US tech start-up accelerator comes to Australia

Marnie Banger
(Australian Associated Press)


One of the world’s leading technology start-up accelerators is making its first foray into Australia by launching a defence and security program in Adelaide.

Techstars, a US-based company that provides support and funding to start-ups, says it’s Adelaide program will help 10 companies create and commercialise state-of-the-art technology linked to defence and security.

The focus will be on new ways to use the “internet of things”, big data, sensors and robotics.

Defence Industry Minister Chris Pyne says the initiative aligns with the federal government’s commitment to supporting defence innovation in Australia.

“This is a welcome and encouraging step for new collaboration across the defence industry, which will be critical to meeting the challenges of the future,” he said in a statement on Tuesday.

Techstars said Adelaide is poised to become a “global centre of excellence” for the defence sector with more than $100 billion worth of industry projects in the pipeline.

But Techstars co-founder and co-chief executive David Cohen said that’s not the only reason why the city “fits the bill perfectly” for its first Asia-Pacific accelerator.

“It is a tech-forward city that is building sophisticated infrastructure for start-ups,” he said.

“Not only is it ranked by The Economist Intelligence Unit as the fifth most liveable city in the world, it has been recognised by the G20 for its co-ordinated support for entrepreneurship.”

Since it was founded in Boulder, Colorado, in 2009, Techstars has supported more than 900 start-ups through programs across the world, including Uber, Sphero, Twilio and SendGrid.

Early-stage companies can apply to take part in Techstar Adelaide until April, with the program to run from mid-July to October.

Companies involved will be connected with community leaders, mentors, investors and corporate partners, including top defence industry players BAE, Thales, Austral, SAAB, ASC, Rheinmetall and DNC.


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