Two Australian tech companies have injected money into the local startup scene.
Xero, the accounting software company, signed a one-year partnership with industry body StartupAUS to provide resources and mentorship to Australia’s tech entrepreneurs.
Under the agreement, Xero Australia managing director Chris Ridd will join the StartupAUS advisory board and Xero will participate in StartupAUS events.
Separately, local services marketplace Oneflare has signed on as a sponsor for the University of New South Wales (UNSW) co-op scholarship program for young entrepreneurs.
The UNSW co-op scholarship program provides selected students with $16,750 for every year of study and 18 months of relevant industry training with up to four different companies. Oneflare signed a four-year agreement in which it will grant three co-op students a six-month work placement and invest $67,000 into the program.
The Xero partnership with StartupAus is the latest move in the “Xero for Startups” program, established by the software company in November to support the local entrepreneurial community.
StartupAUS was formed in May 2013 by several big players in Australia's startup scene. The board also includes members from Google, River City Labs and the University of South Australia.
“Xero is the perfect partner for StartupAUS — an acclaimed startup success story and a strong advocate for tech entrepreneurs in Australia,” said StartupAUS director Peter Bradd. “They also enable new ventures through their products, helping to give them the tools they need to grow quickly.”
Oneflare said it has sponsored the UNSW program to encourage more students to become entrepreneurs – and potentially come to Oneflare for a job. Oneflare co-founders Marcus Lim and Ken Tabuki are alumni of the co-op scholarship.
“Sponsoring the co-op scholarship program is a direct fit with Oneflare’s long term strategy — our main asset is human capital so investing in that is a real priority,” said Lim.
“The program is mutually beneficial — we’re very open to the prospect of hiring scholars to work with us once they’ve graduated.”
The UNSW program has previously been sponsored by the co-founders of Atlassian, who were also recipients of the scholarship. Kay Carey, manager of the co-op program, said UNSW is excited to receive sponsorship from more alumni.
“We believe it is important to create and encourage the spirit of entrepreneurship and innovation in our scholars, enabling them to think beyond the ‘job’ and become leaders of the future,” she said.
“To have alumni sponsors that are successfully living that dream is the perfect scenario for the program.”