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Press release: Telstra introduces muru-D class #2

Custom surfboards using 3D modelling, a social platform for travel experiences and a digital marketplace for freight transporters are just a few of the innovative ideas that have been selected to enter the second round of muru-D.

The class #2 intake includes three female CEOs, two female CTOs and more than eight nationalities represented with founders from Iran, China, Argentina, Brazil, Zimbabwe, the US & UK and of course Australia.  The breadth of industries is again diverse, with businesses from the sport, education, travel, hospitality, sustainability and technology sectors.

Powered by Telstra, muru-D provides $40,000 seed capital investment in return for six per cent equity in the business. The accelerator is a unique opportunity for start-ups to access six months of business support, a collaborative workspace, mentoring and coaching to help them grow, develop and expand.

Telstra’s commitment to the start-up ecosystem through muru-D was highlighted with two of the teams who made the final stages of the Class #1 selection process, returning triumphant for Class #2. Both companies took on board valuable feedback provided to them by muru-D and stayed in close contact with coaches throughout the academy.

Ann Parker, muru-D Co-founder, said, “Yet again, we’ve been able to uncover world class entrepreneurial talent and are delighted with the quality of applicants coming into the academy. We’ve seen just how significant this experience has been for our first round graduates and we can’t wait to get class #2 underway.

“We were bowled over to see some of the applicants from round one actively take on board our feedback and return again with a stronger offer. From a personal perspective, I’m thrilled to see such a strong representation of women in technology coming through the muru-D doors. It’s refreshing and such a positive message to send to the wider business community,” Ann adds.

Charlotte Yarkoni, Executive Director, Telstra Software Group and muru-D Co-founder said, “Nurturing innovation within Australia is critical to ensure we’re continuing to fuel our economy with exciting and disruptive technology companies. If we don’t innovate, we risk becoming irrelevant. It’s a priority for Telstra and we’re starting to see it become a priority for more and more organisations, which is very exciting for everyone involved in the business.

“Telstra is fully committed to supporting and growing entrepreneurial talent and giving those founders the platform they need to develop their ideas and better their chance of growth and success both in Australia and on the international stage. muru-D is going from strength to strength and we’re confident many of the businesses going through the program will be part of a bright future.”

  • FanFuel – a sponsorship marketplace where brands search, measure and secure their sponsorship deal
  • FreightExchange – a digital marketplace for freight transporters to sell their unused capacity to businesses that need to ship goods
  • Wattblock – quick, customised, web-based energy saving roadmaps for residential and commercial strata buildings
  • Disrupt Surfing – custom surfboards made using 3D modelling
  • You Chews – an online catering platform, making it easy to find great food for meetings and events
  • TripALocal – an online platform that connects travellers with local hosts for authentic local experiences
  • Peep Digital – an intelligent, phonetic English technology platform to help children, youths and adults struggling with English pronunciation and comprehension
  • VClass – the first ever hybrid education platform that combines the power of Internet, VoIP and traditional pen and paper to create an online teaching experience like face to face
  • Instrument Works – developers of wireless, portable sensors and instruments to build the internet of things for research.
  • CrowdSourceHire – a pre-hire assessments marketplace platform that crowdsources industry experts to assist with assessment of jobs for companies.
  • SoccerBrain – making it easy for anyone to coach a team, providing tailored, interactive training sessions week-by-week for coaches and players.

Liz Kaelin, CEO, You Chews said, “Last time we were told to hire a CTO and we did! We simply wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for the continued support and mentoring that the muru-D team gave us in round one. They inspired us to come back bigger and better and now we’re here – we couldn’t be more excited.”

Cate Hull, CEO, Freight Exchange said, “When we first applied for muru-D our idea was still in its infancy. After spending just two days at the muru-D bootcamp we accelerated our plans and progress more than we would have ever imagined. We’re now ready to learn from the best and are excited for the possibilities ahead.”


Media contact: Dave Taylor, 0405228974


Media ref: 204/2014