Iconic accelerator Techstars is stepping into the Asia Pacific. Today it announced the launch of Techstars Adelaide, its first accelerator in the region. Applications are open for the program starting in July. Startups from around the world are eligible.
The Adelaide program will have a special focus on supporting early-stage startups in IoT (internet of things), big data, sensors, and robotics, says a statement from Techstars. It will help the first cohort of startups commercialize technologies for the defense and security industries. For this, Techstars has tied up with seven leading defence industry companies: BAE, Thales, Austal, SAAB, ASC, Rheinmetall, and DCNS.
Defence research has driven some of the most transformative consumer innovation the world has seen.
“Defence research has driven some of the most transformative consumer innovation the world has seen, from the internet and GPS to superglue and digital photography,” points out Techstars co-founder and co-CEO David Cohen.
South Australia is turning into a global defense hub. Two major naval projects worth AU$85 billion (US$63 billion), announced last year, are located in Techport Adelaide. The city is also home to a government-backed Center for Defense Industry Capability.
That’s not the only reason why Techstars picked Adelaide to be its first host city in the region. “Not only is it ranked by the Economist Intelligence Unit as the fifth most livable city in the world, it has been recognized by the G20 for its coordinated support for entrepreneurship,” says David. “It is a tech-forward city that is building sophisticated infrastructure for startups. Last year it became the first international Gig City.”
The ‘gig city’ tag refers to internet speeds of 10 gigabits per second across innovation and business areas of Adelaide.
Techstars, headquartered in Boulder, Colorado, runs programs in Los Angeles, London, and Cape Town. It has graduated 900 startups. Its VC arm was an early investor in companies like Uber and Twilio.
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