• Telstra has announced the 10 entrants to its latest startup cohort.
  • They're part of muru-D, Telstra's startup accelerator program.
  • The startups are developing things like tree-planting robots and light aircraft for urban use.

 upshot image of planted trees

Telstra has announced the latest group of startups that will receive $75,000 in seed money, as well as guidance and mentoring from industry experts, as part of their muru-D startup accelerator program.

Included in the cohort are SkyGrow, who plan to combat deforestation with their Growbots that can rapidly plant billions of trees per year; AMSL Aero, who promise to deliver the future of urban transport with two-person aircraft that can take off and land vertically; and Share with Oscar, who are creating an on-demand platform that allows people to share their private parking spaces.

There's a theme running through the group of startups chosen to participate. “It was important to us to select teams that have a social purpose element, using technology in innovative ways to solve real problems and create solutions for societies today and into the future,” said the head of muru-D, Julie Trell.

muru-D launched in 2013 and aims to help develop startups that are using technology to solve challenging global problems. As well as the seed money, each startup chosen in the program has access to a purpose built co-working space, a global network of mentors, alumni, investors and partners, an international trip to a startup hub, and more. "muru" is the Sydney Aboriginal Eora word meaning “path”, and the "D" comes from "digital", reflecting their interest in the technological aspect of startups like artificial intellgence, virtual reality, or robotics.

Below is the full list of startups that were chosen for the SYD5 program:

  • AMSL Aero are developing an autonomous two seat aircraft that can take off and land vertically and fly horizontally at 300 km per hour, an innovation paving the way for the future of human mobility. It is safer, faster, quieter and less expensive than helicopters.
  • Catalyser's software and services provide customised business solutions for employers of all sizes to manage and grow their employee giving. In the two years since launching, Catalyser has facilitated over $2 million in donations for charities and has over 15,000 employee users in Australia, Asia, and the UK.
  • Cookitoo is a platform for cafes, restaurants and caterers to rent out their unused commercial kitchen space. From commercial cafes in Collingwood to revolutionary restaurants in Redfern, Cookitoo is changing the way food is made and consumed.
  • iCRM is a flexible cloud software platform that integrates with existing health and medical devices to deliver tailor-made care and support plans. iCRM has a mission to improve quality in-home care to the elderly and is already used in over one hundred aged care organisations in Australia.
  • Kiddsbay is the world’s first kid friendly platform that provides every child the opportunity to achieve their dreams by unleashing their entrepreneurial spirit. Kiddsbay provides the platform for kids to launch their on-line business in a safe, fun, educational, global environment that connects communities and allows kids to take charge of their financial wellbeing.
  • Life Skills Group educate and empower children, teachers, schools and families to build a more compassionate, kinder and connected world. They are building a scalable and easily-distributed digital model to deliver wellbeing programs for primary and secondary students, as well as professional development programs for teachers and staff.
  • Neuromersiv are using Virtual Reality to make neuro rehab therapy fun and improve the quality of life for their users. Having a stroke or brain trauma can be life changing for victims and their families. Neuromersiv offers a genuinely innovative solution to get people back on their feet as quickly as possible and lead normal, fulfilling lives again.
  • Share with Oscar is an on-demand platform for sharing private parking spaces. Founded by two female entrepreneurs passionate about finding a sustainable solution to the scarcity issues in our growing urban cities, Share with Oscar’s mobile platform allows the community to better utilise existing assets such as parking spaces through sharing.
  • SkyGrow are combatting the world’s deforestation problem by developing autonomous tree-planting robots (Growbots) that can rapidly plant billions of trees every year on behalf of communities, governments and industry. SkyGrow's tree planting system is ten times faster and 15% cheaper than current methods.
  • vetchat is an online platform connecting pet owners with vets to help their pets in times of need. They deliver easy access to affordable, expert vet advice via one-on-one video consultations and on-demand chat. They have already helped thousands of Aussie pets and their parents.