NEW Techstars program inundated with South Australian applications

TECHSTARS Adelaide office has received applications from more than 49 different countries, with the US as the top country for applications followed by Australia, with India, Nigeria and Singapore.

Terry Gold, Managing Director of Techstars Adelaide told the Advertiser last week “We are excited that Techstars Adelaide has sparked global interest, as our first Asia-Pacific accelerator and the first to be located in Australia.”

“Our accelerator programs always aim to attract the best teams with the most interesting ideas, and these can come from anywhere in the world.”

Techstars is an early stage accelerator program that has graduated 900 startups, with a current combined market cap of US$7.5bn.

Applications were received from teams working on a wide range of defence and security related technologies including big data and analytics, robotics, sensors, augmented and virtual reality, human-machine interface systems, unmanned aerial systems, nanoscale technologies, and advanced manufacturing.

The program will connect 10 start-ups from all over the world to an established Techstars network of community leaders, founders, mentors, investors and corporate partners including seven of the world’s best defence companies: BAE, Thales, Austal, SAAB, ASC, Rheinmetall and DCNS. On average, companies who have graduated from Techstars have gone on to raise more than $US2 million in venture capital.

Adelaide was selected by Techstars to run its first Asia Pacific program because of its strength in the defence industry. The accelerator will focus on start-ups in the internet of things, big data, sensors and robotics fields.

Adelaide is poised to become a global centre of excellence for the defence sector with over AU$100 billion worth of major industry projects in the pipeline. Recent investment in innovation in South Australia includes a AU$230 million Centre for Defence Industry Capability backed by the Australian Federal Government.

Co-founder Brad Feld told Australian press earlier in the year that Techstars intended expanding to Melbourne and Sydney but when the group was scouting locations “that pull when we thought about the different places we could go to in Australia, it was strongest in Adelaide”.