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Adelaide’s startup ecosystem adds ‘co-foundry as a service’ to its roster – but umm, what does that even mean?


The Adelaide start-up ecosystem is giving the eastern states a run for their money. With TechStars opening its doors, Adelaide now has one of the largest accelerators, SouthStart is organising their 4th start-up focused conference and The Moonshine Lab is introducing a co-foundry as a service.

Adelaide based digital agency The Distillery has delivered a number of start-up projects over the years – typically ideas they work up and take to agency clients or internal ideas that make it through their screening process like the social wagering platform Punt Club. The Distillery has now spun out its start-up product division and it is flying under its own banner and offices.

The business will be led by Christian Ullmark. A relatively recent addition to the local tech scene, Christian hails from Sweden via San Francisco. He says, “The Moonshine Lab is targeting what we see as a gap in SA’s start-up ecosystem, where there isn’t a lot of obvious support for non-technical founders.”

Why is The Moonshine Lab necessary today?

At one end of the spectrum the co-working spaces In Adelaide are very good (27 in and surrounding the CBD) and then you have a couple of great accelerators like Innovyz and TechStars for the technical teams who are lucky enough to be accepted – but lost in between are a whole cohort of founders who might know how to fix a problem that can change an industry, but don’t have technical or creative resources they need to execute.

Often those people are either choosing between agency services which can be outside of a start-up’s budget or are offshoring their build where prices are low but quality is difficult to manage – and in both cases they don’t end up with a technical co-founder who is in it for the long term.

The Moonshine Lab takes a long term position in these start-ups providing a blended model of fee-for-service and equity. This means that a business isn’t kicked out after 3 or 6 months but rather grows out of The Moonshine Lab offices.

Only seeing a return when the company is profitable makes this a great incentive for The Moonshine Lab to deliver not just on short term goals, but executing for the long-term success of the business.

The Moonshine Lab launched with a cohort of 3 companies all with co-founder CEOs, supported by developers, designers and digital marketing experts. The next cohort of 3 will be launched within 6 months and within two years The Moonshine Lab hopes to co-found another 10 companies.