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CBA's x15ventures zeroes in on 10 startups to join Xccelerate programme

Source: Commonwealth Bank of Australia

x15ventures – Commonwealth Bank’s venture building entity – has rounded up 10 of the country’s best start-ups as part of its new Xccelerate program.

Commonwealth Bank’s venture building entity, x15ventures, is on the hunt for its newest start-up, hosting its second Xccelerate program this year.

Xccelerate is a virtual pitch program that gives start-ups the chance to develop and pitch their businesses to receive funding, mentoring and support through x15ventures.

More than 80 start-ups applied to be part of the event, with the top 10 companies selected to attend the Community Days.
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“The Community Days are a concentrated, high-impact program where the participants are supported to supercharge their growth trajectory,” x15ventures’ head of consumer portfolio, Simon Gireau, said.

Over two days, the top 10 start-ups are given the opportunity to refine their proposition through mentoring and coaching sessions with x15ventures and its strategic partners, Microsoft, Square Peg, Innovation Bay and KPMG .

Mr Gireau said x15ventures considered a number of different factors when determining which start-ups would be part of Xccelerate’s Community Days.

“When choosing the start-ups, we look at the uniqueness and defensibility of the customer value proposition, the teams’ domain expertise, early traction, commercial opportunities, and of course the fit with x15 and CBA,” he said.

One of the start-ups to make this year’s top 10 is OwnHome - a start-up with a mission to turn renters into homeowners.

One of OwnHome’s co-founders, James Bowe, said the company is committed to helping young Australians get their foot on the property ladder by purchasing a home on their behalf.

In a nutshell, OwnHome buys a property for the customer. This customer is able to move into the home straight away and simply make a monthly payment to OwnHome. Within the first two to five years, the customer is able to buy the property off OwnHome at a pre-arranged price.

“We want to give Australians certainty so the property market doesn’t keep running away from them forever,” he said.

This commitment to helping Australians achieve their dream of property ownership is what drove the organisation to apply to be part of the Xccelerate event.

“The bank has all of these unique capabilities we can leverage,” OwnHome’s other co-founder Tim Harley said.

“We can’t achieve our mission off our own financial means. We’re looking to connect with a partner who can provide growth accelerant to achieve our mission of turning renters into homeowners.

“Over the Community Days, we heard from x15ventures and their strategic partners about the importance of building good customer relationships and connecting with customers via their channel of choice.

“x15 has built a great team with some battle scars who can really walk the talk and provide great counsel, and that’s what I’ve witnessed over the past few days.”

Following the Community Days, the top 10 are narrowed down to just four organisations who will be invited to pitch to CommBank’s investment committee on November 26, where a winner will be selected and awarded $150,000 in funding.

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