The Tasmanian Government is seeking expressions of interest from across the globe for experienced startup accelerator delivery partners to develop and deliver accelerator programs in Launceston, which is well on its way to becoming Australia’s most innovative and liveable regional city.
These programs will build on Launceston’s City Deal between Federal, State and Local Government and the activities of Enterprize Tasmania Ltd’s innovation hubs, which are designed to boost Tasmania’s startup activity.
Tasmania’s startup ecosystem is vibrant, interconnected, well supported and rapidly growing and successful delivery partners will be expected to establish leading accelerator programs, and bring well-aligned corporate partners to the table.
These programs will provide the best available experts and networks to further grow Tasmania’s key sectors, and position the state as a leading innovation hub in the Asia-Pacific region.
Tasmanian based startup accelerator programs will attract new talent and cutting-edge and hi-tech startups to Tasmania and help advance the development of local startup ideas and businesses. Providing mentorship and intensive training, these programs will be highly competitive using angel or venture capital selection principles.
Tasmania’s economic growth continues to outstrip the nation and the State provides an outstanding platform for developing accelerator verticals in areas including agritech, Smart Cities/Internet of Things, marine tech and renewable energy.
Our intention is to attract multiple programs and applicants are invited to outline which area(s) they propose to operate an accelerator program(s).
Through its participation in the nation leading Smart Cities’ “Greater Launceston Transformation Project”, Telstra has contributed to help establish an Agritech Accelerator Program, so it is likely that the first accelerator program will be in Agritech.
There is a limited amount of support available and the Tasmanian Government is looking for the best outcomes and value for money possible from this competitive process.
We will support organisations to deliver accelerator programs that will further drive Tasmania’s strengths and help position the state as a leading innovation hub in the Asia-Pacific region.
Our vision is to keep Launceston at the leading edge as an attractor for startups to come and to trial new ideas, using different technologies – for example different IoT networks that are operational in the City of Launceston, capitalising on the significant digital infrastructure that we have here and building new business and ecosystems here in Northern Tasmania.
Launceston is the first city in Australia with city-wide LoRaWAN coverage. The pilot network provides a test platform for Tasmanian developers and businesses to create, trial and commercialise new technology solutions for a range of purposes aligned to IoT. This IoT initiative has significantly raised the awareness of the technology within the state and inspired and stimulated a wide range of LoRa related activities. The Enterprize Tasmania hubs provide linkages to programs and networks to assist new Tasmanian entrepreneurs accelerate from viable concept to sustainable start-ups. As the start-up community grows, greater corporate startup collaboration is also expected beyond the tech industry links currently established.
We will consider requests for support and have identified potentially suitable space (including high-speed internet connection) for delivery to help defray costs. We are specifically looking for Accelerator programs to run for around three years and are focused on the Tech Startup Sector. We have prepared a document for background information, which provides some background and support for areas of potential, particularly AgriTech, MarineTech, IoT and Renewables. All applications must demonstrate strong startup, and preferably accelerator experience.
Applications are invited via expression of interest (EOI). To be eligible for assessment, applicants must lodge a completed application during the EOI period, including all requisite supporting information via the SmartyGrants online application form.
For further information please see the following:
How to apply
Applications must be submitted through the online application system, SmartyGrants, and must address eligibility and key assessment criteria, and completed declaration. A preview of each online form can be downloaded via the application system before starting a submission.
What is the timeline for applications?
Indicative timings for the application process is as follows:
- Opens: Thursday 31 January 2019
- Closes: Friday 15 March 2019 at 5pm AEST (now closed)
- Shortlisted applicants presentation interview: 11 April 2019
- Successful recipients announced: mid 2019
- First program to commence in late 2019
What information is expected in the application?
Applicants must outline the project details in the online form including:
- Program summary (for marketing purposes - 500 words max)
- Your experience and network
- Support and/or finding requested from the Tasmanian Government
- Applicant and/or partner contributions (not mandatory)
- If you are a new or existing program
- Proposed program/s for delivery
Applications must be submitted via the SmartyGrants online system by the due date and time, 15 March 2019, 5pm AEDT. Applications may not be accepted after this time and may not be accepted outside of the online application system. To discuss a late application or to submit outside of the online system please contact us.
What are the eligibility criteria?
The type of program that is eligible is an accelerator program that supports early-stage Technology Startup Sector startups to successfully scale their businesses.
To be eligible for support, organisations must:
- be based or intending to transition to, or have a notable presence, in Tasmania
- demonstrate the capacity to fund the balance of project expenditure, or obtain project funding from another source
- have the financial, project delivery, experience and management capacity to deliver the program(s)
- not be under external administration or have had applications for orders to appoint liquidators or provisional liquidators, or to be wound up or dissolved, or any other action relating to insolvency.
