A new accelerator program has launched which will tailor specifically to enterprise startups in the Asia-Pacific (APAC) region.
The Venturetec Accelerator is seeking between five and 15 early-stage startups in the banking and financial services, telecommunications, media and technology sectors for its 12 month program, which will provide up to $50,000 in seed funding in exchange for a maximum 10% equity stake.
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The exact figures will be determined on a case-by-case basis.
In addition to seed funding, the 12 month virtual program, which includes a six month structured program and six months of ongoing support, offers access to a number of mentors and key decision-makers from enterprise customers.
Founder Trey Zagante says he created the program because he believes enterprise tech startups don’t fit the traditional accelerator model, and because more and more large companies are acknowledging they need to be more innovative.
“What’s happening is a lot of corporates now, particularly in Australia and overseas, but no so much in the region, are looking at how they can adopt startup principles, how can they become more agile,” he says.
“They know that their industries are being disrupted, they want to see what’s happening around, and they want to get that early visibility.”
Zagante says the program is looking for startups that are globally scalable, but initially focused on the APAC market.
“We’re not set up like some other programs which are ‘validate here’ and then we can get you out into Silicon Valley,” he says.
“That’s not the direct path for us. Let us incubate you guys in the region first and then scale out from here.
“But we’re specifically looking for at least some domain expertise within the team. We’re probably looking for founders that are a little bit older than what other programs are looking at.
“Those that have at least a couple of years of some kind of industry experience under their belt, that have got some kind of feeling of the corporate environment.”
The program was initially intended to launch earlier this year, with a physical rather than virtual model, but after some funding commitments fell through and others took too long to finalise Zagante says the Venturetec team decided to run a “stealth pilot program”.
They took a few of the companies that had applied for the program and started working with them to help refine the model and as a result they decided to run the program virtually, avoiding the additional overhead of organising co-working spaces and the need to relocate startups.
“A lot of the value of the program is getting startups a seat at the table with enterprise decision-makers,” he says.
“Because typically startups can’t get a seat at the table with large enterprise and if they do, a lot of the time they don’t know how to navigate through.
“We’re essentially going to hand hold these companies for 12 months, possibly even longer, to help them navigate these complex enterprise sales.”
To apply for the program visit the Venturetec Accelerator website.