CBA’s x15ventures announces the return of Xccelerate

CBA’s x15ventures announces the return of Xccelerate

Commonwealth Bank’s venture-scaling arm x15ventures today announced the return of Xccelerate, a high touch, high-impact program that provides founders access to mentors and experts, helping them accelerate the growth of their business and understand the pathway to corporate partnership.

Opening for applications on 1 August 2022, Xccelerate 2022 will focus on start-ups shaping the future of Australian payments and will culminate in the five most promising start-ups pitching to an investment committee from x15, CBA and additional Australian CVCs and VCs.

Toby Norton-Smith, Managing Director, x15ventures, said, “Xccelerate 2022 is an investment program for founders interested in scaling their businesses with enterprise partners. Early investment has the potential to unlock a long-term strategic relationship with one of Australia’s best-known institutions and gives ventures the impetus to develop their enterprise strategy and readiness. From an early investment, ventures can deepen their relationship with CBA, with potential for further investment, opening a pathway to distribution, integration, and other strategic benefits.

“Payments are infrastructure – this is a blessing and a curse for any start-up – the benefits of delivering new innovation are enormous as they cut across the economy, but the threshold for getting it right is equally high. This is why enterprise partnership could be one way to remove some risk for founders. We’re looking forward to receiving high-calibre applications.”

The three-part Xccelerate program will help early-stage teams understand how to navigate enterprise sales and strategic partnerships for early-stage ventures; connect with experts in fields such as risk, legal, cyber and marketing; and pitch for funding that can help facilitate a pathway to a strategic partnership with CBA via x15.

Laura Faulconer, Portfolio Director, x15ventures, said, “For this year’s Xccelerate we’re interested in teams innovating anywhere across the payments ecosystem, in areas like making payments more efficient and intelligent, solving cash flow challenges for small businesses, or providing value-add services at the point-of-sale.

“As long as there’s the potential to accelerate the future of payments here in Australia, and the team has the aspiration to scale with support from a large corporate like CBA, we’d love to hear from them. And, after two years of Xccelerate being a virtual-only event, we’re really pleased to be able to offer this year’s applicants the chance to join us for a series of in-person workshops, mentoring sessions, and panel discussions.

“We recognise that now, in the current tech funding market, Xccelerate has a valuable role to play in sourcing funding for ventures in partnership with other VCs and in helping them quickly determine if enterprise partnership is a viable pathway, or a distraction to avoid at their stage.”

What’s involved?

Applications for Xccelerate 2022 opened on Monday 1 August, and close Thursday 1 September 2022.

Interested parties should first check they meet the program entry requirements before applying and submitting their pitch deck.

Shortlisted applicants will be invited to a 30-minute virtual meeting with a member of the x15 Portfolio team, intended to dive deeper into their venture, with 15 to 20 teams selected to progress to the Xccelerate Community Day on 13 September. This will feature curated panels, networking opportunities (including with previous Xccelerate alumni), and mentoring with domain experts from x15, x15 venture MDs, CBA and the wider industry to help enhance applicants’ business propositions, and stress-tests their venture in the right environments.

From 15-20 teams at the Xccelerate Community Day, a final five will be chosen to enter the Partnership Pathway Day on 20 September, where they will learn more about what a strategic partnership with a corporate institution looks like, and how to position their venture for success, before going on to the Investment Pitch Night on 22 September, where one or more will secure investment.

All Xccelerate 2022 events will be held in person at the x15 campus “xBase” in South Eveleigh, Sydney, New South Wales. The Community Day and Investment Pitch Night will also support teams joining virtually to accommodate those not based in Sydney, or unable to travel.

Previous Xccelerate alumni include givvable (winner in 2020), OwnHome (winner of the second Xccelerate cohort in 2020) and Splashup (winner in 2021).

Key dates

Monday 1 August – Applications open
Thursday 1 September – Applications close
Tuesday 13 September – Community Day
Tuesday 20 September – Strategic Partnerships Pathway Day
Thursday 22 September – Investment Pitch Night