Woodside, RCF back tech venture

26/03/2015 - 10:45

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KPMG has secured backing from more than a dozen major businesses for its Energise technology accelerator, which will provide financial and in-kind support to eight startup businesses servicing the energy and resources sector.

KPMG program director Toby Gardner. Photo: Attila Csaszar

KPMG has secured backing from more than a dozen major businesses for its Energise technology accelerator, which will provide financial and in-kind support to eight startup businesses servicing the energy and resources sector.

Woodside Petroleum has donated a $100,000 cash prize, while a further $50,000 cash prize has been donated by private equity investor Resource Capital Funds and Melbourne-based Jolimont Global Mining Services.

Energise program director Toby Gardner said that, in addition to cash, the program offered advice and mentoring to participating startups.

Participating companies include miners Atlas Iron, BHP Billiton and Fortescue Metals Group, energy companies Inpex, Shell, Synergy and Woodside, and contractors Laing O'Rourke, Maca and WorleyParsons.

Mr Gardner said all of these companies would be potential customers for the startups and were ideally placed to provide feedback.

“They will give customer insight as to the commercial value of what has been developed,” he said.

“They will be able offer suggestions on how to improve it, or where to focus.

“That kind of customer feedback is what a lot of start-ups struggle to get.”

Companies wanting to participate in the Energise program need to have a technology solution applicable to the energy and resources sector, a founding core team of at least two people in place, and annual revenue of up to $5 million.

If they have no customers, they will require seed funding or development spending of at least $100,000.

The mentors during the 12-week program include KPMG staff along with outsiders including Peter Rossdeutscher, who currently chairs mining consultancy CSA Global.

Energise is one of several technology accelerator programs in Perth, with others including Unearthed and Amcom Upstart.

Meanwhile, Telstra is calling on business across the state to enter its Australian Business Awards before submissions close next Monday 30 March. 

Businesses can enter five Awards categories - Start-Up, Micro, Small, Medium and Regional.

Nationally, the winners will share more than $800,000 worth of prizes.

Every business that enters the Awards receives a 70-page Business Health Check report that evaluates their business performance, identifies areas for improvement and provides a platform to review business strategy and plan for future growth.  

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