Technology & Innovation

Caltex Australia launches program to spur innovation

Caltex Australia launches program to spur innovation
Photo courtesy of Caltex Australia.

Caltex Australia announced the launch of Caltex Spark, a new innovation initiative that will see Australia’s leading fuel retailer work closely with startups and entrepreneurs.

Spark, a 12-week Accelerator Program designed in partnership with Australia’s leading corporate accelerator, Slingshot, will enable Caltex Australia to disrupt its own business model and look for ideas to improve convenience, mobility, retail offers and efficiency.

Spark is an opportunity for startups and entrepreneurs to work with Caltex Australia, a trusted iconic Australian brand.

Caltex Australia and Slingshot kicked-off the international search for entrepreneurs yesterday, to be followed by a roadshow in key Australian cities and Auckland, New Zealand, next month.

“At Caltex, our purpose is to make life easier for our millions of customers. With Spark we’re looking for ideas that do just that – disrupt and challenge our existing model to take us in new directions and drive accelerated future growth,” said Caltex Executive General Manager of Convenience Retail Richard Pearson.

“The convenience and fuel market is highly competitive and in today’s digitally connected and on-demand economy, we must work harder than ever to win customers.”

Through Spark, founders will have access to the scale and experience of Caltex resources, with the reach of more than 1,900 service stations and convenience stores and more than 3 million customers a week, as well as the opportunity to work closely with the Convenience Retail and Fuels and Infrastructure businesses within Caltex.

“Caltex plays a unique role in providing transport fuels and other everyday needs for our broad range of customers across Australia and New Zealand,” said Caltex Executive General Manager of Fuels and Infrastructure Louise Warner. “Historically, we have adapted to consumer needs from the development of cleaner more efficient fuel options, unmanned fuel stops in remote locations through to newer initiatives like The Foodary and Fuel Pay. Caltex also plays a key role in servicing small and large businesses across Australia be it in mining, marine, transport or aviation. We do this so effectively through our expertise in managing integrated and complex supply chains, particularly in remote locations.”

“We are interested in businesses that help us find new ways and connect with our consumer and business customers. We are looking at things like new modes of transport, food on the go and how we can create a frictionless customer experience,” she said.

CEO of Slingshot, Karen Lawson, said Caltex Spark is an opportunity for Caltex Australia to collaborate with the best and brightest startups, who at the same time can benefit from Caltex’s unique understanding of consumers.

“With the rapid pace of innovation, the possibilities for retailers and fuel suppliers are endless. We’ve already begun to see the impact of ridesharing, autonomous vehicles, drones, easy payments, big data and logistics solutions, but we’ve only really begun to scratch the surface when we consider how these can be harnessed by a business-like Caltex.”

“With the current price of oil, intensifying environmental concerns and the anticipated arrival of driverless cars, the question we need to answer is ‘what does the future of fuel retailers look like’?” she said.

Caltex Spark is looking to invest in startups and scale-ups (later stage businesses) with the following themes:

  • Mobility – create, find and deliver new solutions for Australians to get from A to B in smarter and safer ways.
  • Retail –improve Caltex Australia’s retailer offering by making it more accessible, with quality food and products and services you might use every day.
  • Convenience – find ways to leverage technology for smarter and more convenient everyday customer experiences.
  • Efficiency –improve every facet of the company’s operations, from supply chain and finance through to customer service and marketing.
  • Amaze us –tools, products or services that will help Caltex Australia be more innovative.

Participants will also have the opportunity to access exclusive Spark partner offers from the world’s biggest technology companies valued at more than AUD 500,000 (USD), including AWS, Adobe, Microsoft BizSpark Plus, IBM, SalesForce, HubSpot, SendGrid, MYOB, Xero and more.

Interested parties can apply at spark.caltex.com.au.

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