Sydney will be home to Australia’s first startup accelerator program focused on developing the state’s renewable and advanced energy sector with the establishment of ‘EnergyLab’.
The private-sector led, NSW Government supported Jobs for NSW has provided a $120,000 grant to support the fitout and first year operating costs of EnergyLab at the historic Blackfriars School House on the UTS Chippendale campus.
“The energy industry is changing rapidly providing a huge opportunity for research, new technologies, businesses and jobs in renewable and advanced technology,” Deputy Premier and Minister for Small Business John Barilaro said.
“The not-for-profit EnergyLab, founded by Piers Grove and Nick Lake, is a startup business incubator focused on developing renewable and advanced energy technology companies. These technologies will help drive the creation of new businesses and jobs for the future.
“The International Renewable Energy Agency estimates jobs in the cleantech sector could reach 24 million globally by 2030, up from 8.1 million currently, and we want NSW in on this industry growth.”
Jobs for NSW CEO Karen Borg said: “EnergyLab will have capacity for up to 60 clean energy entrepreneurs to operate in a co-working space offering mentoring and networking opportunities, events and professional advice. It has set a target to create up to 76 direct jobs each year in the cleantech sector.”
EnergyLab Executive Director Piers Grove said: “This is an exciting step up for the cleantech startup community in Sydney. Being able to offer industry specific support in this vibrant community will help position Sydney as a go-to market for innovation and opportunity.”
What will go down at the accelerator?
EnergyLab together with Climate-KIC Australia, a public-private partnership to transform the way Australia responds to climate change, have opened applications for a 12 month Acceleration Program to help startups working on renewable energy, electric vehicles, energy monitoring and other clean energy innovations.
Four startups with a fledgling product or service will be selected to participate in the Acceleration Program and be supported through a mentored process to become a market ready, investable company. As well as receiving free rent, professional services and mentoring, startups will receive at least $50,000 in seed capital.
Climate-KIC Australia CEO Christopher Lee said the EnergyLab Acceleration Program will cater for the unique needs of clean energy businesses.
“Climate KIC is excited to be partnering with EnergyLab to pilot dedicated acceleration for this industry. We bring European experience to the table but look forward to offering a program that’s distinctly Australian and relevant in an Asian context,” Mr Lee said.