Job search giant Seek invests in Sydney startup accelerator to tackle “threats in HR”

Seek and Hudson have partnered with a Sydney start-up accelerator to spot and correct “threats in HR”

Seek and Hudson have provided financial backing to be “platinum partners” in the program, along with the University of Technology Sydney, which is a “silver partner”.

According to Fairfax, Seek has invested $200,000 into the program, however Slingshot has declined to disclose the investments made by the other partners.

Beginning in March, the 12-week program, will involve high-growth ventures and entrepreneurs with innovative solutions, working with the corporate firms to optimise their large workforces.

Slingshot chief executive Karen Lawson told StartUpSmart, “It’s really about finding the most amazing disruptive startups all around human capital, the future of work, the catalyzation of the workforce, looking at the employee experience, looking at the experience of employers, looking at technology [like] AI, VR,”

Slingshot’s investment fund will provide startups in the program, with up to $50,000, in return for 10% equity in the business.

A structured curriculum will also be adhered to, which will cover business modelling, traction and investor-readiness, and work with mentors like Lean Startup Canvas creator Ash Maurya.

The program will accept around 10 to 12 startups or scale-ups, with Lawson stating that Slingshot’s definition of the latter is more aggressive than global standards and that they will be focusing on three-year-old businesses that can demonstrate 10% month-on-month growth in revenue.

Founders will retain full control of their ventures and where they choose to take it after completing the accelerator, however Seek and Hudson will have a strong influence on the type of startups that are accepted into the program, Lawson says.

“IP is completely owned by the startups, it’s their business, they’re growing it,” Lawson says.

Startups will receive a market valuation set by three institutional investors, on completion of the Human Capital program.

“The platinum partner is able to exercise a warrant for a discount for investment in the startup,” she says.

“We normally find [in] every single accelerator that we run, the corporate is interested in investing in a couple of the companies.”

The combined market capitalisation of its alumni startups and scale-ups is now over $40 million, with over 80% still active or acquired.

Andrew Bassat , Seek chief executive and co-founder, said in a statement the tech giant hopes to be a valuable resource for the program’s participants given its own journey from a start-up to a public company with a market capitalisation of $5 billion.

“We believe that Seek has much to offer the next generation of high growth companies,” Bassat said.

“Through this program, Seek will look to share its experience, and hopefully find opportunities to help ‘scale up’ new businesses via our relationships with over 700,000 hirers and 150 million candidates.”


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