One of the first regional accelerator programs for tech entrepreneurs based in Australia and Asia, the Venture.tec accelerator, will launch in early 2014.
Exclusively focused on start-up founders developing enterprise technology, the six-month full-time program will be seeking applicants for the eight spots in Sydney and Hong Kong in January.
Start-ups focused on innovating for the financial services and the telecommunications industries will be especially well regarded.
Managing partner Trey Zagante told StartupSmart the timing was right for a regional accelerator targeting these industries as they increasingly look to innovation and start-up technology, as well as acquisitions, to stay ahead of competitors.
“I’ve been looking at the accelerator space for a number of years. Coming from a corporate background, I’ve definitely seen a shift towards looking more closely at innovation, and trying to adopt some of the start-up thinking. But there is a lack of enterprise focus start-ups within the Australian and Hong Kong markets,” Zagante says, adding software adoption from smaller vendors is increasing, especially in the cloud, stats and open sourced software spaces.
Venture.tec will be investing $40,000 to $50,000 in the start-ups, in exchange for 10% equity for the early stage companies. Ideally companies will have two or three founders with a mix of business development and technical skills, and an early prototype or minimum viable product.
“There will be two types of start-ups we’ll bring into the program: those who are creating new technologies that will help companies do what they currently do but better, cheaper and faster. The other thing is we’re looking for technologies that will actually disrupt these industries,” Zagante says.
The program will connect start-ups to enterprise customers in their first month to validate their ideas, and provide a further six months of ongoing support to the longer lead times required for start-ups targeting enterprise clients.
Zagante says he’s looking forward to seeing the Australian and Hong Kong communities combine forces.
“The Sydney tech start-up scene is definitely ahead of Hong Kong, but I think there is a synergy when we zoom out from just Sydney, Melbourne and Hong Kong to an Asia Pacific (APAC) level,” Zagante says.
“It’s the fastest growing region in the global economy. There is a huge market opportunity here and we should be taking advantage of our geographical location to capitalise on that growth.”