QUT bluebox Robotics Accelerator

Be part of the future

The accelerator gives you the chance to accelerate your own robotics idea or work with one of Australia’s leading technology commercialisation firms in concert with SoftBank Robotics Corp. on one of their platforms, lus connect with Robotics investors from all over the world. This is your chance to get on board the robotics revolution!

Submit Application

Partners

QUT bluebox Softbank ST Solutions Advacne QLD

The Accelerator

The Robotics Accelerator is a three (3) month intensive startup development program design to assist new robotics ventures in accelerating their entry into the marketplace. The Accelerator is run by QUT bluebox in partnership with Advance Queensland and ST Solution Australia (STSA), a subsidiary of the Softbank Corp.

There are four options you can apply for:

Own Hardware

Bring your own hardware and demonstrate how your robotics innovation can make a difference in the real world.

Pepper

Create an application for Pepper, the humanoid robot that can used in the real world.

QZSS

Utilise QZSS, a satelite system that has potential to increase GPS for a viable business.

AGOOP

Apply AGOOP floating population analytics software for a viable business.

Participating teams gain access to:

  • world class robotics experts,
  • highly experienced industry mentors,
  • cutting edge entrepreneurship education via MOOCs out of MIT
  • $15,000 in funding to bring your visions to reality
  • Four winning teams will receive opportunity to fly to Japan/U.S

Last year’s winners

The teams pitched their startups and the top three team won funding and a trip to Japan to take part in the Pepper App challenge 2017!

The coding and robotics funding supports the government’s broad agenda for digital transformation in Queensland.

Eligibility

To be eligible you must:

  • Have own original idea.
  • Be a team (2 or more).
  • Be able to attend at least 10 out of the 12 workshops from 1 July - 26 September 2018
  • If you are not using your own hardware, your idea must use one of the Softbank applications (Pepper, AGOOP or QZSS) in an innovative way (in any industry).
  • Must be resident of Queensland
  • Must be over 18 years of age.

Important dates

Applications open Monday 23 April 2018.

We will have a number of information sessions and workshops from 23 April to 8 June 2018 so you can find out more about the accelerator, the software and the awesome opportunity available for you and your team.

Applications close on Friday 15 June 2018.

Applicants will be notified of the outcome of their application in by Friday 22 June.

Accelerator starts Monday 2 June 2018 the awesomeness begins

APPLICATIONS OPEN: Monday 23 April 2018

INFORMATION SESSIONS AND WORKSHOPS: Monday 23 April to Friday 8 June 2018

APPLICATIONS CLOSE: Friday 15 June 2018

APPLICANTS NOTIFIED OF OUTCOME: Friday 22 June 2018

QUT BLUEBOX ROBOTICS ACCELERATOR STARTS Monday 2 June 2018

APPLICATIONS OPEN: Monday 23 April 2018

Information Sessions

  • Information session

    Find out about the what accelerator offers and what opportunities are available and what software you can use.

  • Technology Workshop

    Get a hands-on workshop on the Softbank Software you can use, Pepper, QZSS, Agoop.

  • Application Workshop

    Ensure you have the best application with the application worships, fine tune your value proposition

Information Session
Information Session

Tuesday May 1

QUT Gardens Point, D block Room 214

5:30PM-6:30PM

Information Session

Wednesday May 2

Gold Coast

5:30PM-6:30PM

Information Session

Thursday May 3

The Precinct, Level 3 Building/T.C. Beirne Building, 315 Brunswick St, Fortitude Valley QLD

5:30PM-6:30PM

Information Session

Tuesday May 8

QUT Gardens Point, D block Room 214

5:30PM-6:30PM

Information Session

Wednesday May 9

Innovation Centre

5:30PM-6:30PM

Information Session

Thursday May 10

The Precinct, Level 3 Building/T.C. Beirne Building, 315 Brunswick St, Fortitude Valley QLD

5:30PM-6:30PM

Information Session

Tuesday May 15

QUT Gardens Point, D block Room 214

5:30PM-6:30PM

Technology Workshop
Technology Workshop 1

Wednesday May 16

The Precinct, Level 3 Building/T.C. Beirne Building, 315 Brunswick St, Fortitude Valley QLD

5:30PM-6:30PM

Technology Workshop 2

Wednesday May 23

The Precinct, Level 3 Building/T.C. Beirne Building, 315 Brunswick St, Fortitude Valley QLD

5:30PM-6:30PM

Technology Workshop 3

Wednesday May 30

The Precinct, Level 3 Building/T.C. Beirne Building, 315 Brunswick St, Fortitude Valley QLD

5:30PM-6:30PM

Application Workshop
Application Workshop 1

Wednesday June 6

QUT Gardens Point, D block Room 214

5:30PM-6:30PM

Application Workshop 2

Wednesday June 13

QUT Gardens Point, D block Room 214

5:30PM-6:30PM

Applications CLOSE

Friday 15 June

11:59PM

Apply Now

To be eligible to apply you must be a resident of Queensland and over 18 years of age and apply before midnight 15 June 2018.

