KPMG Australia and Advance, Australia’s global innovation network, today launched the 2016 elevate61 accelerator, opening up applications to tech startups ready to conquer the US market.
The accelerator is the only Australian program to focus on later-stage ventures in the enterprise space. Participants join intensive workshops and receive one-on-one mentoring from KPMG and Advance mentors, followed by a 10-day programmed visit to San Francisco, Los Angeles and New York City. The tour is a highly immersive and interactive experience featuring workshops with key players in the technology sector and startup eco-system, and the opportunity to learn from Australian founders who have experimented, sometimes failed, learned and eventually found success in the US.
During a packed 2015 elevate61 tour, amongst other activities participants honed their design thinking with renowned consultancy IDEO, heard from the Intuit team how they transformed their approach to innovation and revitalised their business, learned how a small startup can grow to a US$635 million acquisition from OpenDNS, and engaged with top VCs at Accel Partners. Out of nine startups who returned from the tour in May this year, two are in the process of opening US offices, and others are in the process of restructuring their business and strategy for international expansion.
Serafina Maiorano, Global CEO of Advance, said: “When it comes to entering the US, It is not as simple as booking a ticket and turning up at a Silicon Valley mixer. Australian startups can most definitely not afford to be under-networked, under-prepared and over-there. elevate61 exists to help Australian startups hack international expansion. By working with the most promising enterprise tech startups, and giving them the support, insight and access they need to break into the world’s largest technology market. By harnessing the influence, knowledge, and networks of our globally successful Aussies in the US, alongside our important strategic alliance with KPMG Australia, we hope to foster the next generation of global Australian companies in Australia.”
James Mabbott, Head of KPMG Innovate said: “Beyond working with individual companies, elevate61 aims to up skill the entire startup eco-system. Becoming a globally successful startup does not necessarily mean having to relocate overseas. But it does mean having a global mindset and an understanding of how to successfully sell into international markets. From our first program, we’ve learned that is not the quality of technology or product that is holding back Australian startups from international expansion – it is a lack of market specific insight and know-how. Now more than ever there is capital and clients on the table for Australian startups in the US market, and elevate61 helps them take advantage of this massive opportunity.”
elevate61 is targeted at later stage startups. Ideally, applicants will have secured seed funding of at least A$100,000, have proven traction in the local or overseas markets, with preference given to startups that have annual revenues in the region of A$500,000.
Startups kick off the process by applying online, with applications closing 14 December 2015. The selection process involves completing an online form at www.elevate61.com.au, followed by interviews with specialists, and a face-to-face selection panel interview. Unlike the traditional accelerator model, elevate61 does not seek equity in participants.
Advance is Australia’s global innovation network and the largest global network of high achieving Australians and alumni of Australian universities worldwide. Advance’s vision is empower a global Australian leadership community to harness its expertise and influence to advance Australia, Australian companies and its people. As such, Advance also helps build entrepreneurial Australian companies globally. Over the past years, 55 start-ups and more than 100 entrepreneurs have already benefited from Advance’s Innovation programs.
With 1 million Australians and 2 million alumni of Australian universities living and working globally, Advance wants to ensure they are a brain resource to Australia, Imagine – it is like plugging into an offshore power grid, providing a conduit for the flow of the brightest ideas, influence, inspiration and innovation back home to Australia.
Communications Manager – Innovation & Entrepreneurship, KPMG Australia
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