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Award winning Gold Coast company leaps into US accelerator program

AN award winning Gold Coast startup company, LEAPIN, is the first Australian company to be accepted into the 10X Startup Accelerator Program, in Ohio, USA.

The 10-week intensive program kicked off on September 4 and is a mentor-driven accelerator focused on converting entrepreneurial ideas into viable businesses and sustainable companies. The Gold Coast security tech innovator and past winner of the Gold Coast Business Excellence Awards is joined by eight US based companies and one other international team from Jerusalem.

LEAPIN is a security and mobile applications company, and their innovative hardware and app, LEAPIN Digital Keys, allows customers to literally “put their keys into their phone” by using a smartphone-enabled access control system that creates time-sensitive Digital Keys in mere seconds.  This app replaces keycard systems and pesky traditional lock and key security and instead creates Digital Keys that can be sent to virtually anyone with just one click of the button via sms or email.

“Our product is perfect for sharing economy companies like Airbnb, or even car sharing companies,” says Steve Dunn, CEO and co-founder of LEAPIN. “But the thing is, the sharing economy just doesn’t exist in Australia, so it makes sense for us to be on the ground in the USA.”

Acceptance into the 10X accelerator program is a great feat for LEAPIN.

“This time last year, we had just graduated from the ANZ Innovyz START Accelerator Program in Adelaide,” says Dunn. “Although the Innovyz program had a strong mentor network, we want to be in a place where we have a lot of opportunities to partner with and or license with some larger companies which we might not have had access to back in Australia.”

The 10X program is intended for entrepreneurs with disruptive technologies, like Digital Keys. Based on groundbreaking research and lean startup practices from Ohio State University, 10X provides a framework filled with access to a range of services, industry leaders, information, and opportunities. 10X gives 10 early-stage companies access to over 100 renowned mentors, including thought leaders, angel investors, venture capitalists, industry influencers, and successful entrepreneurs. LEAPIN aims to use this program to carry out further development of their Digital Keys hardware and app, conduct trials and raise additional capital.

The program also provides participants with $20,000 in seed funding, partnership opportunities, office space, introductions to a vast investor network and the chance to pitch their product in the showcase day, held on November 15.

About Faith Speck