Australian start up accelerator muru-D and New Zealand business growth hub, The Icehouse, have formed a trans-Tasman partnership to spur innovation across the region.
The agreement will see muru-D and The Icehouse share best practice acceleration principles, connect Australian and New Zealand start-ups and mentors, and expand their business networks by fast-tracking access to potential investors and customers.
Co-Founder of the Telstra backed, muru-D, Annie Parker, said New Zealand was well-known for its healthy entrepreneurial environment.
"So it made sense for us to look across the Tasman for our first global partnership," she said.
"In today’s global economy we cannot operate in isolation; we’re confident this partnership will help us secure and encourage the best entrepreneurial talent.
She said the partnership would substantially increase the number of opportunities for both the accelerator's current class and alumni, as The Icehouse gives access to its network of investors.
"The opportunities the muru-D start-ups can tap into through The Icehouse, particularly those seeking investors for Series A funding, are tremendous,” she said.
"As one of the longest standing hubs in New Zealand, The Icehouse has been supporting owner-managers and entrepreneurs, shaping the future of New Zealand, for over a decade."
Icehouse chief executive, Andy Hamilton, said, over the past 14 years, his organisation had helped more than 250 start-ups to raise $117m of funding, with nearly 50 per cent of the funding coming from its angel investor network, ICE Angels.Read more: Samsung Galaxy S6, S6 Edge pricing: Vodafone vs Optus vs Telstra vs Virgin
“We’ve been very impressed with the calibre of muru-D’s start-ups and the ecosystem it has built to support them," he said.
"We’re keen to leverage its excellent business and technology relationships and share our learnings, so that together we can help attract the best investors for our communities."
Telstra software group president, Charlotte Yarkoni, said, "in addition to our recent overseas investments, for example Silicon Valley-based video delivery platform Ooyala, the strategic partnerships muru-D are undertaking are key as we build a thriving global ecosystem of entrepreneurs,” she said.
After six months of intensive workshops, mentoring sessions, a trip to China and many business pitches, the second class of muru-D start-ups are coming to the end of their acceleration journey.