180 days to go. The accelerator countdown to take-off and how we got here.

The stage lights were dim as purple lasers danced across the stage. The auditorium was silent just moments before the sound of our entrance music began. I can’t remember exactly the type of generic electro that beamed through the speakers that night, but I do remember it wasn’t Cars by Gary Numan. A track we’d planned previously.

Though without falter, I stepped out onto the stage and into the spotlight of what would be our first public pitch for Carisma.
An audience eagerly looked on, waiting with anticipation to hear our plans for world domination.

This was, of course, demo-day for the first batch of Collidees — the inaugural batch of startups through the QUT Creative Enterprise Australia, Collider Accelerator.

Collider is a 3–5-month accelerator program that looks for early-stage Creative Tech startups that will have a global impact. It’s located in the heart of QUT’s Kelvin Grove campus for Creative Industries (essentially Brisbane, Queensland for those less acquainted with the geography).

One of the guests in the audience that night was Mike Knapp. Knapp co-founded Aussie success Shoes of Prey so suffice to say, he’s certainly earned his fair share of respect and clout in the startup ecosystem. Mike had a brief chat with us afterward and suggested we apply for the third cohort of the upcoming River City Labs accelerator, powered by muru-D.

Hah.

Whilst humbled, beer in hand, the last thing Lloyd (Co-founder and Lead Designer), Johan (CTO) and myself (CEO) are thinking is, “wouldn’t it be great if we joined another accelerator?”After all, we’ve just been through one. Shouldn’t we be…accelerated?

In short — yes. Absolutely.

Whilst we don’t yet have a business worth gazillions or growth metrics that would make U.S Venture Capitalists blush, we do have a business that is further along today than it would have been without Collider.

We can’t thank the amazing team at QUT Creative Enterprise Australia enough for the continued mentorship, advice and support along the way.

This isn’t an Oscars acceptance speech so you’ll find a few short thank-you’s at the bottom of this post. I’ll write a more in-depth recap of the Collider program at a later date, but for now…

Read more here.

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