Melbourne's new startup accelerator = a big boost for smart energy (and smart cities)

Fri, 2017-09-15 06:17 -- Doug Peeples

Smart buildings and infrastructure, smart grid and IoT are all on the radar of two new startup accelerator programs that have just arrived in Melbourne. The increased level of activity in smart cities related startup support is exciting, and builds on key existing programs in the market such as BlueChilli’s CityConnect program, in which the Council plays an advisory role.

Accelerator programs cannot be valued enough, as they become a key opportunity to build a framework for city transformation and market acceleration, and a tool to build the skills our government and industry so desperately need to be equipped for the ongoing task of solving our most wicked urban problems.

Our Associate Partner Telstra, through its muru-D accelerator program, is hungry to support the next generation of digital transformation startups who are aiding in the battle to solve such problems. At the Council, we believe that growing the smart cities ecosystem of stakeholders is an important task, and therefore consider support to the emerging smart cities startups to be a timely investment. — Adam Beck

Melbourne's Startupbootcamp is looking for companies to participate in its Energy Australia start up accelerator program.

Specifically, the UK-based Startupbootcamp is recruiting companies working in sustainable cities and living, energy sharing and trading, big data and analytics, blockchain, artificial intelligence, IoT and machine learning.

While the new Startupbootcamp operation was launched in Melbourne, companies throughout the world are encouraged to apply for a slot in its three-month accelerator program that will begin in January.

Program supporters include Australian electricity and gas company EnergyAustralia, Amazon Web Services, Council Global Lead Partner Cisco, Spotless Group, the Victorian government (via its LaunchVic program) and others.

Why Melbourne?
As program operators said in their announcement, Melbourne was a natural choice for what it describes as the first program of its kind in the country. "Melbourne has a vibrant and rapidly evolving start up ecosystem supported by some of the world's top universities and research laboratories giving it a number of advantages in the region. 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 start up ecosystem."

As Startupbootcamp Co-Founder Ruud Hendriks said in an Iot Hub article, "We've been working at getting program going in Melbourne for over 12 months now and it's been an amazing journey so far. When we met with the team at EnergyAustralia, it was obvious that we had found a launching partner intent on working with us to build a special Smart Energy ecosystem with global ambitions."

Companies interested in participating in the program need to apply by October 27 and be prepared to their proposals at one of several FastTrack events to be held from August to October.

The other game in town
Council Associate Partner Telstra is expected to soon announce the candidates chosen to participate in its IoT accelerator muru-D program. According to Telstra, those candidates will "get the full muru-D experience, including access to Telstra's Gurrowa Lab and its game-changing technology, including the Open IoT Lab." Selected candidate companies are expected to be "ambitious founders working on IoT solutions to global problems." The program was scheduled to get underway last week.

Doug Peeples is a writer specializing in technology and energy. Follow @smartcitiesanz on Twitter.