- World’s largest industry-based startup accelerator is bringing its first global program to Australia
- Backed by leading corporates: EnergyAustralia, Spotless Group, Amazon Web Services, Cisco, as well as the Victorian Government through LaunchVic
- Applications open now for 10 smart energy teams creating energy efficiencies and independence or innovating the market through digitisation and analytics
- The three-month program will begin accelerating its first cohort recruited globally in January 2018
Melbourne, 3 August 2017 – Startupbootcamp, the global industry-focused startup accelerator, today announced the launch of its new Energy Australia accelerator program opening in Melbourne, the first of its kind in Australia. Startups can apply now.
The program is looking for the best 10 startups in the world working on:
- Energy Efficiency – Solutions supporting better energy use for homes, buildings and cities, e.g. energy monitoring, smart buildings, device & demand management, etc.
- Energy Independence – Solutions supporting energy access, clean energy and smart grid technologies, e.g. distributed and customer owned generation, storage, new technologies, emerging marketplaces for trading, etc.
- Digitisation & Analytics – Solutions driven by big data, blockchain and artificial intelligence to support energy optimisation and energy independence, e.g. business model innovation, customer experience improvements, cost efficiencies, etc.
The program has gained backing from companies including EnergyAustralia, Spotless Group, DiUS, KHQ Lawyers, Amazon Web Services, Cisco as well as the Victorian Government through LaunchVic.
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, Dr. 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 whilst 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 exciting initiative.
Melbourne has a vibrant and rapidly evolving startup 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 startup ecosystem.
Melbourne startups 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. It’s also a great place for bold initiatives. 40% of Melbourne startups reported that they are offering a product that is the first of its kind globally. In relation to the world average of 34%, this underlines Melbourne’s ambition to disrupt entire industries.
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 sensational coffee, world class food, sports, laneways and events.
Ruud Hendriks, Co-Founder Startupbootcamp said, “We’ve been working at getting a program going in Melbourne for over 12 months now and it’s been an amazing journey so far. 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 led by Trevor and Richard, and the supplementary corporate and government support, makes me extremely excited about this program and the impact it will have.”
The program will be headed by local Managing Director, Trevor Townsend who has an extensive background in Melbourne as an Investor, Director and Founder. He was the Managing Director, Australasia at TIBCO Software, a Silicon Valley startup, which listed on NASDAQ in 2004, 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.
“Smart Energy is about product and business model innovation in a rapidly changing marketplace. The energy industry, which hasn’t drastically innovated in the last two decades, is suddenly seeing 360 degree disruption which is going to change everything in the next 10 years. It’s one thing to know that change is coming and it’s another to know what to do and how to act to stay relevant. At Startupbootcamp, we help industries in cities around the globe think & act, and that’s why we’re so exciting about this new Melbourne program. We work globally with over 140 corporates and the partners we have on board here in Melbourne have a strong desire to work with startups locally on global solutions. You can’t just sit and think about innovation – it’s an active contact sport,” commented Townsend.
EnergyAustralia NextGen Executive, Andrew Perry, said the accelerator program is 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 – they want to be part of it. There are startup 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 program is about helping those ideas get off the ground,” he said.
Julian Fogarty, Group Executive, Brand, Innovation and Technology at Spotless Group said, “Energy costs across Australia and New Zealand are rising rapidly, and sustainability continues to become a bigger focus. Some of our customers’ facilities are experiencing year-on-year energy cost increases in the millions of dollars. As the largest facilities services provider in the region, Spotless has a critical role to play in delivering innovative energy solutions. To sustain success as a business, we need to remain at the forefront of developments to provide the best services available. Being involved with startups is a big part of achieving that and we can’t wait to make our contribution in shaping the next generation of smart energy solutions.
Ultimately, we are looking for ways to provide a better service for our customers from asset optimisation through to alternate energy solutions – and we believe an energy-focused accelerator program will help us do this. We look forward to working with EnergyAustralia and the other partners to make this happen.”
Joe Losinno, Principal and Co-founder, DiUS said, “We’re excited to be part of a world-class startup accelerator that’s helping to re-imagine smart energy that will ultimately deliver meaningful outcomes for customers. Achieving truly disruptive, impactful results comes from seeking solutions to questions that haven’t yet been asked. Collaboration and innovation are part of the DiUS DNA and we are confident the environment created by Startupbootcamp will allow entrepreneurs to succeed and help to grow and develop the Melbourne startup ecosystem.”
Hon Philip Dalidakis, Victorian Minister for Small Business, Innovation and Trade said, “The strong partnership between LaunchVic, Startupbootcamp, EnergyAustralia and a range of industry partners means Victorian startups will play a major role in building a renewable, affordable and reliable energy sector. This aligns very well with the Andrews Labor Government’s energy target which will create up to 11,000 jobs and drive an estimated $9 billion in investment.”
Some of the program’s mentors include:
Slade Sherman, Design and strategy for the Internet of Things (IoT)
Through his company Creator Global, Slade specialises in Product Design for the Internet of Things (IoT). Slade’s experience in end-to-end product development covers ideation, design, manufacturing and digital development for connected products. Slade has developed teams that created award winning IoT products for companies like Anheiser-Busch, Qantas Airways, Coca-Cola and Carlton United Breweries (CUB).
Soozey Johnstone, Founding Director at Method9; Industry Advisory Board Member at Deakin University; Co-Founder at #TechDiversity
Soozey’s work focuses on the gap between what people want for themselves, and what their organisations want from them, and how to bring those two things into alignment – in the process releasing a gale of productivity for the organisation and vastly improved personal satisfaction for the individuals concerned. She is the brains behind dramatic turnarounds in organisation’s performances solely by focusing on their people, and also the key ingredient in many people either making a positive career move or being promoted.
To kick off, startups 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 ‘FastTrack’ days designed to add value to over a hundred global startups between August and October. The 10 successful applicants will then enter the three-month accelerator program in Melbourne starting January 2018.
Applications are now open and will close Friday, 27th October 2017.
Keep up to date with the program on Twitter: @sbcEnergyAus