Business Alerts by Chrissie Cluney

  • Techstars Starts New Startup Accelerator in Paris

Techstars, a global startup ecosystem, has funded a new startup accelerator program in Paris, France. This new program is co-funded by VC firm Partech Ventures.

“I’m happy to announce that we’re launching the first program in France, Techstars Paris,” said Bertier Luyt, managing director, Techstars. “It is a ‘city program’, a program without any specific industry focus, very broad and open.”

The first round will begin in September 2017 and the application process should begin soon. If an applicant gets selected, they will receive $120,000 in funding. Also Techstars will take a 6 percent stake in their company. The good thing is that this program isn’t restricted to French startups. Any entrepreneur who wants to spend some time in Paris can apply.

Techstars has many different programs around the world. The most famous ones are the city programs in NYC, Boulder, Colorado and Boston, Massachusetts. The company also partners with big companies, such as Disney, Barclays and others to run accelerators for them. This allows those programs to create a healthy revenue stream.

Techstars is working with big companies in France. Partech made some introductions for Techstars, and it turns out that Air Liquide, Française des Jeux, Groupama, Renault and Total are all Techstars Paris partners.

“After the batch, we develop another program for Techstars Paris partners, for their teams and employees,” said Luyt. “The first program is scheduled for the first quarter of 2018.” This allows the French giants like Total and Renault to get to know how startups actually work.

The launch of Techstars Paris is a good sign for the French tech ecosystem. There are already many different accelerators in France, but the Techstars brand is stronger than many of those.


  • TBWA Sydney and GoDaddy launching first all-Aussie campaign

TBWA Sydney and GoDaddy are joining forces for a new all-Aussie campaign. “Cursor Man” is an ad campaign featuring a small business set up like an actual computer, complete with folders and a cursor. The campaign hopes to show the convenience of GoDaddy technology in setting up a website.

“We wanted to create a campaign that clearly shows that you don’t need to rely on tech-savvy relatives or expensive technology to get your business up and running on the web: it takes less than an hour to establish a website that can deliver real value,” said Tara Commerford, vice president and managing director, GoDaddy ANZ.

The campaign is the result of a recent study from GoDaddy. It found that 61% of small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) still don’t have a website, yet 70% of them want one in the future.

“In this campaign, we wanted to capture the ambition and attitude that drive Aussie SMBs, and show them how they can channel those traits into an online business,” said Derek Craig, marketing director, GoDaddy.

“Cursor Man” is humorous and somewhat unusual. This makes the ad campaign a departure from the infamously controversial American GoDaddy ads of the past.


  • London ‘Proptech’ Startup, Nested Raises $9,985,600

Nested, a London startup company has raised 8 millions pounds, which is equivalent to $9,985,600 in US currency. Nested promises to sell houses within 90 days. If they don’t accomplish this goal they offer their client a cash advance.

“We are already helping 5 people a month within a few months of launching and have many more in the pipeline,” said Matt Robinson, co-founder, Nested. “This meant we broke even in our fourth month of trading with revenue at an annual run-rate of more than £1 million.”

Launched in January 2016 by Robinson and Tim Bunting, the company operates similarly to a traditional estate agent to help people sell their houses, but with a difference. In addition to providing a valuation, marketing and sales service, the startup guarantees to sell their clients property for 95-98 percent of market value within 90 days, or they’ll offer them the cash themselves instead. That’s made possible because of how confident the company is in the technology and data that it can price a property accurately enough in the first place. Nested has gotten assistance from Passion Capital who have led the round, with participation from Rocket Internet’s venture arm Global Founders Capital (GFC).

If Nested achieves a higher sale price than the one it guaranteed and offered, either before or after the 90-day window, the company will split the difference, up to 70/30 in favor of the property owner. This keeps the interests of both parties aligned.

What’s the idea? The idea is to help eliminate the uncertainty when trying to both sell and buy a house. This eliminates being caught up in the dreaded property ‘chain,’ which means the client potentially misses out on their desired home, or are kept in limbo indefinitely waiting for their property to sell.

“We are already helping 5 people a month within a few months of launching and have many more in the pipeline,” said Robinson. “This meant we broke even in our fourth month of trading with revenue at an annual run-rate of more than £1 million”.

Nested’s idea is an interested concept. It could revolutionize the real estate industry for a long time.


  • Swinburne University inks Deal with MarTech to Tackle Digital Transformation

Swinburne University of Technology has signed a deal with Adobe to transform its own digital offering. The University will present at MarTech’s conference in May 2017.

“Given our integration of Adobe’s platforms, the design of this major offered by Swinburne aligns to our needs and strengthens the pathway of talent flowing through who are able to really hit the ground running,” said Todd Copeland, acting executive general manger, NAB digital.

A total of 40 students at Swinburne, which ranked within the top 3% of universities globally, as assessed by the Academic Ranking of World Universities, took the course as a major in 2016. The students were trained in areas such as digital analytics, search marketing, social media marketing and video marketing.

“We are committed to providing our students with a cutting-edge education and preparing them to take leading roles in an ever-evolving workforce,” said Scott Thompson-Whiteside, professor and executive dean of the Faculty of Health Arts and Design, Swinburne.

The students of Swinburne are equipped to handle the questions and comments that will be fired at them during the conference. The possible outcome from the conference could raise Swinburne’s ranking in the future.