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FAQs - News Bolt Accelerator



General Questions
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 are in ‘the relentless pursuit of the next big ideas’, 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 an Accelerator Program?

An accelerator is an 8-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 8-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 support@newsbolt.com.au and we will respond quickly to your questions. All enquiries are confidential.

Application Process
What is News Corp looking for?

We are looking for disruptive, tech-based ideas, at any stage, that might fit the following criteria.

  • Your idea solves a problem
  • Your idea could help our customers
  • Your idea could acquire new customers
  • Your idea could disrupt our industry
  • Your idea could challenge the way we do things
  • Your idea is digital or tech based
  • Your idea is aligned to the business strategy
When do applications close?

11:59PM on Friday 17 August 2018.

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 20 ideas to participate in the 5-day workshop. Following this, we will select around 5 ideas to be further developed in the 8-week accelerator program.

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 5-day workshop you will be notified by Friday 24 August.

During this workshop we will determine the best ideas to be part of the 8-week accelerator program so you will be notified by Monday 3 September.

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.

Accelerator Program Benefits & Details
Innovation Sprints, Workshops & Pitch Day

There are valuable learning and development benefits to participating in the innovation sprints and validation workshops, 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 & Demo Day

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.

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.

Global Exposure:
Winning team gets the chance to travel and represent NCA with their idea on a global stage with an all-expenses paid trip to an international media conference of their choosing e.g. SXSW, INMA, Cannes Lion etc.

What is the Accelerator Program going to be like?

Intense. 8 weeks is not a long time. You will be part of a cohort of other hard-working News Corp internals. You will be immersed in the 8-week program and engage with the best content mentors to guide, support and challenge you. At the completion of the 8-week 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 program runs for an 8-week duration. You will be required to be in a classroom type environment on Wednesdays in the Sydney Startup Hub, Wynard. You will receive intensive coaching from an Entrepreneur in Residence on Mondays or Thursdays (schedule dependent), and the remainder of the week will be spent working on your idea to bring the startup to life over the 8 weeks. We are expecting a 50% commitment of time during the program, and aside from Wednesdays (which are fixed) we will be flexible to accommodate the requirements of your role at News Corp.

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 July and August.
The initial 5-day workshop and 8-week accelerator program will be at the 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?

The 5-day workshop starts on Monday 27 August until Friday 31 August.
The 8-week accelerator program starts on Wednesday 5 September until Friday 31 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.

Do I need to be in Sydney for the accelerator program for 8 weeks?

Yes, you will need to be in the classroom 2-3 days per week. Wednesday will be the most important content day, so attendance is mandatory. Typically, mentorship sessions will take place on Tuesday and focused team / product development on Thursday. Of course the final schedule will depend on team availability and schedule.

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 can claim a leading role in its 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. Two to three days a week is the minimum requirement.

If I am shortlisted, can I put my participation on my CV?

Absolutely! News Corp Australia is committed to News Bolt. This is an excellent way for you to accelerate your career and the future of our business. Recognition of your participation in News Bolt will have currency on your CV given the competitive and, relentless nature of the innovation program. Employers will know you are someone with a strong work ethic, hardworking, creative and a drive to execute and succeed.

If I am shortlisted, can I promote my involvement on social media?

Yes. News Corp Australia will be promoting the program on social media and in business and trade media. We want News Bolt to be known in this market as a strong incubator for growth and disruptive innovation in our industry.

Who retains the 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.