Telstra accelerates vision for local innovation

Media Release, 29 October 2013

Local innovators and entrepreneurs will benefit from a new Telstra sponsored start-up accelerator program, muru-D .

muru-D will foster local technology innovation, by identifying and supporting start-ups to develop their products and services.

Telstra Group Managing Director, Innovation, Products and Marketing, Kate McKenzie, said the program would identify, grow and retain unique entrepreneurial talent to drive technology-based economic development and help build a clever Australia.

“Industry is increasingly reliant on the online environment to be successful. For Australia to remain a leader in the digital economy we must ensure we’re consistently nurturing local innovation,” Ms McKenzie said.

“muru-D will be a new place for technology start-ups to access investment opportunities and business assistance in their crucial acceleration phase, so they can bring their products and services to a global market.

“Our best talent and brightest ideas will be identified to participate through a competitive application process, which is open now to any company throughout the Asia Pacific region with a significant digital idea.

“Up to 10 successful companies will be selected to participate in a six month long funded incubation program twice a year. Benefits include access to business mentors and coaches, introductions to Telstra’s partners and suppliers, and finally participation in a demonstration day for media and investors, with the aim of raising their seed or Series A funding.”

The accelerator program will support Telstra’s business broadly while also providing a good source for growth initiatives including the Global Applications and Platforms (GAP) line of business and industry vertical solutions portfolio.

“This new initiative will address an identified need to accelerate the use of technology in local industry to ensure Australia maintains its strong global economic position,” Ms McKenzie said.

muru-D will be led by Co-Founder, Ann Parker. Ann joins Telstra from Telefonica, where she was the Head of Operations for its digital start up accelerator program – Wayra.

Ms Parker said muru-D would give up to 10 local start-ups access to a unique opportunity to see if their business idea can go global.

“For some of these companies, this will be a life changing experience,” she said. “We will do everything we can to support them on their way and we’re doing it here in Australia to ensure we retain our best talent.

“With muru-D, we hope to foster a vibrant start-up community and grow a pipeline of promising Australian technology companies.

“We must be visionary to cultivate talent in the local technology industry, and nimble to adapt in a rapidly changing marketplace.

“This new accelerator program, based in Paddington, New South Wales, will draw on the expertise of leading local businesses and will offer start-ups a real opportunity for business success,” Ms Parker said.

Applications are open now on the muru-d website.

1 Derived from the Eora Nation, muru-D comes from ‘muru’, an indigenous word which means ‘road to’ and ‘D’ stands for ‘Digital’.