Sydney-based ATP Innovations has won the Best Science Based Incubator Award at an international conference for incubators at the weekend, having helped start-ups including Marathon Targets, ingogo and StageBitz.
The annual conference, organised by The Technopolicy Network and held over two days, is titled “Best Practices in Science-based Incubation” and includes a series of awards ceremonies.
This year’s conference was held in New Zealand.
The award for Best Science-based Incubator goes to the one with the strongest track record in connecting companies with global markets, based on a benchmarking study and jury evaluation.
ATP Innovations, which won the award, is the first Australian incubator to win an award in the 10-year history of the competition, reflecting the burgeoning nature of Australia’s start-up scene.
The Sydney-based incubator facilitates the rapid growth of technology-based businesses in life sciences, engineering and enterprise software.
“Global expansion is an imperative for the majority of emerging technology start-ups to enable swifter investment returns,” ATP Innovations chief executive Hamish Hawthorn says.
“We’ve established a number of stellar international initiatives and linkages, which over 90% of our clients have been able to leverage successfully.”
“This is the global aspect of the innovation ecosystem we provide our clients with.”
One of ATP’s most successful tech companies to enter the global arena is Marathon Targets, which produces robotic technology – or smart targets – for live-fire marksmanship training.
Last month, the first batch of smart targets was shipped to the United States to help train Marine Corps, after the business won a $US50 million contract.
Other companies associated with ATP Innovations include ingogo, a peer-to-peer taxi booking and payment system, and StageBitz, a web-based tool designed to simplify prop management for theatre production professionals.
StageBitz founder Catherine Prosser won the Tech 23 ATP Innovations Silicon Valley Explorer Award, recognising the company that most strongly demonstrates its readiness to explore the market in Silicon Valley.
Next year, Prosser will visit Silicon Valley and other parts of the US to engage with investors and customers during a week of meetings and introductions facilitated by ATP Innovations.
According to Hawthorn, Australia’s start-up scene continues to grow despite global economic turmoil.
“A sound value proposition, offered by a new technology provider, may resonate more strongly in uncertain times as customers seek out new solutions,” he says.
“The significant activity and deal flow seen by Sydney Angels over the past year should give innovators confidence that investors are still looking for great deals and interesting companies.”
“[It also] demonstrates the continued strength of the early-stage sector in Australia.”