Energy start-ups wanted for Australian accelerator programme
August 30, 2017
Startupbootcamp has launched an accelerator programme targeting energy-based start-ups in Australia.
Melbourne-based Energy Australia has gained backing from companies such as EnergyAustralia, Spotless Group, DiUS, KHQ Lawyers, Amazon Web Services, Cisco and the Victorian government through LaunchVic.
Applications are open for ten smart energy teams creating energy efficiencies and independence or innovating the market through digitisation and analytics. The three-month programme will begin accelerating its first cohort recruited globally in January 2018.
The accelerator is focused on energy start-ups in smart grid, sustainable cities and living, smart buildings and infrastructure, IoT and connectivity, energy sharing and trading, big data, advanced analytics, blockchain , artificial intelligence, and machine learning.
The energy industry globally is rapidly changing and is a particularly topical subject in Australia with the recent release of the “Independent review into the future security of the national electricity market” by the nation’s chief scientist Alan Finkel. He warns that Australia’s national electricity market, the longest geographically connected power system in the world, must continue to innovate and evolve to ensure power security and reliability for all Australians while reducing emissions and managing costs.
The global scale of the challenge is immense, and the need for consumers to have confidence in the local energy market prompted Startupbootcamp to work with launching partner EnergyAustralia and Spotless Group on this initiative.
Melbourne has a vibrant and rapidly evolving start-up ecosystem supported by some of the world’s top universities and research laboratories giving it a number of advantages in the region. It’s ranked fourth globally as a knowledge hub and has this year climbed into the top 20 to be the world’s fourteenth best start-up ecosystem.
Melbourne start-ups are also highly connected globally with an average of 8.6 connections to the top global ecosystems compared with a global average of 6.0. Forty per cent of Melbourne start-ups reported that they are offering a product that is the first of its kind globally, in relation to the world average of 34%.
Ranked as the world’s most liveable city for the past seven years running, Melbourne is a city of art, music, technology, education and ideas. It’s a city known for its coffee, world class food, sports, laneways and events.
“We’ve been working at getting a programme going in Melbourne for over 12 months now and it’s been an amazing journey so far,” said Ruud Hendriks, co-founder of Startupbootcamp. “When we met with the team at EnergyAustralia, it was obvious that we had found a launching partner intent on working with us to build a special smart energy ecosystem with global ambitions. This coupled with an amazing local team and the supplementary corporate and government support, makes me extremely excited about this programme and the impact it will have.”
The programme will be headed by local managing director Trevor Townsend, who has a background in Melbourne as an investor, director and founder. He was the managing director in Australasia for Tibco Software, a Silicon Valley start-up, and designed the first wholesale energy software trading system in Australia during this time. He also has over 15 years of angel investing experience with numerous exits including two ASX listings.
EnergyAustralia executive Andrew Perry said the accelerator programme was an opportunity to unearth fresh thinking and bring innovative ideas to market.
“People are reading and hearing about all the great changes sweeping through the energy sector but they want to see the benefits for themselves,” said Perry. “They want to be part of it. There are start-up businesses out there with great ideas that will make a difference to people’s everyday lives by putting them in control of the energy they use, even if it means they use less energy. The accelerator programme is about helping those ideas get off the ground.”
Start-ups from all over the world are invited to present their ideas in their nearest city to the Startupbootcamp Energy Australia team at a series of fast-track days designed to add value to over 100 global start-ups between August and October. The ten successful applicants will then enter the three-month accelerator programme in Melbourne starting January 2018. Applications are now open and will close 27th October 2017.