Start-up first for Adelaide sparks global interest

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By Lana Guineay

One of the world’s leading start-up accelerators has chosen Adelaide for their first Asia Pacific location – attracting international interest for their kick-off program.

Scouting for their first hub in the region, Techstars co-founder and co-CEO David Cohen says they considered Melbourne and Sydney – but Adelaide stood out.

“We knew we wanted to find a place that would not only attract terrific founders, but also had all the hallmarks of a successful Techstars host city,” David said.

“We started in Boulder, Colorado, and have seen it develop into a major start-up hub – so we know that Techstars can play a major role in building great start-up eco-systems.

“Adelaide fits the bill perfectly. Not only is it ranked as the fifth most liveable city in the world, it is a tech-forward city that is building sophisticated infrastructure for start-ups,” he said.

Techstars Adelaide Managing Director Terry Gold, and Program Manager Chris Chang

Techstars Adelaide Managing Director Terry Gold, and Program Manager Chris Chang

Techstars have supported over 900 start-ups to date, and partnered with household names like Disney, Nike, Virgin and Uber, with a current market cap of US$7.5 billion.

The Adelaide program will support 10 hand-picked small to medium companies, with a focus on state of the art technology, including the Internet of Things, robotics, security and defence. Companies will receive AUD$164,200 in funding, tapping into a global network of founders, mentors, investors, and corporate partners, giving them access to some of the most advanced technologies and research.

Applications from 49 countries have been received for the initial program, including India, Nigeria and the United States – with 40% of Australian applications based in Adelaide.

The successful entrepreneurs will work closely with Techstars Adelaide team, including Managing Director Terry Gold, Lead Associate Aainaa Rahman and Program Manager Chris Chang.

“We are excited that Techstars Adelaide has sparked global interest,” said Terry. “Our programs always aim to attract the best teams with the most interesting ideas, and these can come from anywhere in the world.”

Terry says the Adelaide program’s focus on defence technology has the potential for wider consumer innovation. “Defence research has sparked a wide range of everyday inventions, from microwave ovens to duct tape, so we can’t wait to see what new ideas and products may emerge from these ten start-ups.”

The success of the program will help position Adelaide as a tech-forward city with a rapidly developing infrastructure for start-ups.

South Australia’s Manufacturing and Innovation Minister, Kyam Maher, said Techstars Adelaide would provide an opportunity for local entrepreneurs to showcase their wares on a global level and attract the best talent to the state.

“It shows we are succeeding in our mission to position South Australia as the default place for smart new businesses to start and grow. By attracting the best talent, supporting entrepreneurship and building local businesses, we are growing the economy and creating jobs,” he said.

This month’s Inside Industries stories made possible by sponsor Bendigo Bank

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