Home Industry Strategy KPMG, Advance launch second US market entry program for startups

KPMG, Advance launch second US market entry program for startups

Management consultancy KPMG and Advance, an Australian global innovation network, have launched the 2016 elevate accelerator program which focuses on helping Australian startups tackle the US market.

Applications have now been opened for startups, with the accelerator the only Australian program to focus on later-stage ventures in the enterprise space.

Startups kick off the process by applying online, with applications closing 14 December this year. The selection process involves completing an online form at the elevate61 website followed by interviews with specialists, and a face-to-face selection panel interview.

Serafina Maiorano, Global CEO of Advance, said 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.

Maiorano says 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.

“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.

“elevate 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.”

According to Maiorano, during a packed 2015 elevate 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.”

Mairano said that out of nine startups who returned from this year’s tour in May, two are in the process of opening US offices, and others are in the process of restructuring their business and strategy for international expansion.

elevate is targeted at later stage startups and Mairano says that, 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.

James Mabbott, Head of KPMG Innovate said, “Beyond working with individual companies, elevate 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 elevate helps them take advantage of this massive opportunity.”

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Peter Dinham

Peter Dinham is a co-founder of iTWire and a 35-year veteran journalist and corporate communications consultant. He has worked as a journalist in all forms of media – newspapers/magazines, radio, television, press agency and now, online – including with the Canberra Times, The Examiner (Tasmania), the ABC and AAP-Reuters. As a freelance journalist he also had articles published in Australian and overseas magazines. He worked in the corporate communications/public relations sector, in-house with an airline, and as a senior executive in Australia of the world’s largest communications consultancy, Burson-Marsteller. He also ran his own communications consultancy and was a co-founder in Australia of the global photographic agency, the Image Bank (now Getty Images).