KPMG asks startups to 'energise' natural resources sector

Perth startup accelerator opens applications in March

A tech startup accelerator based in Perth aims to spur innovation in the energy and natural resources (ENR) sector.

KPMG Australia today announced the 12-week program, Energise. Startups can apply to enter starting 1 March. KPMG said it expects to receive more than 100 applications and then will whittle that number down to eight ENR startups to participate in the program.

“Energise will be the largest accelerator in Western Australia, and largest ENR accelerator in the Asia Pacific region,” said Energise's program director, Toby Gardner.

Participants will receive mentoring from entrepreneurs and ENR tech mentors based locally and in Silicon Valley. Mentors include Gary Coover, who managed Samsung’s accelerator in Silicon Valley; Peter Rossdeutscher, an Australian ENR tech entrepreneur; and Rohan Thompson, a Silicon Valley veteran from Adelaide who oversaw strategic partnerships and global deployment of technical services for Google.

In June, graduating participants will present their plans to ENR clients, venture capitalists and other potential financiers.

“We’re working side by side with ENR companies to identify their key issues, and then giving Australia’s best ENR tech start-ups the opportunity to present and commercialise their solutions for these problems,” said KPMG West Australian chairman, Gary Smith.

“Energise aims to rapidly develop the start-ups’ business models, product and services offerings through access to KPMG Australia’s Advisory services, access to real customers and capital introductions.

“The program has received a very positive response from resources companies – and we are looking to announce participating organisations in coming weeks.”

The Energise program is not KPMG’s first experience with startups in Australia. In November, KPMG announced an alliance with Artesian Venture Partners to form a co-investment fund that will invest in 1000 startups over five years.

Last month, KPMG Australia formalised an alliance with Advance, a not-for-profit organisation, to assist mature-stage entrepreneurs fast-track their business growth internationally.

Adam Bender covers telco and enterprise tech issues for Computerworld and is the author of dystopian sci-fi novels We, The Watched and Divided We Fall. Follow him on Twitter: @WatchAdam

Follow Computerworld Australia on Twitter: @ComputerworldAU, or take part in the Computerworld conversation on LinkedIn: Computerworld Australia

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