[box]#feb026[/box]Startup incubator iAccelerate has entered into a five-year memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the Waterloo, Canada-based Accelerator Centre (AC), to provide programming and mentorship aimed at helping young technology companies and entrepreneurs achieve sustainable business growth in the Australian startup landscape.
The MOU sets out the terms on which the Accelerator Centre team in Waterloo will collaborate with the UOW’s iAccelerate providing full access to the Accelerator Centre's educational programming and methodologies, as well as deepens the ongoing knowledge sharing between Accelerator Centre and iAccelerate staff and each organisation's in-house team of mentors.
Since 2006, the Accelerator Centre has developed and nurtured over 130 early-stage technology startups, creating more than 1100 new jobs, generating more than CAN$120 million in revenue, and attracting over CAN$180 million in investment.
Thirty-eight companies have graduated from the Accelerator Program, and more than 85 percent of these companies have remained in the Waterloo Region.
The agreement between the two accelerators further enriches a longstanding commitment between the University of Waterloo (UW) and UOW, including study abroad opportunities for undergraduate and graduate students.
"We have long admired the entrepreneurial spirit and technology ecosystem in the Waterloo Region, with UW as its centrepiece," Elizabeth Eastland, CEO of iAccelerate and Director of Innovation and Commercialisation Research, said.
"We are incredibly excited that discussions with the AC team, which began a few years back, have now culminated in this agreement. The opportunity to leverage the AC's world-class programming and learn from the team's hands-on experience in building great companies is truly wonderful, and will allow us to fast track program delivery, establish iAccelerate as a peer and partner in the global incubation market, and ultimately develop new opportunities for startup success in our own country."
Accelerator Centre CEO Paul Salvini said: "We warmly welcome the University of Wollongong and iAccelerate into our now global, growing Accelerator Centre family. This agreement allows both sides to learn and share our respective knowledge while working together to create a compelling worldwide environment for sustainable business success."
iAccelerate, launched in 2012 and based on the lean startup model, is designed to support entrepreneurs who use technology as an enabler for a scalable service or product that can be globalised.
It consists of multi-faceted business acceleration programs to help grow the skills of entrepreneurs, create commercially sustainable businesses within a purpose-designed space to enhance innovation in the Illawarra region.
It recently launched a $10 million seed fund to attract investors with a passion and commitment to the startup sector. In turn, the fund will provide investors with access to a unique pipeline of early stage business investment opportunities.
Entrepreneurs will also benefit from the region’s first purpose-built high-tech incubator following the start of construction last month of the 4,000 square metre iAccelerate Centre at UOW’s Innovation Campus. The Centre will provide space for more than 280 entrepreneurs. The Restart Illawarra Infrastructure Fund, which provided $100 million in NSW State Government funding for 12 projects in the region, contributed $16.5 million in funding for the Centre.
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