General
Why is News Corp Australia doing this?

We have always been a leader, with a history of entrepreneurialism, taking risks and innovating for success.

We continue ‘in relentless pursuit of the next big idea’, by harnessing the creativity, innovation and imagination of our employees to drive future success.

Rupert Murdoch was told repeatedly during his career that a particular approach couldn’t or wouldn’t work. He has said: “Our ability to think long-term, act nimbly and innovate for the future has always been a hallmark of this company, never more so than now.”

Who is Slingshot?

Slingshot is Australia’s leading corporate accelerator program, working with clients such as Qantas, Caltex, Lion Group, SEEK, Hudson, HCF, ING Direct, State and Federal Government and UTS. The Slingshot methodology is validated and university accredited to help equip the next generation of entrepreneurs.

What is the Validation Program?

The validation program is a 2-week training program aiming to test the desirability, viability and feasibility of the 20 ideas which have been shortlisted from all online applications.

Teams will be formed to work on testing the assumptions behind their ideas: how big the problem is, who the large the audience is, how much people would pay for their idea, etc.

They will document a final report that will be used for the assessment and selection of the 12 ideas invited to a pitch day.

What is the Accelerator Program?

The accelerator is a 3-week training program with a proven methodology to test and build new tech products and services. Over this time, you will validate your idea, develop a new product or service which customers or News Corp want, build a minimum viable product (MVP) and demonstrate progress to executives.

The 3-week intensive curriculum, delivered by leading experts in their field will cover:

  • Business modelling
  • User experience and product design
  • Traction and customer insights
  • Branding and marketing
  • Financial modelling
  • Pitch coaching
I have some questions, who can I speak to?

Please send an email to newsbolt@news.com.au and we will respond quickly to your questions. All enquiries are confidential.

Application
What is News Corp looking for?

This year, we want to build on the enthusiasm and momentum of last year — News Bolt 2019 is all about the relentless pursuit of Fewer, Better, Bigger ideas.

What does that mean?

1. Fewer – We’re only looking for ideas that play to News Corp’s advantages. For example, School Selector is a digital extension of our existing audiences, content and data we have in the Education vertical.

Ask yourself: “How does your idea take advantage of NewsCorp’s content, audiences and data to deliver something new?”

2. Better – We are only looking for ideas that solve a burning customer problem. For example, when Punters.com.au launched it set out to digitise and simplify the thoroughbred racing form guide for (younger) millennial punters.

Ask yourself: “Who is your customer and how will your idea surprise and delight them?”

3. Bigger – We also want to know that there are lots of customers who will pay for your idea — these can be clients or consumers. For example realestate.com.au is a classic two-sided marketplace used by thousands of paying agents and more than one million consumers every day.

Ask yourself: “How big is the opportunity – how many customers and how much revenue?”

When do applications close?

11:59PM on Friday 31st May 2019

Who can apply?

The objective of the News Bolt program is to identify and develop the most promising ideas from across the business. To achieve this, any internal employee or contingent worker currently employed by News Corp Australia may apply for the program.

Should I apply?

Absolutely, this is a unique opportunity to work on an idea you are passionate about and to change the way we do things at News Corp. There are also rewards such as travel and prizes for selected ideas.

Does my idea have to be a tech idea?

We are looking for business people who really understand their market to bring radical ideas that will disrupt our industry or acquire new customers. If you believe that your idea can do this, then we want to hear it. You don’t need to know about specific technologies or platforms. If your idea is selected for the program, News Bolt will provide all of the technical support to develop the idea.

How many ideas will be selected?

We will select a maximum of 20 ideas to participate in the Validation program. Following this, a maximum of 12 ideas will be presented during pitch day.

Based on performance at Pitch Day, a maximum of 9 ideas will be invited to participate in the 3-week Accelerator program, with a maximum of 5 ideas graduating from the program for further development following demo day.

At what stage should my idea be?

You might just have an idea on a piece of paper, or a business that you run outside of your role at News Corp that is related to what we are looking for. We are open to all ideas, products and services.

Can I submit more than one idea?

Yes, you absolutely can! Just hit the SUBMIT AGAIN button at the end of the application form. You can submit as many times as you wish.

Does my manager need to approve my application?

No, you can submit an application without your manager’s approval. The News Bolt team is engaging with senior management across the company to support the program and provide encouragement and flexibility for team members to participate.

When will I be notified if I am selected for the program?

If you are shortlisted to participate in the 2-week Validation program you will be notified on or about Friday 7 June.

Teams that progress to the Accelerator program will be notified on or about Friday 26 July.

Is my application confidential?

When you submit an idea into the site (https://newsbolt.com.au) it is only viewable by the News Bolt team. Of course, if your idea is selected for the program, your name and elements of your idea will be published in internal communications.

