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Vodafone opens applications for accelerator programme to Kiwi innovators

19 Apr 17

Accelerators are an important launch point for startups, giving them a bigger opportunity to develop their products and scale internationally.

Vodafone has opened applications for its accelerator programme for early and late-stage startups, now in its second year.

Selected companies will receive a package which includes $25,000 in seed funding and access to technology and mentoring as part of a six-month programme.

This year’s programme is particularly interested in companies looking at quickly evolving areas such as health technology, IoT (Internet of Things), artificial intelligence, or big data.

Companies selected to participate in Vodafone xone last year have generated $9million in new revenue, attracted $7million in capital funding, created 25 new jobs, and are now operating in 12 countries, Williams said.

 “We launched Vodafone xone with an ambition to find the best mobile and digital technologies in New Zealand,” Vodafone consumer director Matt Williams says.

Ten companies were selected out of more than 170 applicants from around New Zealand in the last programme.

Christchurch-based company Solar Bright is one of the companies that endorses the accelerator programme.

“It’s opened doors and opportunities that just the two of use couldn’t have accessed without Vodafone xone,” says Solar Bright’s Nicola Martin.

Nicola and Pat Martin developed a smart solar –powered road cat’s eye during their time with Vodafone xone.

Dataeye flashes blue to alert drivers to ice ahead and can transmit the data to land transport agencies so they know where to grit the roads and can issue public warnings.

“To be able to say to agencies around the world that we can give you connectivity with the Dataeye because of our relationship with Vodafone, means they are willing to buy or trial our technology,” Martin says.

“We are excited about the next group of innovators. By partnering with us, we’ll provide access to local expertise and the global Vodafone network.” Williams says.

Applications will be open from April 19th until early May.

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