FAQs 2018-02-05T15:53:47+00:00



Why is Caltex doing this?

The challenge for any large corporate is attracting and finding the best founders and ideas to work with. The Spark accelerator allows Caltex to develop innovative solutions in line with their strategy to benefit their customers and the community as a whole.

Who are Slingshot? 2018-02-08T20:38:46+00:00

Slingshot is Australia’s leading corporate accelerator program with over 125 Startups having completed our program. We work with clients such as Caltex, Qantas, Lion Group, SEEK, Hudson, HCF, ING Direct, the NSW and QLD Government and the University of Technology. The Slingshot methodology is validated and university accredited to help equip the next generation of entrepreneurs.

In 2017, Slingshot also launched a new platform, CoVentured to connect corporate Australia to a growing community of Startups and Scaleups.

What makes the Caltex Spark Accelerator different? 2018-02-05T15:40:05+00:00

Most accelerators supply seed capital and a mentor driven program but few give Startups (and scaling businesses) the ability to work with the one thing that they all need; a large motivated customer like Caltex. Slingshot accelerators provide:

  • Dedicated investment that has the ability to participate in follow on funding
  • Incorporation of all new companies and the provision of shareholder documentation
  • As investors in your business, Slingshot are long term partners in your success and provide ongoing mentorship, support and contacts long after the program has finished
  • Slingshot’s corporate client base is growing and you will have future opportunities to scale your business with some of Australasia’s largest organisations
What is Caltex looking for? 2018-02-08T20:40:30+00:00

The Spark Accelerator is looking for Startups and Scaleups with exceptional founders and teams. You might be a tech business, or have an invention, product or service that aligns to the themes.

Should I apply for the Caltex Spark Accelerator? 2018-02-08T21:16:44+00:00

Absolutely, this is a unique opportunity to collaborate with Caltex and Slingshot. Caltex is open to any idea or business that could help them service and expand their customer base.

We give you access to a large customer who wants you to succeed and is also a potential investor post program. Customers are difficult to acquire and retain so we think this piece that will add more value than any other element of our program.

We provide access to guidance and mentorship from Caltex and industry leading experts. Their role is to support and challenge your team and you will be matched based on personality, industry and acumen.

Selected Startups receive up to $150,000 of investment and the opportunity to secure next round investment from Caltex, the Slingshot Venture Fund and our investment partners. At Demo Day, both Startups and Scaleups have the opportunity to pitch to Caltex, Slingshot and potential investors.

Champions and Partners
Something often overlooked is acquiring great business relationships for your company early. Teams will gain access to Caltex and Slingshot’s extensive partner community including software. You can receive an exclusive package of Spark Accelerator partner offers from industry leading technology companies, valued at over $500,000.

Branding and Media
Caltex and Slingshot will provide your company with branding and marketing support with inclusion in Spark Accelerator media and events.

What access will I have to customer insights and data in the program? 2018-02-05T15:40:05+00:00

Caltex will provide relevant elements of business and market data to accelerator participants to allow them to pilot and test hypotheses, as required.

Will Caltex or Slingshot own my IP? 2018-02-05T15:40:05+00:00

No, you will own all of your IP.

Do I need to be full time on my Startup / Scaleup? 2018-02-05T15:40:05+00:00

Yes, it is preferred but we are open to businesses with one founder who are well supported and have access to resources.

When do applications close? 2018-02-08T13:54:24+00:00

Friday 16 March 11.59pm (AEST). See Participant Journey for key dates.

When will I be notified if I am shortlisted to pitch? 2018-02-05T15:40:04+00:00

You will be notified within approximately seven days of the application close date.

When will I be pitching if I am shortlisted? 2018-02-05T15:40:04+00:00

Thursday 12 or Friday 13 April in Sydney which must be done in person. We do not accept video or skype pitches. You might consider sending an alternate to pitch if you are not available but we recommend putting your best presenter/s forward.

When does the program start? 2018-02-08T13:55:20+00:00

Monday 7 May. See Participant Journey for key dates.

I’m not sure if I should apply as a Startup or Scaleup? 2018-02-05T15:40:04+00:00

You should apply as a Startup if you:

  • You are a business 0-36-month-old
  • Have a great product or service but need support to gain customer traction, revenue and product/market fit
  • Need immediate funding and the 12-week mentoring and education program
  • Can deliver a minimum viable product (MVP) to Caltex within three months

You should apply as a Scaleup if you:

  • You are a minimum 3 years old as a business with 20% growth year on year
  • Already have revenue, customers and a product that has product/market fit
  • Do not need immediate funding and the 12-week education program
    Can deliver your product or service to Caltex within three months
I’m neither a Startup or Scaleup, what should I do? 2018-02-05T15:40:04+00:00

Often that means you’re a Startup. If you truly believe your Startup is neither a Startup nor Scaleup, you can apply to both programs and we will evaluate the best fit.

I need more information. Where can I get it? 2018-02-08T13:55:56+00:00

If this site hasn’t already answered all of your questions, please reach out to contact us via the Contact Form.


What is the Caltex Spark Accelerator program like?

