US hosting firm Rackspace has partnered with Sydney-based incubator Pollenizer to offer free cloud hosting and support to the start-ups it partners with.
The Rackspace Startup Program will provide incubator-backed start-ups with a year’s free cloud hosting and support, with the company hoping to use the scheme to increase its presence in Australia.
The program was first launched in the US earlier this year, partnering with start-up incubators such as YCombinator, TechStars, 500 Startups and Capital Factory.
Pollenizer, which has help build start-ups including 99dresses, Spreets and Posse, is the first Australian incubator to become part of the scheme.
Jim Fagan, VP and managing director of Rackspace APAC, tells StartupSmart that the company was open to forging links with other incubators in Australia.
“We are very keen to open up the program here,” he says. “We were a start-up ourselves and we have an entrepreneurial culture. We have talked to a few different incubators here and I think it will be a good way to give something back.”
Fagan says the purpose of the initiative wasn’t for Rackspace to directly take a stake in Australian start-ups, but adds: “If we see a company that’s a good fit, we could look to have a deeper relationship.”
“It’s not the main purpose of this program. But if there’s a complementary start-up here, it could be an option.”
A government report released yesterday shows a huge growth in cloud computing use by Australian businesses, with 71% using some sort of cloud service, up 31% in the last two years.
However, the report warns of the difficulties in implementing cloud computing, with start-ups concerned over security, privacy and service quality.
Fagan says: “We’ve launched the program here because we realise that from an IT perspective, Australia is one of the most mature markets in the world.”
“Businesses here use the cloud and there’s a good start-up culture. It’s very entrepreneurial.
“We are seeing a strong growth in the cloud here, as well as in North America. Over there, start-ups are going straight to the cloud, they aren’t even bothering with servers.”
“Adoption is picking up, but it is still in its early stages. There are a lot of different products and even a lot of different definitions of what the cloud is. It’s an education process at the moment.”
Phil Morle, co-founder of Pollenizer, says: “We are very pleased to have joined Rackspace’s start-up initiative.”
“It allows local companies, which we believe in, to concentrate on their core businesses without having to worry about their IT infrastructure.”
“The Rackspace Startup Program is an amazing program and allows everyone involved to get to know each other and flourish as we assist these growing businesses in every way we can.”