Leading accelerator program to open in Sydney next month

The ANZ Innovyz Start program will launch its first accelerator program in Sydney for three to five start-ups, in tandem with the fourth intake of the Adelaide program.


Managing director Dr Jana Matthews told StartupSmart they had always been keen to open in Sydney but wanted to make sure they got the program right before growing.


“We’re doing an expansion and it’s going to be fun. We’ve had a lot strong applications from Sydney in the past, and now we’re ready to offer both programs at once,” Matthews says.


Both the Sydney and Adelaide programs will launch in February 2014. The program mentors will travel between the two cities, and the Sydney start-ups will join the teams in Adelaide for weeks one, eight and the pitching day in week 13.


Sydney is the most active start-up community, with a report published earlier this year by Google and Pricewaterhouse Coopers placing 64% of tech start-ups there.


“I’ve thought a bit about finding our place among the many other programs there. But even though we’re all called accelerators or incubators, our programs are sufficiently different so we’re offering another choice to the market,” Matthews says.


Matthews adds the program has evolved since the first time they ran it in Adelaide. Originally the start-ups worked with mentors more intensely and with fewer gaps, but Matthews says this actually held the companies back.


“It was way too much input with not enough time for the start-ups to absorb the advice, and to consolidate and pivot if needed,” Matthews says, adding they’ve been running a more staggered and effective strategy for the last two intakes.


“This enables our companies to spiral and grow more quickly. They get hit by a lot counsel, absorb it and make the change, and then actually go up the growth curve. So the mentors actually saw a different company each time so it was more valuable.”


This is the first intake they’ve indicated they’re interested in a particular vertical. While they’ll accept outstanding companies in any industry, Matthews says they’re particularly interested in financial industries.


“I don’t kid myself that this program is for everyone; it’s way structured and way intense, and we’ve very high expectations,” Matthews says.


Applications close December 9, 2013.


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