In 2017, Techstars launched its first accelerator in the Asia Pacific region, in Adelaide, Australia, focusing on technologies specific to the security and defence industry. 56 countries were represented in applications, with technologies ranging from counter-UAV to big data. The first class of Techstars Adelaide featured companies from the United States, India, New Zealand; Australia was also well represented in the first batch of startups–six of the ten participating companies were Australian, three of the six were from Adelaide.
During the 13-week program each of the 10 companies gained the opportunity to work directly with defence partners: Boeing Defence Australia, Saab Australia, Thales and Codan Defence Electronics. The partnerships offered direct insight into the defence market and access to mentorship from the c-suite of each of the partner organizations.
In addition to working with the program partners, the startup founders worked with 50+ highly skilled mentors from Australia’s Startup Ecosystem. The business and industry acumen brought to the program by this network helped founders to rapidly scale and to address business issues through the 3-months of acceleration.
2017 Class Results
Success comes in many shapes and forms and we’ve seen some serious progress from each of the companies since Demo Day in October. Since the end of 2017, three of the class’ companies have raised capital, multiple have initiated statements of work with partners in South Australia, and one has set plans to open an additional office, and hire, in Adelaide.
Adelaide’s Position for Success
Adelaide is set to become a global centre of excellence for defence and security over the next decade. Techstars Adelaide offers a unique opportunity for startups to access a niche market and work directly with some of the world’s leading defence primes.
With applications opening for our 2018 program, we’re searching for 10 early stage companies specializing in drones, Internet of Things (IoT), big data, cyber security, sensors, and robotics to develop and commercialize tomorrow’s most successful products in security and defence.
We’d love to hear from you! Over the next few months, the Techstars Adelaide team will be visiting cities around the world, broadcasting a series of webinars, organizing virtual-office hours for teams and founders (in-person hours in select locations), and hosting meetups to share insights on the Techstars approach.
We are interested in getting to know you, no matter where you are in the world, so the virtual office hours are available globally. Request a slot through the sign up form here, and we’ll promptly follow up with available times to book.
In Person Events
Here’s a list of cities we’ll be recruiting in over the next few months (dates and information to be added soon). A face-to-face always seems more productive, let’s meet! Please fill out this form if you’d like to meet at one of the below locations.
- Perth, WA
- Melbourne, VIC
- Adelaide, SA
- Brisbane, QLD
- Sydney, NSA
- Canberra, ACT
- Auckland, NZ
- France (Toulouse, Paris)
- Germany (Munich, Berlin)
- Tel Aviv, Israel
Unable to meet us at any of the above locations, no worries! Sign up for virtual office hours here.
Want to learn more about Techstars Adelaide? Watch this webinar!
It has been a fascinating journey to reach the stage we’re at today. Kicking off the first Techstars accelerator in a new region is an exciting adventure; new networks bring new challenges, and we’re lucky to have landed in Adelaide to face them.
Adelaide is a growing and supportive community. It has been generous and it has been inclusive. With conversations often leading to, “how can I help?” the #givefirst values run strong and it has helped us quickly find our fit and hit our stride.
We’d like to thank everyone who helped us reach our program kickoff. The support and referrals from the network led to a number of premier candidates. As we take these next steps, we’re excited to show what a great place Adelaide, and Australia, is to start and grow a company.
We can’t think of a better location to run this program, and hope that all who follow our progress will join us for the celebration and showcase of our inaugural program at Demo Day on October 12, 2017.
It can’t go without saying that Techstars is the Worldwide Network that helps entrepreneurs succeed, and strong partners and mentors help make this happen. In Adelaide, we’re lucky to have the support of our corporate partners: Boeing Defence Australia, Codan Defence Electronics, Saab Australia and Thales. We’re excited by the immense value and opportunity they’ll bring to the companies.
We’re pleased to announce the 2017 class of Techstars Adelaide!
Why Techstars Adelaide is a dream program for any tech startup
Techstars Adelaide won’t just be the first Techstars accelerator program to land in Australia, it will be the first in the whole Asia-Pacific region. It’s my first day at work, but I already know I have a huge amount of support from the Techstars team and I’m confident this is going to be a great year.
This is because of two main reasons. Firstly, it’s all about the tech. Techstars Adelaide is focused on all the really cool stuff – robotics, drones, Internet of Things, big data applications and sensors. With access to, and support from, the world’s leading defense and security companies, we’re going to be taking on big challenges.
Secondly, while Adelaide is not the biggest or most well-known city in Asia, or even Australia, it is a great place to do business – and the best place in the world to visit. In fact, Condé Nast named Australia as the place to go in 2016 – not just in the top ten, but the place to go.
So how does a Boulder tech entrepreneur like myself end up living in THE place to go in 2016? When Brad Feld and David Cohen were doing the first Techstars program in 2006, I was the co-founder and CEO of one of Boulder’s fastest growing software companies, and was delighted to get involved as a mentor in the first program. Little did I think that ten years later, I’d be stepping into a leading role with their first Asia-Pacific accelerator, 9,000 miles away.
I was tempted to move to the beautiful city of Adelaide just last year, to be Entrepreneur-in-Residence at Professor Jana Matthew’s Centre for Business Growth at the University of South Australia. Jana, one of the world’s leading experts in business growth, has been a friend to Techstars and a mentor of mine for over two decades. She is a perfect of example of the type of global leader who has fallen in love with Adelaide.
What I’ve seen in the past year is that things are really taking off in this city. I missed the start of the Silicon Valley startup wave, but here in Adelaide there is a startup community on the cusp of great things. It is being fueled by world-class universities drawing people here from all over the world, as well as the home-grown talented people who want to start something of their own.
Just as there is a diversity of people, I see great diversity of startup ideas and technologies. And that’s before you talk about the hundred billion defense technology dollars that will flow in over the coming years.
So what do I hope that Techstars Adelaide will achieve? We hope to draw in the best companies and mentors from Adelaide, Asia and all over the world. Along with our Program Manager Chris Chang, and the entire Techstars team, we are going to support our class of standout founders and help them accelerate their companies.
We’ve got a great range of experience, from starting and growing companies to building international startup networks. Our job is to do everything we can to help our founders get connected and be successful. They’ll get more support and gain more knowledge in three months than they can even imagine.
We’ll all work hard, but we’ll have fun too, and when they leave they will always be a part of the Techstars.
So, for those already in the Techstars global family, watch this space. For those in the regional, national and Adelaide community that want to support what we’re doing, get in touch and let’s work together. For overseas entrepreneurs thinking of coming to Techstars Adelaide – I’ll make sure you see at least one koala while you are here, promise.
Applications for Techstars Adelaide close April 23rd. Want to be a part of it? Apply today!