Handy Elephant has won a place on the Citrix Startup Accelerator programme, and with it, investment from the US software giant and space in its Silicon Valley incubator.
The amount and terms of the investment are not being disclosed but Citrix said it would invest between $100k and $400k in convertible notes in each startup, designed to get them to Series A funding.
Handy Elephant - which is developing a mobile app that acts as a CRM (customer relationship management) across a range of different communication and social media channels - was the only UK startup to make the finals of a competition dominated by US, and particularly Californian, ventures.
Citrix is officially unveiling its new portfolio companies at the official opening of the Startup Accelerator Center in Santa Clara, California at 5:30 Pacific Time (the early hours of Thursday morning local time).
Cabume exclusively reported that Citrix was targeting Cambridge for its Startup Accelerator Global Challenge back in March. The aim was for Citrix to widen its portfolio of investees by bringing in ventures and entrepreneurs from key tech centres around the world including Cambridge, Silicon Valley, Bangalore and Sydney.
Citrix previously said it would be choosing six winners from the 12 finalists but plumped for seven in the end, also backing Nukona (CA, US), drumbi (CA, US), GrexIt (Bangalore, India and CA, US), expanz (Manly, Australia), ZeroMail (Sydney, Australia) and IonGrid (CA, US).
Interestingly, well-known Cambridge entrepreneur, Simon Crosby - co-founder of Xensource, former CTO at Citrix and co-founder at virtualisation security startup Bromium - is listed as an angel investor in IonGrid.
Handy Elephant founder, Ben Wirtz, who jetted over to Silicon Valley early to maximise schmoozing opportunities, told Cabume that the company planned to take space in the Startup Accelerator Center from February and April 2012 “to leverage the Valley’s branding and business development expertise.”
Having recently recruited a new head of marketing and community, Handy Elephant is now looking to hire a java developer and a web and UX designer. Wirtz said the focus was on product development for the short term at least, with plans to push out an update of the app later today.
Senior director, Michael Harries gives an overview of the Citrix Startup Accelerator.
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