Organisations that do not meet the applicant eligibility criteria above will be ineligible. In addition, persons or bodies that have outstanding obligations, or have not complied with relevant conditions of a previous grant program administered by the Tasmanian Government may also be deemed ineligible.
Eligible experience of applicant
The applicants that are eligible include:
- An established startup accelerator entity with Startup Sector expertise;
- A new startup accelerator entity that is led by key personnel who have previously held an executive role at an established accelerator program with Startup Sector expertise.
Applicants must provide details on the company via the online application, including:
- Company Name
- ABN (if registered in Australia)
- Primary organisation application contact details
- Company address
- Countries of operation
- Details of the organisation's ownership.
All applications must be accompanied by a pitch deck for each program proposed.Applicants will receive instructions within the online SmartyGrants application form on how to attach documents.
Applicants also have the option to upload a limited amount of additional documentation that may help to support the application.
It is recommended that all supporting documents be prepared and saved on your own storage device prior to commencing the online application process.
How are applications initially assessed?
Applications will be assessed case by case based on the proposed accelerator program. Assessment will consider delivery mechanisms, number and length of cohorts, how the program will deliver impact and beneﬁts to Tasmanian startups, how it will promote Tasmania as a leading startup hub in the Asia-Paciﬁc and previous experience.
- previous experience of the organisation to deliver accelerator programs and/or key personnel who have previously been involved with an established accelerator program and overall startup sector experience
- that support requested, if any, is necessary, or likely to enhance the delivery of the program
- how the proposal represents value for money including any additional benefits that will, or are likely to, flow (eg to the region, to Enterprize Tasmania Ltd, to the startups etc.)
- what the organisation’s network advantages are (i.e. investor network, corporate partners and mentors)
- the length of commitment to the program delivery)
- how the program will be sustained. E.g.If Government support is sought, then particularly how the program may continue beyond that Government support
- a clear capacity within the organisation to deliver the program from Launceston, Tasmania.
The online application specifies the weightings for each section for the overall assessment. A preview of the online form can be downloaded via the SmartyGrants application system before starting a submission.
Assessment and Selection
Applications should be submitted via the SmartyGrants application form and received by 5:00pm AEDT on Friday 15 March 2019.
All applications will be assessed for eligibility by the Tasmanian Government. Applications that do not meet the eligibility criteria will not be assessed by the panel.
Eligible applications will be evaluated by an “Assessment Panel” comprising of members from the Tasmanian Development Board and a representative from Telstra. The Assessment Panel may appoint external members with deep experience in the startup sector to assess applications.
What can be expected if you are shortlisted?
Shortlisted applicants will be invited to a presentation interview on 11 April 2019 with the Assessment Panel. The likely location will be in Hobart, Tasmania. Shortlisted applicants can attend in person or via video call.
Following the presentation interviews, a final shortlist will be generated. These applicants will undergo further due diligence by the Tasmanian Government who will conduct a Financial Risk Assessment. Applicants will be required to provide additional information, including, but not limited to financial statements. Information provided will be kept strictly confidential.
Any funding outcomes are ultimately determined by the Tasmanian Government and their decision will be final.
All applications are made at the applicants’ own cost and will not be reimbursed.
Is there a limit on the level of funding support available?
Applications will be assessed on the basis of competitive merit against the established assessment criteria. In some cases funding will not be provided, but other support will be considered.
We may receive more applications than can be supported.
What other types of support will be considered?
Support such as office accommodation to host the program and/or high-speed internet connection.
All other requeststhat will help with the delivery of your program in Tasmania will be considered.
Is the grant funding a contractual agreement?
Yes. If an applicant is successful in seeking funding, it will be required to enter a legal contract with the Tasmanian Government and provide project reporting and/or evidence of project progress to receive payments under agreed milestones.
General grant conditions may include, but may not be limited to, the following requirements:
- Use the support provided only for the approved purpose.
- Commencement of the first accelerator program from Launceston is to occur in 2019.
- Undertake the program with the degree of professional skill, care and diligence that is expected of a professional body undertaking such a program.
- Maintain appropriate records showing the use and, where applicable, expenditure of any support provided.
- Repay the support in full or part thereof if recipients fail to meet their obligations under the grant deed.
In the event that support is provided and duplicate support is also provided through the Government or another source, to the extent of duplication, the support will need to be repaid or not accepted unless suitable complementary use of the support is agreed in consultation with the Office of the Coordinator-General on behalf of the Tasmanian Government.
Who do I contact for more information?
Requests for clarification and further information should be directed to the Director-Investment Attraction, Ms Peta Sugden. It is recommended that all prospective applicants make contact to discuss any proposals before final submission.
Director Investment Attraction: Ms Peta Sugden
Phone:+ 61 3 6777 2786