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Funding Special: Perth Accelerators

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Marcus Holmes

There’s been a glut of accelerator launches in the last three months – going from a situation where we had one functioning seed-stage investor in December 2014, to having five in March 2015 is fantastic. We take a look at the field.

True Accelerator programs

What we’re calling a “true” accelerator program is something that pays money in return for a percentage of equity and provides mentorship.

Amcom Upstart

The Amcom Upstart program is a traditional accelerator; it takes in startups in cohorts, puts them through a three-month program together, and uses a fixed formula to invest ($40K for 8% equity).

Atomic Sky

Now that Atomic Sky has separated itself from its Tech Hub co-working space it qualifies as an accelerator rather than an incubator, though Andy Lamb still refuses to allow it to be labelled like this (sorry Andy!). Atomic Sky doesn’t do cohorts, fixed investment ratios, or mentorship, but does provide cash, contacts and assistance in developing product.

Unearthed

The Unearthed team want to make Perth the best place in the world to start a resources-industry tech startup. To that end, they’ve secured a hefty pile of cash to invest in resource startups. The Unearthed accelerator doesn’t do cohorts, or fixed investment ratios, but it will provide mentorship, money, and contacts in the right places.

Corporate Accelerators

Large organisations do innovation badly, because politics and their inability to fail. Corporate accelerators provide a means for a large corporate to get involved in some truly innovative ideas for relatively little money.

KPMG Energise

Energise is a program intended to connect late-stage startups (in their words “with saleable products”) to large-corporate customers in the energy and resources sector. It’s therefore not a conventional accelerator, though there is a mentoring element and a cash prize at the end which sort-of qualifies as investment.

RAC Seedspark

The RAC Seedspark program was a great success last year, and the winner “Today We Learned” has gone on to a commercial launch (and hopefully huge commercial success) as a direct result of the program. Talking to the organiser, Nathan, this year there will be a different slant on the event, and it will probably be larger with more integration with the RAC organisation.

Things that call themselves accelerators

Innovation Bay

Innovation Bay doesn’t have funds to invest itself, but it does provide a route for startups to meet angels and other investors via a structured pitch cohort.

Founder’s Institute

FI has been a part of the community for a while, this is its third year of operation, now under new management and looking good. FI does not provide funding, in fact it charges attendees to take part in the course. But it does provide cohorts, mentors, and a global community of alumni that can help new startups.

Fusion Founders

This program doesn’t call itself an accelerator, so doesn’t belong on this list, except that it has exactly the same model as FI, which does call itself an accelerator, so sod it we’re including it here. It’s run by Atomic Sky, and directed by Sam Mead, and costs to join. It provides a structured 3-month mentored program working through the basics of creating a startup business, with the express intention of improving the startup’s chances of getting funded at the end of the program.

Stump Jump

Steve Van Blommstein has been getting this accelerator together for the past couple of years, and we still don’t know if its actually running or not, but the website looks like it is.

And more…

There’s probably more out there, so please let us know if you know of an accelerator or early-stage assistance program that we haven’t mentioned here.

This article is part of our Funding Special series of articles.

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Marcus Holmes

Gentleman Technologist and co-founder of Startup News. His vision has made //SN a sustainable media cheerleader for the startup community. Former CEO of Phnom Penh Post, he can be found somewhere in S.E. Asia coding away...
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