At the end of the program, the News Bolt team may publish ideas in some form of marketing communications and program content like a sizzle video.

Program & Benefits
Generator Workshops, Validation Program & Pitch Day

There are valuable learning and development benefits to participating in the Generator Workshops and Validation program, including:

  • Learn new ways of working
  • Collaborate with other parts of the business
  • Deploy lean business tools at your desk
  • Engagement with the local startup community
  • Professional pitch coaching
Accelerator Program & Demo Day

1. Learning + Development Opportunity:
Startup Accelerators are like a modern hands-on MBA, fast tracking and upskilling talent in just weeks (and paying you while you learn). Gives you access to leading mentors and industry experts matched to you and your needs, and connections within News Corp and the tech Startup world.
It has a currency on your CV given the competitive, relentless nature of the program. Employers know you are someone with a strong work ethic, hardworking and drive to execute.

2. Business / Career Opportunity:
Your developed idea will go to NY for endorsement.
If successful, you can claim a leading role in the incubation and subsequent business development of that idea.

3. Global Exposure:
One lucky team will have the chance to travel and represent NCA on a global stage with an all-expenses paid trip to an international media conference. In 2018 members of the winning teams attended SXSW, Cannes Festival of Creativity and MWC Barcelona.

What is the Accelerator Program going to be like?

Intense. You will be part of a cohort of other hard-working News Corp internals. You will be immersed in the program and engage with the best content mentors to guide, support and challenge you. At the completion of the program, you will present your idea at News Corp’s Demo Day and have the chance of being selected to meet with the News Corp executives in New York to have your idea funded.

What is the time commitment?

The Validation program runs from 1 July to 12 July 2019. You are required to be in a Sydney-based classroom type environment on the below dates:

  • Monday 1 July – Wednesday 3 July
  • Monday 8 July – Wednesday 10 July

The Accelerator program runs from 12 Aug to 11 Oct 2019. You are required to be in a Sydney-based classroom type environment on the below dates:

  • Monday 12 August – Wednesday 14 August
  • Monday 2 September – Wednesday 4 September
  • Monday 16 September – Wednesday 18 September

During the Accelerator Program you will receive intensive coaching from an Entrepreneur in Residence (schedule dependent), and the remainder of the time will be spent working on your idea to bring the startup to life.

In addition to the Validation and Accelerator program dates above, you will be expected to complete homework assignments outside of the face to face sessions.

Where is the program going to be run?

The News Bolt team will be in the major metro and regional cities for innovation events and information sessions during May.
The 2 validation weeks and three, three day classroom blocks will be held at Sydney Startup Hub in Sydney, 11-31 York Street (right above Wynyard Station). This will allow you to meet and mix with other tech Startup entrepreneurs that are inside this building.
You will be given a desk at the Sydney Startup Hub for the duration of the program.

When does the program run?

Validation Week One: 1st July to 3rd July
Validation Week Two: 8th July to 10th July
Accelerator Program: 12th August to 11th October

What expenses will be covered if I am selected into the workshop or accelerator program?

Please refer to the corporate expense policy on the intranet. Travel expenses for non-NSW workshop and accelerator participants will be covered under this policy. it includes: travel, accomodation and meals.

Do I need to be in Sydney for the accelerator program?

Yes, you will need to be in the classroom for three, three day blocks.

About You
Who will cover my everyday job?

If your idea is a good candidate for the validation workshops, the News Bolt team will reach out to your manager to understand impacts to your current work and flexibility to participate.

What happens when I go back to my everyday job?

If your idea is successfully endorsed at the end of the program, you may invited to play a leading role in its further incubation and subsequent business development. All participants in the accelerator and workshops will bring valuable experience and new skills back to their everyday jobs.

How much time will I be able to commit to the program?

This will depend on your manager’s approval and team flexibility to support your participation. The more you can put into it, the better the outcome (and your results) will be. The News Bolt team will work with your manager to ensure that you can commit as much time as possible. Three days a week during the Validation and Accelerator Programs is the minimum commitment required.

Who retains the Intellectual Property (IP) of ideas from News Bolt?

Your effort on this News Bolt accelerator program is part of your employment by or service provision to News, and should be undertaken during normal work hours. You are not expected to work on the program outside normal work hours.

As part of your employment by or service provision to News, all intellectual property rights created or generated by you in connection with the program, including any ideas you submit with your application, belong to News, and by applying to the program you assign to News all existing and future intellectual property rights created or generated by you in connection with the program that you may own and do not vest in News by operation of law.

You also voluntarily and unconditionally waive all conduct by News and its successors and licensees that may otherwise infringe your moral rights in works or other matter you create or generate in connection with the program.