Leading global accelerator program, Techstars, has launched in Australia with the aim to focus on defence industry start ups.
The decade-old US-based program has chosen Adelaide for their Asia-Pacific hub, and will support early-stage companies advancing applications in Internet of things, big data, sensors and robotics, with potential to develop and commercialise technologies related to the defence and security sectors.
Techstars' co-chief executive David Cohen stated that the program is specifically targeting defence because "defence research has driven some of the most transformative consumer innovation the world has seen, from the internet and GPS to superglue and digital photography".
According to Techstars executive director Greg Rogers, "The program will connect 10 startups 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 companies: BAE, Thales, Austal, SAAB, ASC, Rheinmetall and DCNS.
"Companies selected for the program will gain access to some of the most advanced technologies and advanced research through our partners. They will also collaborate with accomplished leaders working to advance the capabilities of a host of technologies being developed by the defence and security industries."
Minister for Defence Industry Christopher Pyne has welcomed the announcement, stating, “Techstars Adelaide is designed to support companies to develop and commercialise state-of-the-art technologies connected to the defence and security sectors."
"This is a welcome and encouraging step for new collaboration across defence industry, which will be critical to meeting the challenges of the future,” Minister Pyne said.
“The government is investing $640 million over the next decade to mature and further develop technologies in the engineering and development stages.
“Initiatives such as these are very welcome and will support the defence market to mature advanced technologies to a level that are ready for Defence consideration, including through the Innovation Hub.”
Applications for Techstars Adelaide are now open, with the program commencement date set for July 2017.