Media Release, 14 August 2017

Technologies that will transform the agriculture, aged care, consumer electronics and food production industries are front and centre of the first muru-D Melbourne cohort.

The four successful startups have been offered $75,000 upfront in seed capital investment and will benefit from a highly developed network of mentors and industry professionals.

muru-D Melbourne Entrepreneur-in-Residence Marc van Hoof said that the first Melbourne cohort represents a diverse range of businesses that are all focused on developing solutions that will have a real impact in their respective industries and on the IoT ecosystem as a whole.

“We received in more than 75 applications and we were overwhelmed by the strength of the companies across the board, so whittling down the list was a challenging ask,” Mr van Hoof said.

“We’re confident that the startups we selected are best positioned to benefit from muru-D’s experienced team of entrepreneurs, startup and technology professionals, and our mentor and investor network. They are strong diverse teams with the skills and potential to build global companies.

“As our first Melbourne cohort, I’m excited to help guide these founders to help them get the most out of the program and accelerate their businesses to the next stage.”

The muru-D funding model is based on a SAFE convertible note, made popular in the USA, which means that Telstra no longer takes a fixed equity stake in any company at the outset, rather this is determined by the company’s market value after the program.

Based at Telstra Labs Melbourne, the #MEL1 cohort will have access to Telstra’s integrated innovation capabilities, including the Open IoT Lab.

The four startups accepted into the #MEL1 program are:

  • Smart Paddock is a farm management tool that will modernise the global livestock industry through intelligent data analysis, utilising IoT data straight from the pasture in order to increase production efficiency, and improve animal health and well-being.
  • Alpha Centauri’s mission is to solve problems fundamental to human progress, with the cheap and sustainable production of food for all, chief amongst these.
  • Moduware is the modular technology movement. Moduware creates phone cases and power banks to extend the hardware and software capabilities of your smartphone. As a maker and IoT platform, Moduware allows developers to build their own module and write apps for existing ones.
  • Sofihub is a hardware and AI platform using IoT sensors to learn what is normal in elderly residents’ homes. Once normal is known Sofihub will be able to identify "abnormal" events and trigger an alert automatically. It's unique because the primary interface is via voice and it doesn’t require the resident to wear or carry a device.

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Media contact: Michael Zappone +61 438 004 959,

Reference: 088/2017.