Sydney will host Australia’s first start-up accelerator program focused on developing clean energy technology companies.
Founded by Piers Grove and Nick Lake, EnergyLab is a not-for-profit business incubator that will operate out of the Blackfriars School House, UTS in Chippendale.
It was the recipient of a $120,000 grant from Jobs for NSW, which the state government has tasked with providing $190 million worth of financial support for start-ups and SMEs with a view to generating new jobs. The funding has been used by EnergyLab to cover fit-out and first-year operating costs.
The co-working space at EnergyLab is set to cater for up to 60 clean energy entrepreneurs who will have access to mentoring and networking opportunities, events and professional advice. The accelerator’s co-founders are seeking to generate 76 direct jobs each year.
“This is an exciting step up for the cleantech startup community in Sydney,” said EnergyLab Executive Director Piers Grove.
“Being able to offer industry specific support in this vibrant community will help position Sydney as a go-to market for innovation and opportunity.”
EnergyLab together with Climate-KIC Australia – a public-private partnership to transform the way Australia responds to climate change – are accepting applications for a 12-month accelerator program to help start-ups working on renewable energy, electric vehicles, energy monitoring and other clean energy innovations.
Four start-ups will be selected to participate in the program, which will provide them with mentoring to transform them into market-ready, investable company. As well as receiving free rent, professional services and mentoring, start-ups will receive at least $50,000 in seed capital.
Climate-KIC Australia CEO Christopher Lee said the EnergyLab accelerator program will cater for the unique needs of clean energy businesses.
“[We’re] excited to be partnering with EnergyLab to pilot dedicated acceleration for this industry,” he said.
“We bring European experience to the table but look forward to offering a program that’s distinctly Australian and relevant in an Asian context.