Saturday, July 13, 2024

Leading global start-up accelerator lands in WA

Internationally recognised venture studio and start-up accelerator Founders Factory has chosen Perth as the location of its first Australian operation.

Supported by $7.2 million in WA Government funding, Founders Factory’s Perth hub will help drive diversification and decarbonisation, with a focus on nature and biodiversity start-ups, said Premier, Roger Cook (pictured).

The global tech investor already runs programs in cities including London, Milan, Berlin, Johannesburg and New York, and has backed more than 300 companies around the world.

“Securing the internationally renowned Founders Factory for Perth is a major coup for our State,” said Premier Cook.

“This is the first time the tech accelerator has operated in Australia, providing a springboard for innovative local businesses to reach an international audience and maximise their chances of success.

“My Government is committed to decarbonising our economy by 2050 and it’s vital that we support local start-ups developing the technology to reach this goal.

“This three-year partnership will further cement WA’s position as a global leader in research and development, helping to diversify the economy and create the jobs of the future.”

The Government says Founders Factory will build a local team in Perth who will provide a four-month program supporting start-ups with product development, operations, commercialisation, data science, partnerships, and fundraising. The firm will also draw on its global influence to attract international founders to the State for investment, testing and scaling of locally produced technology, it said.

Founded in 2015, Founders Factory seeks to build and fund start-ups in partnership with visionary entrepreneurs and the world’s biggest companies.

“We believe that entrepreneurs and technology can solve the world’s hardest problems. Preserving nature and the decarbonisation of industry are key challenges in the world today and we are thrilled to be extending our operations to Perth to support more founders in these domains,” said Founders Factory President, George Northcott.

“We are grateful for the partnership of both the Government of Western Australia and Rio Tinto and believe that in combination we can help more local founders be successful whilst commercialising the best global technologies within the WA ecosystem.”

“Founders Factory is one of the world’s most prestigious and successful tech incubators, operating venture studios, accelerators and venture funds at global scale,” said Innovation and the Digital Economy Minister, Stephen Dawson.

“Securing their involvement and this new funding program is a game changer, providing more targeted support for our local nature and biotech start-ups.”

The WA Government’s investment of $2.4 million a year over three years will establish Founders Factory’s Nature and Biodiversity Tech Accelerator program in WA. Key areas of focus include reforestation and protection, land management, regenerative agriculture, water and coastal regions, sustainable infrastructure, and the circular economy.

While the State Government’s partnership with Founders Factory will centre on nature and biodiversity, Rio Tinto is also investing in a separate accelerator program to back the development of breakthrough technologies in decarbonisation, exploration processing and remediation.

“It’s fantastic that Rio Tinto is also investing in supporting local start-ups. This is another significant and strategic stepping stone in building our innovation infrastructure and ecosystem and setting up Western Australia as a place of choice for world-leading researchers and innovators,” said Minister Dawson.

“Investing in initiatives that fuel ideas and solutions leads to the development of new markets, supports diversification of the WA economy and creates more jobs for Western Australians.”

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