Ignition Labs, Australia’s first clean technology accelerator has been launched by a group of startup founders and industry experts. The aim of the accelerator is to help early stage businesses secure initial customers and capital investment.
Launched by ATP Innovations, Ignition Labs with join 50 technology businesses and their 300 staff inside the incubator in inner Sydney. The founders are applying their knowledge gained as Startmate mentors, Sydney Angels members and US investment advisors.
Andrew Stead, Director Business Development at ATP Innovations says, “the clean technology sector is an exciting space with huge interest from entrepreneurs, investors and government. I was surprised at the response from such high quality mentors.”
Ignition Labs has gathered a mentor group with extensive experience in developing early stage businesses, excellent clean technology credentials and the skills required for successful business incubation.
The mentor group includes Peter Le Lievre and Andrew Tanner who sold thermal solar company Ausra to Areva for $275m in 2010, Neill Miller, an early investor in PCTools and Seek, the founder of car sharing company GoGet Nic Lowe, and Ben Peacock founder of sustainability strategy and PR firm Republic of Everyone.
Ignition Labs will select five high potential clean technology IT and low-infrastructure businesses with strong coachable teams. The accelerator will look for businesses that have at least validated its concept. Businesses that reduce the use of finite resources or increase the use of renewable resources are encouraged to apply.
Ignition Labs is applying the model developed by Y Combinator in the US and proven in Australia by Startmate. The time is right to apply the accelerator model to industry verticals.
Despite the risks of early stage investment, Ignition Labs has raised $200,000 with the aim of emulating the success of Startmate with Grabble being sold to Walmart and Bugherd raising $500,000 from Starfish Ventures.
Entry into the Ignition Labs is a competitive process with applications closing in May. The three-month program will start in June, with businesses gaining access to $25,000 in seed capital, intensive hands-on mentoring and participating in an investment roadshow in Australia and the US.