Please read all the terms and conditions before you apply. Have a look at the FAQ’s for some more information.

To protect the security of our form, please complete the below human check.

Got more questions

Contact Us

Via email:

startup@qutbluebox.com.au
or book some time with our entrepreneurs in residence.

Tim MacTaggart

Chief Extrepreneur-in-Residence

Schedule meeting:

tmactaggart.youcanbook.me

Yotem Rosenbaum

ICT Extrepreneur-in-Residence

Schedule meeting:

yotam.youcanbook.me

How do I apply?

To apply you must:

  1. Read and agree to the terms and conditions
  2. Submit your application

You will need to provide details about your startup, your team and upload a short (no more than three-minutes) video explaining your business.

You can be as creative with your pitch video as you wish.

Who is delivering the accelerator?

The QUT bluebox Robotics Accelerator is brought to you in partnership with Advance Queensland and ST Solutions Australia (STSA), a subsidiary of the SoftBank Corp, and delivered by QUT bluebox, QUT’s innovation company.

Last year we ran Australia’s first robotics dedicated accelerator which saw the successful teams fly to Japan to meet investors and take part in the Pepper challenge.

How do I find out more?

See the FAQ’s. We also have a range of workshops and information sessions from 23 April to 8 June 2018

Frequently Asked Questions

ABOUT THE ACCELERATOR

WHAT IS THE ROBOTICS ACCELERATOR?

The Robotics Accelerator is a 3 month intensive development program designed to assist new robotics ventures in accelerating towards market entry. The Accelerator is being run by QUT bluebox in partnership with Advance Queensland and the Softbank Group.

Who are QUT bluebox, Advance Queensland and the Softbank Group?

QUT bluebox Pty Limited (QUT bluebox) is the innovation and investment transfer company for the Queensland University of Technology (QUT), Australia. QUT bluebox is running the Robotics Accelerator and has co-funded the program.

Advance Queensland is a Queensland Government suite of programs designed to create the knowledge-based jobs of the future, drive productivity improvements and help position the state as an attractive investment destination with a strong innovation and entrepreneurial culture. Advance Queensland has co-funded the program.

The Softbank Group is a global telecommunications and technology corporation in 1981, and headquartered in Tokyo, Japan. Softbank is a partner of the Accelerator program is making its humanoid robotics platform, ‘Pepper’ available as a development platform throughout the program. The local subsidiary of the SoftBank group, ST Solutions Australia, will be the main participant in the program.

WHAT DOES THE ACCELERATOR INVOLVE?

The accelerator program involves working on your robotics accelerator over a three month period, including participating in educational sessions, mentoring and a program ending Demo Day. The program is designed to be flexible so that teams can commit full time, or part time based on other commitments, however funding is contingent upon teams attending 10 of the 12 accelerator days and the program ending Demo Day, as well as achieving reasonable levels of progress throughout the program.

The accelerator days are 9am to 5pm on all Wednesdays from 4th July through to Demo Day on 26th September.

Where will the Accelerator program be held?

The program will be split between QUT Gardens Point the Softbank Pepper Studio located in the Advance Queensland start-up Precinct in Brisbane’s Fortitude Valley.

What makes this program different?

Specialisation

This is Australia’s only accelerator program based purely on robotics applications. With a high degree of specialisation, teams will be able to work with similar start-ups, expert industry mentors and a program aimed solely at creating successful robotics start-ups. With the added benefit of a global multinational corporation in the form of the Softbank Group for Pepper orientated teams, there’s no better place to bring your robotics vision to life!

Mentors

We provide access to guidance and mentorship from QUT bluebox, Softbank and industry leading experts. Their role is to support and challenge your team and you will be matched based on personality fit and development needs.

Funding

Start-ups receive a minimum of $15,000 of funding to participate in the program. This funding is equity free.

Sponsors and Partners

Teams will get access to QUT bluebox's extensive partner network and teams working with SoftBank technologies will be connected to Softbank.

Why should I apply?

This is a unique opportunity to work with one of Australia’s premier technology commercialisation companies, QUT bluebox, along with the program partners, Advance Queensland and the Softbank Group. QUT bluebox has run hardware focussed accelerators for the past four years, creating a range of successful start-ups now in the market. Combined with entrepreneurial education QUT, a sole focus on robotics start-ups and non-equity funding, the Robotics Accelerator program represents a unique opportunity for robotics start-ups to accelerator their development in the market.

