Slingshot Newsletter – June 2018

HCF Catalyst through the eyes of HCF employees

HCF Catalyst through the eyes of HCF employees
Its clear that HCF Catalyst has made a deeper impact than just finding and working with health tech Startups. At the recent Demo Day in Sydney, Sheena Jack, CEO of HCF recognised how much of an impact the program had had on staff engagement, energy and sense of purpose.

“Health tech founders are unique in the Startup community as they have a unique sense of passion and purpose given they are saving lives and improving the quality of healthcare. This enthusiasm has been infectious.” Sheena Jack, CEO of HCF

This is further supported by the fact that six of the nine Startups secured a commercial outcome or pilot with HCF this year. A 66% conversion rate within a 12-week accelerator is outstanding. If you could not make it or would like to relive the event, you can watch the pitches here.


Insights into running a second Corporate Accelerator

By David Parfett, Head of Group Innovation and Ventures, Qantas Group

David Parfett is one of Australia’s leading innovation and venture capital executives with over 15 years’ experience in leading execution of creative strategies that enable businesses to grow and optimise their performance. He has established and lead Qantas’ corporate venture capital arm, designing and incubating digitally-led greenfield business ventures, driving product and business model innovation, forging business alliances, executing complex M&A and capital raising deals and devising strategic plans. David shares some insights on running the AVRO Accelerator, now in its second year.

Why did Qantas commission the second AVRO accelerator?

For us, the AVRO accelerator is all about finding new technologies, products and services for our customers, our people and operations. It’s about finding answers to questions we haven’t even asked. Given the success of the inaugural program last year, we wanted to continue the momentum as both a program and a brand in the Startup ecosystem. We understand that a consistent, reiterated process is important in any transformational journey.


Caltex Spark Accelerator cohort announced

Caltex Australia recently announced the 12 successful candidates for its inaugural Spark Accelerator program run by Slingshot.

Chosen from over 300 applicants, the inaugural cohort boasts a blend of Startup and Scaleup businesses owned and operated by a diverse group of entrepreneurs and experienced founders.

Across the 12 businesses there is a clear theme of customer centricity and innovative technology, with many of the Startups aiming to create greater operational efficiency in solving everyday customer problems.

Some examples of these innovations are a universal smart bike parking, charging and sharing system by CyclePort, which is a world first, and an app that creates smart receipts to link purchases to the customer’s bank accounts, developed by Ping Data.

Caltex Spark Demo Day
5.30pm Wednesday 1 August

Meet the Caltex Spark Champions

Richard Pearson
Executive General Manager,
Convenience Retail

Louise Warner
Executive General Manager,
Fuels and Infrastructure

FREE Slingshot course for Startups: Masterclass in B2B sales

Startups need customers and corporates have them but how do you engage?

You may have recently heard about LaunchVic’s funding announcement to provide education to up-skill the Victorian Startup ecosystem.

Slingshot were selected by LaunchVic to deliver an education program to Startups around engaging corporates to scale quickly. It’s a FREE 2-day course being hosted by the Melbourne Business School with three dates on offer in June and October 2018 plus March 2019. This course will address mature B2B sales processes. You will absolutely walk away with a fresh approach and techniques to facilitate and execute sales with customers.

Startups, if you are in Victoria, we’d be delighted to extend an invitation to attend. This may be something for yourself or your team – feel free to register or take a look at the course content. It is filling fast.


Leslie Barry, Founder, Exponential Innovation

Methodologies such as the Lean Startup, Lean Canvas, Pretotyping and Stanford’s Design Thinking process are second nature to Leslie. Having worked in Australia, the UK, South Africa and India, Leslie founded Exponential Innovation to coach corporate innovators and Scaleups to deliver meaningful innovation outcomes.


Tell us what gets you firing every morning?

Do MEXS – Meditate, Eat Well, eXercise listening to podcasts (a16z), Sleep well.

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

All the founders grinding away quietly every day trying to change the world. Most will fail but all will learn exponentially.

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

People bringing 100% of themselves every day because what they do matters. Very little time for BS.

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

Keep it simple and sharpen the sword every day – be good at one thing and become the expert in a niche area. Die curious.

Tell us something people don’t know about you?

I saw a live Space Shuttle launch in 2000 at Cape Canaveral. Mission number STS-99 Feb 11 2000. Earth shattering awesomeness.


Melissa Webster, CEO, SleepFit

An alumni of the HCF Catalyst 3 Accelerator Program, SleepFit work with employers, insurance companies and health wellbeing providers to improve sleep outcomes through personalised awareness, education, screening, diagnosis and treatment programs.


Tell us what gets you firing every morning?

I am a TERRIBLE morning person, so taken literally, that is possibly the worst question to ask me. Everyone knows that if they need structured thoughts, feedback or ideas, don’t come near Mel until around 10am. I wish it was different! But when the question is “what fires me up” well it’s absolutely a passion to make a change to people’s lives in the area of sleep, learn from my team and innovate daily.

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

Twiggy Forrest, business man and philanthropist and all-round amazing human being. I am also lucky to have shareholders that have been very successful commercially who motivate me.

Who have been the greatest influencers in your career?

My early life has probably had the biggest impact on my career and becoming an entrepreneur. As a young girl I had two major influencers, my Dad and my maths teacher. My maths teacher, Ron Moroney, was one in a million. He had moved from an elite Sydney boys school to a fledgling 4-year-old co-ed high school. He mentored us, in a town where people didn’t always make it to year 12, to believe we could achieve anything. No matter how early we got to school, he was always there with his door wide open. He helped us believe anything was possible, no matter what.

My Dad on the other hand taught me persistence and delayed gratification. We were far from wealthy, yet my father loved horses and was passionate about show jumping. I grew up competing from the age of 6 and was travelling the eastern seaboard by the time I was 11. I would be competing against kids with all the resources in the world, but Dad would always remind me that if I worked harder and didn’t give up, I would come out on top.

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

You will make mistakes and it’s okay. You will make hiring, strategy, pricing mistakes, you will say something you maybe shouldn’t have, you will stuff up occasionally. It’s pushing through that fear to keep going.

Tell us something people don’t know about you?

I have represented 2 countries in 3 different sports. Australia for show jumping and Singapore for rugby and Gaelic football – go figure!


Caltex Spark Demo Day
5.30pm Wednesday 1 August

Masterclass in B2B sales
June, October & March 2019


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