SA on a Global Startup Stage

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SouthStart has been a huge catalyst for positive change over the last 4 years in Adelaide and South Australia. The startup, business and entrepreneurial landscape has been rapidly morphing into a landscape where national and international leaders, startups and businesses are banging at our door to get in. All are welcome. Welcome everyone to South Australia’s 2017 flourishing startup ecosystem.

We begin with Blue Sky scoring a strong $50 million VC fund to manage. Announced at SouthStart 2017, venture capitalist firm Blue Sky received a competitive $50 million mandate by the Government of South Australia to go towards investing in high-growth companies situated in the state. Blue Sky has more than $3 Billion in assets and provided alternative investment options in private equity, venture capital, hedge funds and private real estates. SouthStart has provided a major foreshadowing of the cluster of start ups and innovation that is lined up for SA, and this new VC fund will run for 15 years and could capacitate from 8 to 12 companies, according to The Australian Financial Review. South Australian startups and expanding industries will heavily benefit from this funding and gives the state an advantaged in the competitive investment landscape. Go Blue Sky!

Now, unless you’ve been living under rock you should know that Elon Musk, founder of Tesla, arrived in Adelaide over the weekend to bring to light his plans to create the world’s largest lithium ion battery right here on our doorstep. This is HUGE news for SA as we are taking that big leap towards a future of renewable energy on a global stage. SA Premier Jay Weatherill announced that the world’s largest battery farm will be built and it will be a key component in the government’s $550 billion energy plan. Built in the state’s mid-north, the battery will be linked with a wind farm owned by Neone to provide stability in renewable energy grid. Truly revolutionising stuff.

SA’s plan for economic growth is set up for success as a $200 million Future Jobs Fund has been included in the State Budget. Recent information sessions in Adelaide highlight that the fund will offer grants and loans to help businesses and non-government organisations expand and create jobs within various sectors. These include shipbuilding and defence, renewable energy and mining, tourism, food and wine, health/biomedical research, IT and advanced manufacturing. Through the fact that businesses are able to apply for $50 million in grants and $70 million in low-interest loans, South Australia will be expected to receive major growth in jobs in order to advance in our innovative and industrial capabilities.

Globally renowned TechStar are also now in SA’s mix as the startup accelerator has chosen Adelaide to run its first program in the southern hemisphere. Techstar will centralise its focus on the defence industry, with start-ups in the internet of things, big data, sensors and robotic fields (The Australian Financial Review). This holds the potential to really boost and commercialize technological fields in SA’s defence and security industries. The three month mentoring-based program will work alongside ten carefully selected companies and it will commence July 17 2017.

Adelaide’s start-up ecosystem has been on the rise of late and these recent ventures will skyrocket our state’s glowing reputation as a hub for founders and investors alike. The startup landscape is shining its light on SA brighter than ever. In fact, some of the leading faces in the Australian startup community are keen on how South Australia is moving much forward – check out some tweets below!

Alan Noble: Serial entrepreneur and head engineer for Google Australia


Sally-Ann Williams: Executive Program Manager – Google AU


Oli Young: CTO at TCPinpoint


Atlanta Daniel: Seed-stage Tech Startup Investor


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