Mentoring innovative defence technology startups

Ten defence-tech startups have been selected for the new Techstars Adelaide program of which Saab Australia is a founding industry partner. 

Ten defence-tech startups have been selected for the new Techstars Adelaide program of which Saab Australia is a founding industry partner.

Techstars is an international investor accelerator program that helps technology entrepreneurs succeed by connecting founders and their teams with industry experts, mentors, alumni, investors, community leaders, corporate partners and other entrepreneurs who will help their companies grow.

The Techstars Adelaide program is the first defence and security accelerator initiative in the Asia-Pacific region being supported by defence industry partners Saab, Thales, Boeing and Codan.

The program supports startups building innovative applications for defence and security related technologies including big data and analytics, sensors, unmanned aerial systems, rocket propulsion, cyber and physical security, and performance improvement.

Wayne Agutter, Saab Australia’s Director of strategy and emerging markets says, “we see Techstars as a reciprocal partnership where we can offer young companies advice and support which could in return expose us to breaking technologies we can invest in”.

Over the thirteen-week intensive program the ten teams will gain access to high profile mentors including Saab Australia and the Techstars global network, receive a cash investment of up to US$120,000 and a work space in the Adelaide CBD.

Participants benefit from lifetime access to Techstars resources, connections to investors and the Techstars global network of over 5,000 entrepreneurs, alumni and mentors as well as over US$1million worth of perks all aimed to provide the companies with all the resources they need to achieve their goals.

Techstars Adelaide managing director, Terry Gold said he was looking forward to working with the top ten and the selection process was not an easy decision due to the large volume of very strong applications.

“We were hugely impressed by the depth of innovation coming from the defence and related sectors. We were particularly excited to see that so many of the applications that really stood out from the crowd were from our home base of Australia,” said Mr Gold.

“From drones to data analytics, from virtual borders to rocket science – we’ve assembled a group of the most exciting technology startups working in and around defence today. By bringing these teams together and linking them with startup experts and industry specialists we will help them rapidly scale up their businesses,” said Mr Gold.

David Cohen, founder and co-CEO of Techstars said, “It was a promising experience to launch our first accelerator program in Asia Pacific in a relatively niche sector. The calibre of the applications we received is a true testament of the immense potential both within the region, but also of startups targeting the global defence sector”.

Mr Cohen said he was excited to have such a great class of founders apply to join the Techstars Adelaide program, and looks forward to seeing where these startups can go.

“To date, our program has helped companies raise an average US$3.5 million in venture capital once they’ve completed the program, and we look forward to offering the same opportunities to our Top 10 companies for our first program in APAC,” said Mr Cohen.

“Of the ten finalists selected globally for the Adelaide-based program, six are from Australia, with half of those from Adelaide which is very promising for Saab Australia,” said Mr Agutter.

Techstars Adelaide Top Ten

  1. Additive Rocket Corporation, San Diego, USA
  2. CRON Systems, New Delhi, India
  3. Daitum, Adelaide, Australia
  4. Dotterel Technologies, Auckland, New Zealand
  5. IR Sensors, Adelaide, Australia
  6. Iridium Dynamics, Brisbane, Australia
  7. MySky Technologies, Adelaide, Australia
  8. National CyberSecurity, Institute Melbourne, Australia
  9. RadioMaze Inc, Cupertino, USA
  10. Teamgage, Adelaide, Australia