaleups with operational and efficiency solutions that Caltex are sure to adopt.

The Spark program is kicking off in May so watch this space when we shortly announce the cohort. Investors and innovators, if you would like to preregister your interest to attend the Caltex Spark DEMO DAY on Wednesday 1 August in Sydney – RSVP here.


Startups, have you checked out CoVentured?

If you are looking to scale, you need to be on CoVentured! is a platform designed to connect Corporates and Startups.
It’s FREE for Startups to create a profile and start conversations with Corporate members. You can also apply for programs posted by Corporates on challenges or problems they are trying to solve.

Meet some of the CoVentured Corporates…

…and many more.


Justin Dry, Co-Founder & Joint CEO, Vinomofo

Founded in 2011 from an Adelaide garage, the Vinomofo Startup has grown into a tribe of more than 600,000 mofos and employs 100+ people. Vinomofo is one of Australia’s fastest growing and most awarded companies in Australia. 2018 sees Vinomofo continue its global roll out with the US following successful launches in Australia, NZ and Singapore. Justin is a mentor for the Qantas AVRO Accelerator.


Tell us what gets you firing every morning?

First I read a series of statements that get me in the right headspace, next I exercise, have a cold shower, enjoy a coffee and finally I write down my to do list for the day, rank each item and start from the top.

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

I’m inspired by people that are having a real crack, play the long game, remain humble and do the hard work too. Kate Morris from Adore Beauty comes to mind.

What excites you about the Qantas AVRO Accelerator and working with founders?

I love the fact the program is supported by a great group of mentors and has the backing of a business that is large enough to give the Startups a real opportunity to achieve big things.

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

People are everything.

Tell us something people don’t know about you?

I very recently got engaged 🙂


Paul Lupson, Co-Founder, InnovaReviews

An Alumni of the Advance QLD backed Horizons Accelerator, InnovaReviews is a SaaS product that enables businesses to easily collect, moderate and publish customer reviews on their own websites. Paul Lupson co-founded InnovaReviews to enable businesses to easily publish customer reviews on their own websites, and benefit from the ‘social proof’ and SEO gold content.


Tell us what gets you firing every morning?

Helping small businesses get a kick start with low cost access to industry grade software, the likes of which I used to design for Expedia and Wotif, and take on the big players!

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

I spoke to Steve Baxter (@sbxr) recently, and he reminded me “the best form of investment is revenue from customers” and I wholly agree with that down-to-earth attitude, that’s how you build a solid business that stands the test of time.

Who have been the greatest influencers in your career?

Customers! Building a product that a customer is prepared to use is amazing motivation to continue pushing yourself. Going hi-brow, Dieter Rams the designer, and his principle of “as little design as possible” – sounds contradictory, but that’s how you build a product for mass adoption.

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

Persevere. Nothing good happens easily so not being deterred at first is essential. Keep evolving and improving your product and your business KPI’s will respond.

Tell us something people don’t know about you?

Kylie Minogue once called me a ‘twat’!


AVRO Accelerator Sydney Roadshow

5.30pm Thursday 19 April

Live Facebook Chat with AVRO team

6pm Thursday 26 April

HCF Catalyst 
Demo Day – Sydney
17 May