Melbourne’s IoT scene has received a shot in the arm with recent major initiatives by Startupbootcamp and Telstra-backed muru-D.
UK-based Startupbootcamp, which runs startup programs around the world with local partners, has launched its EnergyAustralia accelerator in Melbourne. The program has backing from EnergyAustralia, Spotless Group, DiUS, KHQ Lawyers, Amazon Web Services, Cisco and the Victorian Government through LaunchVic.
It is inviting applications from startups anywhere in the world working in: smart grid; sustainable cities and living; smart buildings and infrastructure; IoT and connectivity; energy sharing and trading; big data and advanced analytics; blockchain; artificial intelligence and machine learning industries.
Startups need to apply before 27 October and present their ideas at one a series of FastTrack days that will be held around the world between August and October. The 10 successful applicants will then enter the three-month accelerator program in Melbourne starting January 2018.
Startupbootcamp said the need for consumers to have confidence in the local energy market had prompted it to work with launching partner EnergyAustralia and Spotless Group on the project.
“Melbourne has a vibrant and rapidly evolving startup ecosystem supported by some of the world’s top universities and research laboratories giving it a number of advantages in the region,” it said. “It’s ranked fourth globally as a knowledge hub and has this year climbed into the top 20 to be the world’s 14th best startup ecosystem.
“Melbourne startups are also highly connected globally with an average of 8.6 connections to the top global ecosystems compared with a global average of 6.0. It’s also a great place for bold initiatives. Forty percent of Melbourne startups reported that they are offering a product that is the first of its kind globally. In relation to the world average of 34 percent, this underlines Melbourne’s ambition to disrupt entire industries.”
The program will be headed by managing director Trevor Townsend, a Melbourne-based startup executive and investor.
“[Townsend] was the managing director, Australasia of Tibco Software, a Silicon Valley startup, which listed on NASDAQ in 2004, and designed the first wholesale energy software trading system in Australia during this time,” Startupbootcamp said. “He also has over 15 years of angel investing experience with numerous exits including two ASX listings.”
The program’s mentors include Slade Sherman whose company Creator Global specialises in product design for IoT and Soozey Johnstone, founding director at Method9 who is also a member of Deakin University’s advisory board and cofounder of #TechDiversity.
Telstra also looking for IoT startups in Melbourne
Meanwhile, Telstra will also shortly announce the successful applicants for the first IoT-focussed program in its muru-D accelerator.
Telstra announced earlier this year that it was looking for “ambitious founders working on IoT solutions to global problems” saying successful startups would “get the full muru-D experience, including access to Telstra’s Gurrowa Lab, located at 242 Exhibition St, and its “game-changing technology, including the Open IoT Lab.”
The muru-D web site said Telstra was looking for “ambitious, driven and passionate teams that are working on IoT solutions to global problems,” that “aren’t just connecting devices to the internet but that have a fundamental reason why.”
“We have a bias towards companies that are bringing hardware and software together in new and meaningful ways to solve global problems. That being said, we will also consider pure software companies that aim to add value to the IoT ecosystem.”
Applications closed in July and the successful applicants will start the program on 7 August. In a briefing this week to showcase this year’s cohort at muru-D’s Sydney facility, the head of Muru-D Julie Trell said the names of the successful applicants for the Melbourne IoT accelerator would be announced within the next few weeks.