Intense. 12 weeks is not a long time. You will be part of a cohort of other hard-working Startup founder teams. You will be immersed in the 12-week program and engage with the best mentors to guide, support and challenge you. You will be exposed to investors, partners, sponsors and media, with opportunities to network and pitch at events throughout the program. At the completion of the 12-week program, select teams will receive additional support to continue to build your business in a further 12-week incubation program. At the end of the program, Startups have the opportunity to secure next round investment from Caltex, the Slingshot Venture Fund and our investment partners.

Where is the Startup program located? 2018-02-05T15:40:57+00:00

The program will be run at the Sydney Startup Hub where your team will receive desk space for the duration of the 12-week program.

What time commitment is there? 2018-02-05T15:41:12+00:00

The program runs for a 12-week duration. During the program, you should allocate 2.5 days per week of face to face time with the dedicated Caltex and Spark team members as well as attending events. The other 2.5 days you should commit to building your business and seeking to aggressively attract revenue, customers and growth.

How much investment does my Startup get? 2018-02-05T16:38:52+00:00

Seed Investment

Slingshot will provide an initial upfront investment of $50,000 for 10% equity in your business.
Note: There are no hurdles to accessing this funding, all Startups receive $50,000 on entry into the 12-week program.

Follow on from Slingshot

Unlike other programs, Caltex Spark offers the potential for a further $100,000 of follow-on funding from the Slingshot Venture Fund. To access this funding, you will need to receive follow-on investment from three or more investors. Importantly, the follow-on funding is at a valuation set by your Startup with no discount.

Follow on from Caltex

Caltex may look to invest in select businesses after the completion of the program. Any investment by Caltex is at a 25% discount to your valuation (if within 18 months of joining the program).

Is the program flexible on investment terms? 2018-02-05T15:42:17+00:00

The program is open to flexible investment terms on a case by case basis. The case would need to be extremely strong as to why the terms should change.

What collaboration opportunities are there with Caltex? 2018-02-05T15:43:01+00:00

During the 12-week program you will have the opportunity to work with Caltex management. Depending on your business model and traction, further opportunities may be explored.

Potential outcomes may include:

  • Investment by Caltex in your business
  • A commercial distribution agreement for your product or service
  • A vendor relationship where Caltex will use your product or service
  • Introductions within the Caltex community
Can my Startup only have one team member? 2018-02-05T15:43:11+00:00

We don’t encourage single founders but will consider you if you can demonstrate you have access to the resources you will need to grow your business quickly during the 12-week program.

What happens post program? 2018-02-05T15:43:22+00:00

Caltex and Slingshot will provide qualifying teams with another three months of support post program. This support includes further developing partnering opportunities with Caltex as well as help with capital raising.


What is a Scaleup?

A Scaleup is a business that has a proven team and product with customer traction and revenue. A general rule of thumb is that the business has experienced at least 20% growth year on year over a three-year period. You must be able to deliver your product or service to Caltex within three months of the program starting.

What is the Caltex Spark Scaleup program? 2018-02-05T15:43:49+00:00

Most great Startups fail despite having a talented team or excellent product. The challenge is in scaling their customer base, generating revenue quickly and raising capital. The Spark Scaleup program wants to help these businesses scale by collaborating with Caltex and their targeted communities.

Why would a Scaleup apply? 2018-02-05T15:44:30+00:00

There are a few reasons you might want to apply:

  • Your business could benefit from a commercial relationship with Caltex
  • You might be stuck and the momentum of the early days of your business has stalled and you may lack the resources to get over the next hump
  • You are a world class business looking to add a large customer to your portfolio
  • You have a great product and business and see an application for it within the promoted themes without having to do much development work
  • Feel part of something bigger by renewing energy and enthusiasm in working with a potential client like Caltex and the other founders in the program
I’m a Scaleup, so do I need to participate in the Startup accelerator program? 2018-02-05T15:44:43+00:00

No, we anticipate your business is past that stage and you already have the knowledge, product, customer base and revenue in place. You will still have access to all the Startup benefits of curriculum, mentorship and additional program value but specifically as you need them. You will need to attend some key events throughout the 12-week program in Sydney and informed upfront.

What is the Scaleup program looking to achieve? 2018-02-05T15:45:31+00:00

The Scaleup program consists of a limited series of face to face meetings with the Caltex team and relevant executives. The aim of the program is to achieve a commercial partnership between Caltex and your business. Importantly it is a quick YES or NO process, we call it the “Five meetings to NO” process. We understand dealing with a large corporate can be time consuming so the process is designed to get to an outcome as quickly as possible.

Potential outcomes may include:

  • Investment by Caltex in your business
  • A commercial distribution agreement for your product or service
  • A vendor relationship where Caltex will use your product or service internally
  • Introductions within the Caltex community
Where is the Scaleup program located? 2018-02-05T15:45:42+00:00

The program consists of a number of workshops and events in Sydney and potentially at the Caltex HQ in Sydney.

What time commitment is there? 2018-02-05T15:45:55+00:00

The program consists of a number of engagements with Caltex and Slingshot executives. The program is designed to limit the number of face to face meetings required to get to a commercial agreement that is mutually beneficial.

How much investment does my Scaleup get? 2018-02-05T15:46:07+00:00

There is no upfront investment in your Scaleup and no equity taken for program participation. Caltex will closely consider an investment in your business.