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NSW support for H2 Ventures to create up to 40 new fintech startups and 400 jobs


Jobs for NSW (the state’s private-sector led NSW Government-backed job creation agency) is backing fintech start-up accelerator H2 Ventures, with a loan guarantee of $2 million to enable the company to access a $4 million loan by Investec Australia Limited.

In announcing the deal Deputy Premier John Barilaro said the loan guarantee would help H2 Ventures create up to 40 new start-up fintech companies and 400 new jobs across NSW. H2 Ventures supports the creation of new fintech companies through its highly regarded start-up Accelerator program and is on track to invest in at least 100 early-stage fintech companies over the next three to five years and attract global companies to NSW.

“It’s another great example of how the NSW Government is supporting high potential startups and fast-growth small to medium enterprises, businesses which can innovate and build companies that trade globally while creating jobs locally,” Mr Barilaro said.

What does this mean for H2 Ventures?

Ben Heap, founding partner of H2 Ventures (with his brother Dr Toby Heap) said H2 Ventures has established itself as Australia’s leading fintech accelerator.

“With the support of the NSW Government and Investec Australia, we are looking forward to taking the H2 Accelerator to the next level,” Mr Heap said. “This will allow us to attract more domestic and international entrepreneurial talent to NSW and to support a significant number of new fintech ventures, creating new channels growth and job.”

Jobs for NSW CEO, Karen Borg, said start-ups like H2 Ventures are reshaping the financial services industry. “In 2015 investment in the Australian fintech market totaled $438 million and by 2020 it is predicted to reach $4.2 billion. Jobs for NSW’s support for H2 Ventures demonstrates our focus on supporting the NSW startup ecosystem to scale to global standards,” Ms Borg said.

Karen Borg
Karen Borg

David Phillips, head of the Emerging Companies division in Investec Australia, said the company looked forward to working with the NSW Government on other joint initiatives. “The joint financing which Investec Australia and Jobs for NSW are providing to H2 Ventures is a great example of the private and public sectors working collaboratively to help entrepreneurs successfully launch and then grow new businesses,” Mr Phillips said.

What is Jobs for NSW all about?

Jobs for NSW is a private sector-led and NSW Government-backed initiative to help make the NSW economy as competitive as possible and to create more jobs across NSW. It is overseen by a board that consists of some of Australia’s best business and entrepreneurial minds.

Jobs for NSW’s work is informed by the Jobs for the Future report which identifies four primary challenges to our job creation efforts (increasing global trade in the knowledge economy; new challengers in faster changing industries; task automation and unbundling; and our ageing population).

The Jobs for the Future report also identifies four long term strategies to help build demand for jobs (nurture our globally competitive growth sectors; open doors for entrepreneurs; skill up the knowledge economy; and draw on all of our people).

Jobs for NSW is responsible for a $190 million ‘Jobs for NSW Fund’ to invest over four years in job‑creating initiatives, with 30% of the fund to be spent in regional areas. It has a goal of creating 1 million rewarding jobs in NSW by 2036.

How does Jobs for NSW support startups?

Jobs for NSW can assist startup companies with the following two grants:

Minimum Viable Product grants

Minimum Viable Product (MVP) Grants provide funding of up to 50% of an approved project costs (to a maximum grant of $25,000 per project) to enable startups to obtain customer feedback and test their business model.

The grants are aimed at start-ups that are not yet generating revenue to help them engage with a potential business customer, or channel to market, and create innovative solutions that address compelling industry needs or market gaps.

The solution must use an enabling technology, which is a new technology or new use for existing technology that enables new products, services, or more efficient processes (e.g. mobile, cloud, analytics, sensors, advanced materials).

Building Partnership grants

Building Partnership Grants aim to help start-ups become the high-growth, jobcreating businesses of tomorrow. Building Partnership Grants are available to assist startups that are already generating revenue. Eligible businesses can receive up to 35% of approved project costs to a maximum grant of $100,000 to fund partnerships or projects that will accelerate market adoption.

The grants are designed to:

  • complete pilot projects with key customers, providing evidence to accelerate market adoption of the company’s products or services;
  • fund new marketing partnerships here in Australia or overseas to develop innovative, new-to-market solutions.

The solution must use an enabling technology to address a compelling industry need or market gap. ‘Enabling Technologies’ are new technologies or new uses for existing technologies that enable new products, services, or more efficient processes (e.g. mobile, cloud, analytics, sensors, advanced materials).

Who can apply for these Jobs for NSW grants?

Start-ups must have an ABN registered in NSW. Both types of grants are available across all industry sectors, as long as the start-up:

  • is primarily focused on the development of technology;
  • owns the relevant intellectual property, or the rights to commercialise the technology;
  • has a relationship with a potential customer who can give feedback, or a potential distributor willing to on-sell the technology.

The start-up must be either:

  • a resident of a co-working space, incubator or accelerator; or
  • an established business able to provide recent financial statements to Jobs for NSW.

To apply for a Building Partnerships Grant complete the Preliminary Assessment Form and a Jobs for NSW advisor will contact you within 10 business days. Download the guidelines and sample application form and fact sheet for more information.