Wednesday, 03 February 2021 14:55

Destination Start-Up aims at rapid tech development for startups


Melbourne-based business accelerator uSpark has launched Destination Start-Up, a program aimed at fast-tracking products created by Australian start-ups.

Destination Start-Up involves uSpark acting as a start-up's technology development partner, accelerating the process of turning the founder's vision into a product.

The company said this is particular beneficial for non-technical founders who may otherwise struggle to attract backers in Australia's generally risk-averse early-stage investment scene.

"Unico is committed to supporting Australian start-ups which is one of the reasons we set up uSpark," said Unico (uSpark's parent company) managing director John Rowland.

"Although Unico is a successful IT services company that has been in business over 30 years, we began as a start-up and know just how hard that can be. We want to enable Australian start-ups to become technically mature a lot faster than they usually can on their own.

"We want to help bridge the resourcing divide between a start-up's technical capabilities and the quality of their ideas. This is a win-win for the start-ups we partner with as well as for us – I believe that sharing ideas and resources is the best way to encourage new business. Start-ups will benefit from our deep technical knowledge and we will benefit from their innovative spirit."

Destination Start-up can accommodate ventures that have reached varying degrees of maturity.

Unlike traditional accelerators, uSpark focuses on product development, not entrepreneurial education, the company said, but it will involve "helpful industry friends and government contacts to position and guide new businesses through the confusing innovation landscape."

Consultant Marcus Powe, an experienced accelerator advisor and mentor, will serve as expert-in-residence thanks to a grant from the Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources' Incubator Support Initiative.

Rowland noted "I believe that diversity is necessary to creating business success, and so our doors are open to everyone. In 2022 we also hope to offer some special programs to support disadvantaged founders."

Applications must be submitted by 28 February 2021, and the company is running a series of information webinars during February for those who express interest in the program.

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Stephen Withers

Stephen Withers is one of Australia¹s most experienced IT journalists, having begun his career in the days of 8-bit 'microcomputers'. He covers the gamut from gadgets to enterprise systems. In previous lives he has been an academic, a systems programmer, an IT support manager, and an online services manager. Stephen holds an honours degree in Management Sciences and a PhD in Industrial and Business Studies.

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