Monday, 29 August 2016 10:12

LaunchVic attracts one of the world’s largest start-up accelerators


One of the world’s largest global start-up accelerators Startupbootcamp will come to Australia courtesy of a “large funding round” as part of the Victorian government's new start-up initiative, LaunchVic.

LaunchVic was launched in November 2015 to accelerate start-ups, drive new ideas and create jobs in Victoria. Its $60 million fund will be provided over four years out of the Premier’s Jobs and Investment Fund.

Startupbootcamp was founded in 2010 in Copenhagen with the core idea of supporting the world’s best entrepreneurs as they grow their start-ups. By 2014 it had expanded to become the largest start-up accelerator in Europe and one of the top three in the world.

Trevor Townsend and Richard Celm (both start-up and accelerator veterans) have worked together to bring Startupbootcamp to Melbourne and to establish Kydo, Melbourne’s IoT and DataTech Start-up Space


Townsend, founding partner, and managing director, is an experienced executive, investor, and entrepreneur, with extensive experience with technology companies, particularly in B2B and enterprise markets. Townsend has participated in more than 10 technology start-ups and early stage companies and has a strong track record in corporate advisory, strategy, acquisitions, and exits.

Celm, program manager, is a start-up adviser who has been an entrepreneur in some successful start-up ventures in the action sports, e-commerce, and ICT/digital media industries. He is a proven leader with experience of designing, securing funding and managing multi-million-pound projects for enterprise activities, innovation clients, start-up programmes and innovation/incubation centres.


Trevor Townsend and Richard Celm.

How much did you receive?

The funding request was in the "large idea" category of the grant, and we have been awarded $600,000 for the first year (2016), with the potential of following up funding in the subsequent years. The funds will enable opening a hardware lab in Kydo, Melbourne’s IoT and Data Tech Start-up Space and will provide the core funding for Launch of the accelerator program in 2017.

How did the process happen?

We presented the idea of bringing Startupbootcamp to Melbourne to Minister Dalidakis and his staff before the grant process began. They were supportive of aim for the programme and the strength of our global brand. The government had made an announcement that funding would be made via its newly created entity LaunchVic and funding guidelines was issued in April 2016.

What does it mean to receive these funds from LaunchVic?

The funds will provide the seed funding for the Startupbootcamp Accelerator here in Melbourne and the confidence that the state government has shown in the programme will encourage local corporate sponsors to join our global sponsors such as Google, AWS, Cisco, Intel and Salesforce for Start-ups.

The engagement of corporates, universities and service providers with start-ups through a formal accelerator like Startupbootcamp will enhance to local startup community and build communities of practice within the IoT and DataTech industries.

Why do you think Startupbootcamp was selected as one of the recipients?

We believe that IoT is the third wave of the Internet, where it gets physical, and coupled with AI, Big Data, and ubiquitous comms, it will have a profound disruptive effect on industry and our personal lives. Our vision to create a thriving ecosystem in IoT and DataTech in Melbourne.

Startupbootcamp was selected as it will enhance Melbourne’s startup ecosystem by:

  • Kickstarting the existing fledgling IoT community ecosystem in Melbourne;
  • Being the only accelerator focussed on hardware as well as software in Melbourne;
  • Bringing International best practice to Melbourne via the Startupbootcamp accelerator;
  • Connecting Melbourne to the outside world especially Europe, North America, and Asia;
  • Growing the ecosystem by recruiting from the APAC region;
  • Being successful as we have a proven model and experienced operators; and
  • Bringing diversity and equality as core operating principles.

What's next for Startupbootcamp?

The funding allows us to plan for the launch of Startupbootcamp with confidence, and we will work to sign further corporate partners before launching the programme later this year.

We will be running a FastTrack event on 3 October. FastTracks are one-day events as part of our recruitment period, to bring together mentors with high potential start-ups. We're asking interested start-ups in the IoT and DataTech scene to apply as we'll be sending one local team to Barcelona to join the global selection day.

After the opening of Kydo IoT and Data Workspace in November, Startupbootcamp will be running a Hackathon with Australia’s leading integrated facilities services company, Spotless, to inspire the next generation of creative solutions in the Internet of Things and DataTech space.

Julian Fogarty, general manager, brand, innovation and technology at Spotless, said: “Data analytics and the Internet of Things are disruptive forces in our industry, and we want to be at the forefront of developments. We continue to be a smarter Spotless that has a more entrepreneurial culture and leverages technology to drive growth and enhance the customer experience.".

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Ray Shaw

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Ray Shaw  has a passion for IT ever since building his first computer in 1980. He is a qualified journalist, hosted a consumer IT based radio program on ABC radio for 10 years, has developed world leading software for the events industry and is smart enough to no longer own a retail computer store!

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