Amcom launches startup accelerator in Perth

$40,000 seed capital available to eight startups

Amcom in June will open a tech startup accelerator in Perth focused on software, with applications opening later this month.

Amcom Upstart is the second accelerator to be announced in Perth in two weeks. Last week, KPMG announced an accelerator in the Western Australian city with a focus on spurring innovation in the energy and natural resources sector.

Upstart is a three-month program commencing 1 June that will provide $40,000 in seed capital and mentoring to each of eight startups selected for the program. Amcom has partnered with e-business association eGroup WA and tech hub Spacecubed for the program.

The program is designed to help startups get a minimum viable product to market, develop a business model and win initial customers, Amcom said. The program is open to any idea that incorporates some software, it said.

Amcom, an ASX-listed telecom and IT company, is the latest in a trend of corporates launching programs designed to grow startup companies and spur innovation. Other big companies in Australia with similar initiatives include Telstra, Optus, ANZ Bank and NRMA.

“Amcom Upstart is about supporting and growing the local startup ecosystem and encouraging more local entrepreneurs to take the plunge and bring their ideas to life,” said Amcom's chairman, Tony Grist.

The program brings critical investment to Perth entrepreneurs, said eGroup WA secretary and program director, Robert Nathan.

“Together with Amcom, we are able to bring a world-class startup accelerator program to Perth in conjunction with much needed seed capital,” he said.

“Whilst there has been increased investment activity in later stage technology companies via the ASX in the last 12 months, there has been very little investment activity in the startup sector in WA.”

In addition to Amcom, Upstart has received financial backing from Grist independently, as well as local venture capitalists Matt Macfarlane, Rob Newman, Forrest Capital and other high net worth investors, Amcom said.

Amcom Upstart will accept applications from 16 February to 10 April. An information session will be held at Spacecubed on 17 February. The accelerator will also exhibit at the OzAPP Awards in Perth on 18 February.

For more information, visit the Amcom Upstart website.

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

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