Startmate at Sunrise: Demo Day unveils 10 promising new startups


Startmate has invested in 230+ startups worth $3.5 billion since its inception in 2011. Here are the 10 companies to graduate from the 2024 cohort, now pushing forward into the growing Australian entrepreneurship ecosystem.

It started with DJ Lil VC spinning beats and ended with a conga line to the pub.

Startmate Demo Day (that was actually demo night) kicked off with a bang at Blackbird‘s annual Sunrise Ideas and Innovation festival.

The founders from 10 startups took the stage at Carriageworks in Sydney, to present the problem they are tackling, solution they are building, traction they have achieved, and call to action they need answered to keep growing.

The cohort has participated in a 12-week program designed to accelerate startup growth. It’s a formula designed by US accelerator Y Combinator, and refined for the Australian startup ecosystem by Blackbird partner and Startmate founder Niki Scevak. Initiated in 2011 by Scevak and Atlassian cofounders Mike Cannon-Brooks and Scott Farquhar, Startmate has achieved impressive results.

It is in the top quartile of fund performance globally, according to Startmate CEO Michael Batko. 50% of companies raise capital after going through the accelerator program. Since 2022, the median size of the post-accelerator raise is $1.8 million.

However, according to the CEO, the 12-week Startmate journey is no walk in the park for founders.

“Behind the scenes of a Demo Day are nerves, sweat and tears,” says Batko.

“I have immense respect for the founders who are giving their all to solve a real customer problem. It is a lifetime of agonising about a customer problem they can’t live with and all the naysayers telling you all the reasons why it won’t work. Years of work, putting your savings on the line, relocating families, building beautiful products.”

NSW Minister for Innovation Science and Technology, Anoulack Chanthivong, introduced the demos on-stage, giving special mention to 6 of the 10 startups having female founders. He noted there is still work to be done to achieve gender parity in the startup ecosystem.

“We can do better and I know we will do better when it comes to supporting female founders,” Minister Chanthivong said on stage.

“Fantastic to see the brilliant innovations coming out of the Summer24 Startmate graduates,” he wrote in a later statement. “The NSW Government is proud to support this event which puts their cutting-edge solutions centre stage for consideration by our leading venture capital firms and savvy investors.”

The Startmate founder journey

Once selected for the program, companies receive $120,000, designed to provide six months of runway while founders build their businesses and prepare for a funding round. In exchange, Startmate takes 7.5% equity in the startups, at a $1.5 million post-money valuation.

Mentorship throughout the program is provided by an impressive roster of insiders from SquarePeg, Flying Fox, Rampersand, Culture Amp, ArchAngel, Blackbird, AirBNB, Tesla, Canva, Aussie Angels, Skip Capital, and Folklore among others.

The 3-month program culminates in Demo Day – where founders present their startup on stage. This year is the first time the accelerator founders have presented at Sunrise. More than 1,100 people attended the soldout Startmate event to meet the 2024 summer cohort.


AI-powered Co-pilot for allied health professionals cutting down report-writing time by 80%.

Growth story: The company has grown 4.6x from $23,000 ARR to $106,000 ARR in the last 3 months, without spending a dollar on advertisement.

What’s next? Raising $1.5 million and looking for partnerships.

James McArthur, founder of Venu, presents at Startmate Demo Day, May 2024.

One rewards club for every restaurant, bar, and café, linked to a payment card through the payment terminal.

Growth story: Minimum viable product launched 7 weeks ago. 21 paying businesses signed up.

What’s next? Raising $1.5m pre-seed round.


KiwiFibre is a harakeke fibre composite material, directly replacing carbon fibre in anything from race cars to snowboards, solving technical and environmental issues of global industries.

Growth story: 35 manufacturers have signed up. 117% average month-over-month growth in orders since January.

What’s next? KiwiFibre is looking to raise $1 million by June.


Monitoring the condition of train networks using sensors fitted on trains.

Growth story: 30% increase in ARR to $1.1 million over 12 weeks.

What’s next? Raising $3 million seed round.

The Startmate summer 2024 cohort on stage at Carriageworks in Sydney.  
Graphics et al

Empowering health professionals with live diagrams and animations to improve patient education.

Growth story: 2.2x revenue growth: $330k to $670k (pilots to contracts.) 690,000 global users in public and private health organisations.

What’s next? Raising $2m to support UK and US market entry in June.


Giving farmers the tools to turn rocks into carbon-removing fertiliser to improve their margins by 65%.

Growth story: $0 to $50,000 in revenue in 8 weeks. Secured $600,000 in non-dilutive funding from US and QLD Govt and received a $1 million letter of intent to grow sugarcane.

What’s next? Raising $1.5 million seed round. Aiming for $1 million revenue by December ’24.


A microlearning app transforming how people learn, grow and engage at work.

Growth story:  On track to increase revenue 3x year over year.

What’s next? Raising $500,000 seed round. 

Startmate accelerator alumni Kite Therapy raised from Flying Fox, Launch Vic and Startmate this week.
Kite Therapy

Making early childhood therapy more affordable and accessible by empowering caregivers to deliver therapy.

Growth story: Expanded therapy team and 4x revenue in 12 weeks.

What’s next: Accelerate adoption by families with young autistic children looking for support.


Predicting e-commerce order fulfilment issues and preventing online shopper complaints before they happen.

Growth story: Launched pilot, and onboarded five brands. ARR increased from $0 to $79,000 post-pilot.

What’s next? Raising $1 million – more than half is already committed.


Bringing wireless charging to any device, from small IOT to large autonomous robots, while delivering 10x more power.

Growth story: Pivoted to wireless charging platform. In commercial discussions with 6 companies in Australia, Europe and the US.

What’s next? Accelerating adoption in IoT, drones and robotics.

Applications for the Startmate July – October accelerator are now open. The Startmate x Aussie Angels syndicate is also open for investment. It has 50+ commitments so far.

Startmate Demo Day is now a part of Blackbird Sunrise. Pictured are NSW startup founders with Startmate CEO Michael Batko and the NSW Minister for Innovation, Anoulack Chanthivong,

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