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The energy of muru-D’s offices in Paddington, in the eastern suburbs of Sydney, is infectious. Passion pours out of every corner and speaking to staff gives you the feeling that anything’s possible if you’re given the right people, the right resources and the space to do it in.

The mindset that anything is possible is no more prevalent than that of co-founder of muru-D, Annie Parker, who left London for the opportunity to grow the Aussie start up ecosystem and “decide what the DNA of the organisation is going to be”.

Nearly two years on, the startup accelerator is expanding in Australia and internationally. Domestically, a pilot was recently launched with River City Labs in Brisbane. Internationally, muru-D opened an office in Singapore with full six-month program and also established a resource-sharing partnership in New Zealand.


They’ve had two classes of digital talent go through the program in Sydney, with applications open for a third in October 2015. The team’s put close to a million dollars into Australia’s emerging businesses and connected them with more than 100 mentors including some of the country’s top legal eagles, marketing guns, angel investors and CEOs. Building Community

“You’ve got governments who are supportive in terms of making it easy for you to register your business, maybe some early stage tax breaks to get you going, angel investors who put their money in … you’ve got all of these different parts of the ecosystems and they are all playing together.”

“If you’ve got first time entrepreneurs, the value of the mentorship advice and support is even greater, it is almost imperative. So some of the rally cry within Telstra to Telstra’s customers, partners and suppliers is ‘get involved’… If you can only give an hour or half an hour, do it.

“Being able to tap into that network of mentors who are five or six years ahead, they have made mistakes and great decisions, and we can tap into that to bring those people in as mentors, and investors eventually as well. That’s a huge asset for us.” The muru-D Method

“In fairness it isn’t really rocket science, there is a lot of common sense there: we hold teams to account, keep them to the right milestone plans, business plans, and making sure that they are managing their cash flow so that they don’t burn out before they get their next round of funding.”

But at its core, she emphasises, the program is tailored to each startup and centres around giving them access to people who can help make their dreams happen, as well as ongoing support when the program is finished. And that’s as much about emotional support as financial.

“[Many of the] entrepreneurs who have gone through the program have quit a day job, taken on an enormous amount of risk… not least because they probably now have investors that they are accountable to, but have probably got employees who have also jumped with them and taken the risk.

At its core, muru-D is investing in the future of Aussie business. And beyond obvious growth areas such as the Internet Of Things and enterprise and B2B applications that are easier to monetise, Annie’s prediction for growth is in agriculture.

“If you look at it from an agricultural sense, what we have is vast expanses of land, difficult terrain, difficult weather conditions. If you can prove your technology works in a farm here in Australia, you have pretty much proven it can work anywhere.