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Media Release

CBA calls for start-ups helping small businesses

CBA calls for start-ups helping small businesses

Applications are now open for X15 Ventures’ first start-up pitch event, with the winning ideas to receive funding of up to $150,000.

X15 Ventures, a Commonwealth Bank-powered investment vehicle is launching Xccelerate 2020, a virtual pitch event which will see start-ups battle it out in front of industry experts to receive funding, mentoring and support for their winning idea.

The theme of this year’s Xccelerate event is improving the financial wellbeing of small businesses, and helping them bounce back during the economic recovery from the coronavirus pandemic. The inaugural program will see 15 shortlisted entrepreneurs and start-up teams develop, refine and then pitch their businesses to X15’s Innovation Investment Committee during a virtual pitch event on 23 July 2020. The event is hosted by X15 Ventures, which was launched by Commonwealth Bank in February 2020 with a commitment to bring more than 25 great ideas to life by 2024.

The winning ideas will receive seed funding of up to $150,000, as well as access to global resources and tailored advice from CBA partners in technology, risk, cyber, payments and data science fields.

X15 Ventures Managing Director, Toby Norton-Smith, said: “X15 allows us to open the door and partner more easily with entrepreneurs to help them achieve rapid growth from seed right through to launch phase. While the businesses will be developed as a start-up, they will have the scale and reach of CBA behind them to achieve growth. Xccelerate 2020 will support Australia's best start-ups to help small and micro businesses bounce back in 2020.

“Given the economic setback caused by the coronavirus pandemic, we are inviting driven, experienced entrepreneurs looking to scale their business or a new business idea. The event is part of our commitment to partner with the fintech community to bring new products and services to market that will benefit primarily retail and small business customers.”

CBA’s Group Executive for Business Banking Mike Vacy-Lyle said Xccelerate is another way CBA is continuing to support small businesses, particularly in these difficult times.

“We have hundreds of thousands of small business customers right across Australia, and we want to help them in whatever ways we can. The X15 Ventures Xccelerate 2020 event presents a great opportunity for us to help some of Australia’s brightest start-ups develop solutions that could make a big difference to the lives of small businesses across the country.”

Applications are now open until Sunday, 7 June, with the 15 shortlisted entrants to be notified by 15 June. For more information and to enter Xccelerate 2020 visit

About Xccelerate 2020

Xccelerate is a fast-tracked program for experienced entrepreneurs and start-up teams to achieve rapid growth through X15 Ventures funding and support, including leveraging CBA group assets and strategic partners. For more information on entry criteria and how to apply, please visit

About X15 Ventures

X15 Ventures is a wholly-owned subsidiary of CBA, with funding provided from CBA’s $1 billion annual technology investment envelope, its own delivery model, and a dedicated management team. X15 Ventures is building the next generation of solutions for our 15 million customers and beyond, by unlocking new value from CommBank’s assets through partnership with the tech and innovation community. X15 Ventures partners with seasoned entrepreneurs, offering them support, guidance and access to our customer base and distribution networks. For more, please visit