Slingshot has invited startups in the Hunter region to apply for the new Icon Accelerator Program.
A collaboration between Slingshot and the University of Newcastle (UON), Icon will supercharge the next generation of regional startups to drive innovation in the local economy.
Successful applicants will receive $25,000 seed investment, tailored training and world-class mentoring over a 10-week period. They will also have the opportunity to fly to Austin for a one-on-one session with the creator of the lean canvas business model and Author of Running Lean and Scaling Lean, Ash Maurya, who is also a program mentor.
Slingshot Co-founder, Trent Bagnall said the Icon Accelerator will play an important role in driving commercial outcomes for the region.
“Startups and small businesses are the lifeblood of the Hunter Region and we look forward to equipping them with the investment and training they need to succeed,” Trent said.
“Not only will Icon bring some of the best business minds to the area, it will also facilitate greater collaboration with corporates who can support these businesses through growth.”
UON Senior Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research and Innovation), Professor Kevin Hall said the University of Newcastle is proud to be working with Slingshot to develop Australia’s first regionally distributed accelerator across their Integrated Innovation Network.
“The best innovation ecosystems are those where new industries are created through collaboration between research, education, business, community and government, and where opportunity comes via a variety of pathways,” Kevin said.
“Icon fills a gap in the current Hunter ecosystem by delivering a cohesive, industry-agnostic accelerator with investment embedded within it to allow companies to scale and go global. It’s tailored to the specific needs of our region, but also the opportunities of our region, with Hunter’s unique set of land uses, educational institutions, breadth of industries and longstanding capacity for generating knowledge and technology with world-wide reach.”
Slingshot has already supported many successful startups in the region through its accelerator programs, including Camplify, Deckee and Liftango.
Diverse applicants are encouraged to apply for Icon and to partake in the pre-accelerator program. The pre-accelerator program is a free initiative for early stage or local businesses which will see up to 120 participants learn business modelling, marketing, capital raising and presenting.
Slingshot and UON were awarded $475,000 under the Australian Government’s $23 million Incubator Support initiative to establish the Integrated Innovation Network (I2N) Regional Accelerator of which Icon is a part.
I2N is expected to create at least 45 jobs in the short-term, with more to come as startups find success domestically and internationally. It will also deliver around $2.0m in investment back into the Hunter economy over two years.
IMAGE | Slingshot Co-founder Craig Lambert, CEO Karen Lawson and Co-founder Trent Bagnall.
Slingshot is Australia’s leading corporate accelerator program, working with clients such as Qantas, Lion Group, SEEK, Hudson, HCF, ING Direct, the NSW Government, the QLD Government and UTS. The startups and scaleups that have gone through Slingshot-run accelerators have a combined market capitalisation of more than $227M and over 82 per cent are still active or have been acquired.
The Slingshot methodology is validated and university accredited, with their STAR4000 course helping to equip the next generation of entrepreneurs. This year Slingshot also launched a new platform, CoVentured, to connect corporate Australia to a growing community of startups and scaleups. Founding corporates on the platform included Westpac, Woolworths, Optus, Australia Post, Energy Australia, Lendlease and Tabcorp.