As the rate at which large companies are replaced increases, firms like KPMG who count such businesses amongst their clients, are increasingly looking for ways to engage with their disruptors.
In Australia, KPMG is doing this with initiatives like Energise, an accelerator-style program which doesn’t take equity or take a fee, but matches startups in the energy and natural resources sector with industry leaders.
The benefit for the startups involved in the program is access to giants like Fortescue and BHP Billiton as potential customers. In addition Energise also offers $200,000 worth of prizes for startups at the end of the program, which includes $150,000 in equity-free cash. For KPMG and participating companies it gives them chance to engage with startups and help them solve large problems facing their business.
Head of Innovation Services for KPMG Australia, James Mabbott, says the Energise, along with the Elevate61 accelerator program, are tangible efforts KPMG is making to support Australian startups, while also helping its own clients.
“As a firm we’ve recognised we need to get a lot more engaged with the entrepreneurial ecosystem,” he says.
“The lifetime that big organisations spend at the top is decreasing and our traditional customer base are those clients. So we need to build relationships with new and emerging clients.
“At a country level, one of the things we often talk about is the energy and anural resources sector has been so important to Australia over the last 10 to 15 years, particularly from a commodity price boom perspective. But having moderated over the last couple of years, and us having a large number of those clients, they expect more innovation solutions to their problems.
“So to be able to connect those big clients with new and emerging companies that could make them more efficient and help their growth ambitions is really powerful.”
The eight startups that will take part in the Energise are as follows:
Ecocentric Energy: has developed a system designed to conserve energy in commercial buildings and industrial facilities.
Element Engineering: a mechatronic engineering firm that has developed a new Internet of Things product which allows real-time monitoring of any product or structure through the use of modular devices and multiple forms of wireless communications.
Global Unmanned Systems: provides customised, integrated solutions for the natural resource sector in respect of environmental and social baseline data acquisition, ongoing monitoring, surveillance, inspection and surveying using Drones.
GreenSync: provides a portfolio of automated demand management products and services for commercial and industrial energy users and network utilities to optimise power usage, including distributed energy technology for large scale.
Sandpit Innovation: an ideation consultancy that specialises in the design, development and delivery of innovation to the ENR sector.
Sentient Computing: developing high quality applications for customers such as Rio Tinto, BHP Billiton, Fortescue Metals Group, and Woodside since 2000. Sentient has developed MXV, a new venture that utilises data to create dynamic and interactive 3D environments.
Skrydata: advanced analytic technology and processes to uncover insights from big data.
Smith and Jackson (Notio Pty): has developed an innovative system to install modular buildings materially faster, cheaper and with less environmental impact than traditional methods.