WHAT IS EXPECTED OF ME?

As a member of the Accelerator, you will be expected to:

  • Attend scheduled education/workshop sessions and mentoring sessions,
  • Demonstrate regular progress in the development of your idea and your company,
  • Participate in the program ending Demo Day, showcasing your idea to government and industry,
  • Be a positive contributor to other teams and the program in general.

Do I need to quit my day job to participate in the accelerator?

It is not mandatory to be at the accelerator offices for the entire program; the team can choose to use the facilities or not. However, teams must attend a minimum of 10 of the 12 ‘accelerator days’ run on Wednesdays between 4th July and 19th September, as well as attending the program ending Demo Day on 26th September. Start-ups who choose to work out of the accelerator office locations can use them 24x7 and have access to that location’s onsite amenities, which can include free coffee, co-working space and more.

TEAMS & REQUIREMENTS

What are you looking for in a team?

We are looking for teams that have the range of skills required to build a successful start-up. In the case of robotics start-ups, this includes relevant technical and business skills. Teams that benefit from accelerator programs also tend to be customer focussed and coachable. Entry is competitive in nature, so being able to express a strong value proposition through the application of robotics technologies, with a strong team to take your idea to market will increase your chances of be awarded a place in the Accelerator program.

I’m a solo founder. Can I get accepted into the Accelerator program, or do you only look for teams?

While we don’t screen out applications just because they have a single founder, it does make things more difficult. We look for great, balanced teams who have a full range of skills. We strongly advise you to seek co-founders who balance your skillset. For example, if you’re a strong developer, you might consider adding someone with business and/or marketing experience. If you’re a great business evangelist with no developer, it’s very unlikely we’ll accept you into the program, so go find a developer to join you.

How many team places will be available in the program?

The program will admit up to 10 teams.

At what stage should the teams be?

Teams working on non-Pepper robotics should at least have a minimum viable product.

Teams entering based on the application of SoftBank technologies should have a well identified market problem and a concept for a potential application which solves that problem using that technology.

Do I need to be working on robotics to enter the program?

Yes. The Accelerator is exclusively focussed on start-ups looking to build new ventures around robotics. Any robotics start-up is welcome to apply.

In addition, the Softbank Group is making three technologies available for use in the program;

Technology For more information see
Pepper Humanoid Robot https://www.ald.softbankrobotics.com/en/robots/pepper
Agoop location based big data platform https://www.agoop.co.jp/en/
QZSS GPS technology http://qzss.go.jp/en/

For teams working with Pepper, work is restricted to development of software applications of the robot, which means if you are interested in working on this platform, you don’t need to undertake development of the physical robot itself. Six Pepper robots will be made available in the Softbank Pepper Studio to assist development work during the Accelerator program.

For teams working with Agoop, SoftBank will provide access to the relevant software development kits (SDK) and for QZSS, the SDK and the platform specific GPS receiver hardware.

I’m interested in the SoftBank technologies – how do I find out more?

There will be a number of sessions prior to the application close date to become familiar with the three SoftBank technoloiges. The Technology Familiarisation sessions will introduce the three technologies, current applications they are being used for and an introduction to the development tools. Later sessions will help teams to identify problems and construct a pitch for entry into the program. See the program session details for more information.

NON-PEPPER ENTRIES

Is the accelerator open to non-SoftBank based robotics start-ups?

Yes. We expect that there will be a number of non-SoftBank based robotics teams participating in the accelerator. Note, however, that the accelerator will only be providing relatively standard office space during the program and access to industrial development, prototyping and testing facilities will not be available.

We are developing a new robotics platform - do you provide makers space to help with this?

No. The robotics accelerator is based in standard office spaces, without machine tools or other fabrication equipment. We may be able to connect you with facilities that can assist; the funding is also designed to pay for contracted development services if required.

SELECTION PROCESS

Teams will be selected based on entries provided. Selection will be made by a panel of evaluators drawn from QUT bluebox, Advance Queensland and the Softbank Group.

Eligibility Criteria

The primary selection criteria are;

  • Teams must be working on a robotics concept aimed at solving a demonstrable market need. Entry is competitive in nature and will be assessed by a panel of judges drawn from QUT bluebox, Advance Queensland and ST Solutions Australia.
  • Teams must be formed by two or more people. All teams must have demonstrable technical capabilities to work on their selected platform. We also strongly recommend business skills be present on the team as well.
  • Teams must attend sessions throughout the program in Brisbane. A strong preference will therefore be given to Brisbane based teams.